New Flight Test Manual From EAA

The Experimental Aircraft Association has published a new Flight Test Manual which brings the processes and procedures of professional flight testing to the amateur-built aircraft community.

The 47-page manual is a comprehensive program for amateur-built aircraft flight testing. It includes outlines for each essential test point, as well as a booklet of 19 test cards that can be carried in the aircraft for quick reference and data collection while in flight. Those test cards are similar to those used by professional civilian and military test pilots, and are an exclusive resource for amateur-built aircraft pilots using the EAA manual. Continue reading "New Flight Test Manual From EAA"

Flight Test Morning


Early morning is the time for flight testing, especially in summer, and especially in the high desert! Today's mission was to do the first flight of a friend's RV-4 after he decided to upgrade from a fixed-pitch prop on a stock O-320 to a constant speed equipped O-360 with high compression pistons. I helped him build the engine from a box of parts (a Superior kit) and then he re-did the entire firewall forward, including modified cowl and just about everything else. It was a process that started the first of the year, and it took six months because, well... it took six months. That's sometimes just the way it is in the airplane world, waiting on custom parts, and then waiting again if you find a cable an inch short - and other things like that. Continue reading "Flight Test Morning"

Five-Hour Phase One


Yesterday I completed the shortest Phase 1 flight testing program I have ever done - it was for a neighbor's ELSA RV-12, an airplane I have been watching him build for the past five years. I have flown numerous flight test programs on E-AB aircraft, but this was my first time going through a factory test program for an airplane built to conform exactly to their specifications. Because it is more in the nature of production flight testing than experimental flight testing, the FAA allows a simple five hour program - which is not a lot of time to get a LOT done. Continue reading "Five-Hour Phase One"

New Turbine Venom Hits the Skies


The latest version of the Turbine Legend - the Venom has made its first fight in Florida, and the company is promising to complete its flight test program in the near future. The aircraft has been re-engined with the GE H75 turboprop rated at 750 horsepower, and the avionics have been modernized with a full Garmin G3X EFIS panel.

Watch Kitplanes for additional news and an upcoming flight review! Continue reading "New Turbine Venom Hits the Skies"

Flight Test Note... Check the Screws

Tundra missing screws in wing

It is easy to get wrapped up in the flying aspect of flight testing when taking an airplane through phase 1. We preflight, then launch into sawtooth climbs, stall series, and determine Vx and Vy. But it's important to keep an overall eye on the mechanical aspects of the airframe as well. This is what I found when I climbed up on the wing of our Tundra this morning to add some fuel - a whole bunch of missing PK screws that hold the fuel tank cover plate in place on the left side. Continue reading "Flight Test Note... Check the Screws"

It Flies!


With a fresh airworthiness certificate in hand, pre-fight inspections complete, and gorgeous spring weather (cool with no winds) in the Smith Valley, there was nothing left to do with the Tundra but take her up for the maiden voyage. It has been Louise' and my great pleasure to help our partner, Jim Kinninger bring his dream to fruition - a dream that began about ten years ago when he wrote the check to start his Tundra journey. We joined a little over a year ago, but it's been a whirlwind time getting to today's departure from Terra Firma. Jim's wife, Georgia, and her sister, Marta joined in as photographers, and we were also aided by Manny, a Smith Valley resident and professional pilot who retired from a full career that ended as a contract pilot for NASA Dryden's 747 and DC-8 research aircraft. It takes a team - but a small one - to make a good first flight, and we had a good team. Continue reading "It Flies!"