Finally, after over 3 years Sportsman kit #7091 left the ground. It flew really well and only needed minor trim adjustment.
The airplane is fitted with 31" Bushwheels on the Glasair Cub-style landing gear and a T3 tailwheel. The big wheels make a great set up for my type of flying and it still manages 133mph at 25/25. Not bad!
I had the opportunity to pop up to Arlington, Washington the other day to visit Glasair, maker of the Sportsman and home of their Two Week to Taxi program. I hitched a ride with engineers from Click-Bond, a company famous for aerospace fasteners, based near my home in Carson City. Click-Bond employees - along with the winners of GAMA's "Build-A-Plane" competition will be building a Sportsman in June, and we'll be following along as they learn about homebuilding while showing just how many places they can use Click-bond nutplates, stand-offs, and other goodies. Anyone who has ever built using standard riveted on nutplates will appreciate not having to drill, deburr, and countersink for AN3 rivets, as these little gems glue on using a special adhesive that is used throughout commercial and military aviation. (My first exposure to their products was during training for the International Space Station program, where we used their products as hole patches in case of hull breeches by micrometeoroids.) Continue reading "Dropping in on Glasair"
Perhaps nothing is as cathartic after a few days of dodging AirVenture golf carts, trying to carry on conversations in between T-6 passes, and slathering on sun screen as an afternoon at the Seaplane Base. People at the seaplane base mostly stroll or sit under the trees. There are no golf carts although a few scooters are parked. No music or banter over loud speakers. Arriving and departing aircraft run just above idle in the harbor. Everyone seems relaxed and very happy.
Dynon showed off the beautiful Dynon Touch-equipped Sportsman owned by five Dynon employees. This plane and the AFS-equipped RV-10 (owned by Rob Hickman) are displayed outside at the northeast corner of Hangar D.
Kitplanes Contributor David Prizio, and Editor in Chief Paul Dye, were the first journalists to fly the new Diesel Sportsman from Glasair. The aircraft, a carbon version constructed specifically to test the new engine from Continental Motors - was flown at the Glasair factory in Arlington, Washington, and exhibited performance, fit, and finish far superior to what was expected from a prototype machine. The airframe and engine had about 42 hours on it when the Kitplanes pilots got their hands on it, and several more when they were finished - it was hard not to keep flying it. While absolute speed and climb performance is lower than with the IO-390, that is to be expected with an engine rated for considerably less power. There are advantages however - with the standard turbocharger, the climb power remained constant to approximately 8,000'. Cruise fuel consumption is on the order of 7 gallons per hour at economy, and less if the aircraft is slowed down. The test team at Glasair is expecting that they might be able to see ten hours of endurance with the power pulled back, and full tanks - and those tanks would be full of cheaper Jet A.