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"

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"