Loki the SubSonex Jet is a Free Bird!

My ever-vigilant neighbor caught the official end to my Phase 1 test period on "Loki," the little jet, this morning as I made a pass to "check altimeter calibration" (that's my story, and I'm sticking to it...) and then pulled up for the landing pattern. With that pass, I finished the prescribed 40 hour test period, but had actually completed the test program about ten hours before - yet these are still experimental aircraft and there are things I'll be looking in to, and will be collecting data for some time to come. Officially however, the airplane is now free to roam outside of the original test area (which was admittedly pretty large) and can be taken anywhere... like Southern California, or even Wisconsin! Continue reading "Loki the SubSonex Jet is a Free Bird!"

Thirty Hours

Selfies at 17,500' don't show a whole lot of skin, and also don't show just how cold your toes can get up there!

As I rolled the SubSonex to a stop in front of my hangar this morning, the mighty TJ-100 spooling down and going in to its cooling cycle, I noted two milestones on my kneeboard. The first - I have accumulated 30 hours of flight time on the little jet. The second - I finished the final test card in the series from the EAA Flight Test Manual. Now "finished" is, of course, a relative term. There are a few tests that I will probably repeat to see if I can do them with more precision. And there are a few that got severely edited because, well - the manual wasn't written with a jet in mind! There are all sorts of strike-outs in my records, things like recording CHTs, EGTs, Oil Pressures and Temps - they are simply not applicable in the case of this machine. Continue reading "Thirty Hours"

Keep it Covered

SubSonex canopy cover

Although our airplanes mostly live indoors, it is not uncommon to tie them down outside when we're on the road. Although a good canopy cover can be expensive, I have cut and fit enough canopies to know that I'd rather not do it again if I don't have to - and a few hundred dollars to take REALLY good care of the canopy (and protect the interior and avionics of the aircraft) is a good investment for me. So the little jet was going to need a cover - and I went to my usual supplier, Bruce's Aircraft Covers to see if they had a pattern. The answer was... maybe. They had engine plugs of the SubSonex, but the first canopy cover they sent was clearly for a two-place Sonex, and not the SubSonex, but they were quick to acknowledge the mistake, and ready and willing to proceed with making one that fit perfectly. The process was fairly simple, and surprisingly quick. Continue reading "Keep it Covered"

Skeletons

The innovation area tents which will house new and interesting technology sit open to the elements most of the year.

There's a countdown clock at EAA Headquarters, and today it showed just 87 days and some-odd hours until the start of AirVenture 2019. In the meantime, a tour of the grounds on the west side of Wittman Regional Airport shows nothing but... skeletons. Continue reading "Skeletons"

An Aviating Day

Aviating over the Sierras

It's been an odd winter for our area - lots of low cloud days and precipitation here in the Lake Tahoe region - and that has limited the fun flying ever since November. But today was a Saturday that dawned calm and clear... and there were missions to be flown! Instead of setting up to fly the jet, I took off at the crack of dawn in our RV-3, headed south to rendezvous with my wife in Bishop, California for breakfast. She has ben spending the week there doing some cycling training with an old teammate of hers form their glory days with USA Cycling, and I thought I'd drop in to see how they were doing - and have breakfast at the marvelous Schat's Bakery, familiar to any Californian who has traveled the eastern Sierra. Continue reading "An Aviating Day"