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First Flight Today

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  • First Flight Today

    Dead calm winds so decided it was a good day to go.

    No photography or "arranged witnesses" as I didn't want any pressure to go.

    Flying out of a Class D, told them I wanted to orbit as a "maintenance flight" and flew several racetracks 500' above pattern altitude. A bit of slow flight and some power off stalls and then join the pattern to land

    Remembered Mark's advice that "It likes to glide" and was still a bit high on short final and slipped in.

    Few things in life are as good as that first no-bounce three point in an airplane you built from scratch. (Plus today was my birthday as well)

    Some observations:

    Definitely accelerated, climbed, and glided much better then the Christavia I had been flying.
    Less rudder needed then a Champ to coordinate turns.
    Minimal trim adjustment needed during the flight.

    All in all, I'm "stoked" and look forward to checking out the "envelope".

    Thought this would be a good place to put a "start to finish" set of links together so the following are the build logs up to starting to cover. I didn't really do any formal logs from that point on, just photos.

    Three years and three months and suddenly it's "done".

  • #2
    WOOHOO!! Congrats and HAPPY B-DAY. How awesome. That's funny, just exactly what I thought. 99% done and 99% to go and all of a sudden--waalaa-DONE. Like someone told me, from building to maintaining. D-n-D


    • #3
      Great news! I can't think of anything more inspiring than news of the first flight of a homebuilt aircraft!



      • #4
        Very cool! And on your birthday, too! What a present to yourself... Congratulations!
        Jim Parker
        Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
        Patrol Quick-Build Serial # P312


        • #5
          Scratch built in three years....This is amazing!
          Brooks Cone
          Southeast Michigan
          Patrol #303, Kit build


          • #6
            Great!!! You will love it. Bob


            • #7
              Very nice, hope to join you in about a year . Stinger


              • BTAZ
                BTAZ commented
                Editing a comment
                And your crystal ball was perfect!

            • #8
              Wonderful!!! And Congratulations!!!


              • #9
                Congrats and Happy Birthday. What an awesome way to spend a Birthday! Looking forward to future flight reports.
                Stephen B. Murphey
                Bearhawk LSA
                Building #L-089


                • #10
                  Some notes from the second flight today.

                  I am running a 76/36 Catto prop that came with a C-90 core I purchased, I expected it to be too fine pitched(it was originally for a Zenith CH -750) but it actually is closer then I expected. At 4000' and approximately 55F OAT full throttle level flight was about 115 indicated and 3K RPM(which is what I have set for a redline for my stock 0-200). 2750 rpm indicated about 105 mph.

                  I will speak with Catto now that I have some data. They can re-pitch the prop up to about a 39 which likely would still be a "climb prop" but pretty livable. I'm more concerned with meeting density altitude challenges and climb capability then cruising speed.

                  However, the right wing is heavy. "Slowish flight"(about 40 indicated and 1500 RPM) can be trimmed for via the elevator trim and requires basically zero aileron input for straight and level flight. I can let go of the stick and walk the nose around with the rudder.

                  But maneuvering at around 100 mph indicated requires a bit of left pressure on the stick for straight and level and right turns also require a bit of left pressure to keep from rolling steeper into the turn.

                  Probably time to break out the washers for the aileron hinges as has been described in other threads.

                  Then I need to find out why my tablet can't find the GPS signal and borrow my IAs optical tach to verify my mechanical tach is accurate.

                  Oil temp is a bit low(around 175F) but I'm fine with that for AZ. I can always block off the oil cooler for now and I know I can use the excess cooling capacity this Summer when its 50F warmer.


                  • JimParker256
                    JimParker256 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Just a thought on verifying your tach... I use an app on my iPhone called "Engine RPM" that is amazingly accurate. Once it's configured for your engine type (4 or 6 cylinders, 4-stroke), and you set the approximate RPM using the slider, it quickly determines your actual RPM. I've tested it against three different optical tachometers, and it was dead-on accurate, even matching the slight RPM changes caused by variable winds on the ground. It can be used in flight as well as on the ground. It's not one of the "freebie" apps, but worth the price. (Oh, it works just as well at night as it does in the daytime - which most optical tachs do NOT do...)

                • #11

                  Took a close look at the ailerons and saw that(when in trail),the right was about 1/16 " below the bottom of the wing while the left was about 1/4" below. Added one standard thickness AN washer under the bottom mounts for the left aileron which moved it up about 1/8" so now they differ by about 1/16".

                  Third flight today and the heavy wing seems to pretty much be gone now.


                  • JimParker256
                    JimParker256 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's great! Glad it was a simple solution. Need more pictures and flight data! Keep us inspired! Thanks!

                • #12
                  Congratulations on your completed LSA. Another flying Bearhawk in the air is more inspiration. Now that you did the washer trick under the hinge mount is it necessary to go back and center the stick with the turn buckles?


                  • #13
                    The easiest approach I found to rigging the ailerons was to treat it almost as two separate tasks.

                    The first is to get the cables all fabricated and connected so that when the stick is centered the bell cranks in the wings are also "centered and matching"(IIRC, the bell crank arm that goes to the aileron push rod is 90 degrees to the main support tube). This is done by adjusting the various cable turnbuckles. The front two turnbuckles basically center the stick/bell cranks while the "carry through" turnbuckle sets the tension, though there is some interaction between them

                    Once satisfied, unthread the carry through turnbuckle. Then the front cables are disconnected from the stick and the turnbuckles in the wing are disconnected(without changing their adjustment) from the bellcranks. This gives you enough cable length to drop the turnbuckle out the front wing inspection hole to make it easy to safety wire. Re-install the front cables and then connect the rear carry through cable turnbuckle, set the tension, and safety wire.

                    Then the ailerons are installed with the pushrods adjusted so that when they are connected to the "Centered and matching" stick/bellcranks both the ailerons are "in trail" with the wing .

                    By moving the hinge I had to slightly adjust the pushrod length but didn't need to touch the cables.


                    • #14
                      Congrats on your first flights! Crazy how quickly you built it up


                      • #15
                        I'm glad you got your heavy wing corrected so easily. It sounds like things are going really well. My LSA also has an O-200, but with 9 to 1 Lycon pistons. Even with the higher compression, it still took about 40 hours of running at relatively high manifold pressures to get it fully broken in. I was beginning to get concerned because I had a good bit of oil coming out the breather, but it gradually got to be less and less. It now runs very dry, thankfully. Also, after carefully measuring, I found that my stock O-200 dip stick shows 1/2 quart lower oil level than the actual quantity in the engine; maybe that is due to the tail wheel configuration, as my engine came from a Cessna 150. I can't tell if you are running new components requiring break in, but I thought I would pass this along, just in case. Happy flying. My LSA is way outperforming my original expectations, and I'll bet yours will do the same. Bob Way