Yup... It Flies!

The little jet actually does just what it is supposed to do - and it looks good doing it!

We've now made three flights in the airplane I am calling "Loki" (The trickster from the Nordic sagas), and each one has been interesting. It had ben over three years since I last flew a Subsonex, and since there really is no way to get current other than to fly one, it was interesting to get re-acquainted with the flying qualities. On our first flight, we discovered that we need to re-rig the ruddervators to provide more "down" elevator, so we kept that flight short. The second and third flights proved that we got that right, and that the airplane is going to be fun, fun, fun! Continue reading "Yup... It Flies!"

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

paul-dye-test-flight

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

rv-12-test-flights

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"