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LSA Quickbuild First Flight

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  • LSA Quickbuild First Flight

    I flew my Quickbuild LSA for the first time yesterday. The flight went very well and I was extremely pleased with the handling and performance of the aircraft. All temperatures were normal and performance was as advertised. I'm using an O-200 with Lycon 9 to1 pistons and a 3 blade Warp Drive propeller. I have a full electrical system using B and C components and MGL avionics. At 24 inches of MP and about 2,700 RPM I was indicating 116 MPH at 4,500 feet. I think that should be about 75% power. Climb is great and the airplane is very easy to handle for takeoff, maneuvering and landing. I flew for about 45 minutes and explored the slow flight regime in preparation for landing. Handling when slow is benign and very normal, in my experience. The airplane glides very well so if you are building one, it would be wise to brush up on slips. Bob

  • #2
    Congratulations on your first flight! That is exciting news, and I'm very happy for you! We need pictures! (As they say on another forum, "Pictures, or it didn't happen!")

    As for your power setting, according the Continental O-200 engine manual (pages 35/36), those settings (24" MP, 2700 RPM, and 4500' MSL) charts out to about 82% power, plus or minus a percent or two resulting from the difference between actual OAT and ISA Std Temp (which would be ~43*F at 4500 ft).

    If you really want to be "dead on" accurate, you need to compensate for temp effects by either:
    • Adding 1% power for each 10*F below ISA temp (which would be 43*F for 4500'), or
    • Subtracting 1% power for each 10*F above ISA.
    So if your OAT at 4500 feet that day was 53*F, it would come to 81% power. Not sure if (or how) the 9:1 pistons would impact that, but I suspect it just increases the total HP, and the percentages would remain pretty much the same.

    The Warp Drive prop is ground adjustable for pitch, right? Given the above, it looks like you've got plenty of power to increase the pitch somewhat for a faster cruise speed - assuming you're happy with the takeoff / climb performance. Some people are willing to trade off slower cruise for better climb performance. For others it's the other way around. Your plane - your choice! Ain't it great to be flying an experimental?
    Jim Parker
    Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
    RANS S-6ES (E-LSA) with Rotax 912ULS (100 HP)


    • #3
      Congratulations! I hope you'll send me a photo and short blub to put in the next Beartracks issue, which I'll start assembling in two weeks or so. Send email to


      • #4
        Congratulations Bob! This is very exciting news as well as motivating! I hope to finish my wings up in the next few weeks then back to the fuselage. Seems like every time I hear of another first flight I kick it up a least for a while. Please keep us posted as you build more time on your new ship!


        • #5
          Congrats! Very exciting, sounds like it went well and you have a great plane.


          • #6
            Congratulations Bob! That's excellent news! You're going to really enjoy your LSA. I'm looking forward to seeing more BH LSA's out there.
            Wayne Massey - Central Florida


            • #7
              I flew for 2.5 hours on Thursday in slightly windy and gusty conditions and did 12 take offs and full stop landings. So far, the take offs and landings have come out even, and I hope to keep it that way. While the first flight takeoff was from a 1,000 foot grass strip, all of the landings and other take offs have been on a 5,000 foot paved runway. The airplane handles very well and is easy to take off and land. I have not needed the brakes much, but I do consider the Matco brakes I have just adequate for the 600 x 6 tires I have. If I ever decide to use bigger tires, I will change to more powerful brakes.

              Because of a bad left shoulder, I have to turn in the seat to reach the trim, but I don't consider that much of a problem. For my first flight I used a bit of nose down trim to be sure I did not have to push hard in the climb and that worked out well. Stalls with the engine are idle are a non event. In fact, I only have enough stick travel to nibble at the stall. I have to add power to get the airplane to stall fully. If the ball is centered, the airplane will fall off on a wing, but it is not the same wing every time, and the wing is very easy to pick up with rudder. The airplane has very good low speed manners in my opinion. On the next flight, I will explore the slow speed handling more as I plan to do departure stalls in both directions.

              I am having no cooling issues, whatsoever, so far. I have an oil cooler and my bottom cowling extends below the firewall a bit to increase the air exit area. That increases drag a bit, I'm sure, but I did not want any issues with cooling. I have the MGL glass panel with CHT on all four cylinders and the temps are moderate and pretty even. Of course the real test will be summer weather but I think that will be ok. I hope so, because having to monitor temps all the time is a real drag.

              More to to come after next flight.



              • #8
                I forgot to mention that the record of the first flight is a movie and it is too large for me to deal with. I'll try to get still pictures soon and I'll ask my 8 year old grandson how to post the movie. Bob


                • jaredyates
                  jaredyates commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Have him post it on his youtube channel and embed the link here. Don't worry if that sounds like gibberish, it will make perfect sense to him!

              • #9
                Congrats Bob! I look forward to the video. Already I feel more motivated.

                Originally posted by JimParker256
                Not sure if (or how) the 9:1 pistons would impact that, but I suspect it just increases the total HP, and the percentages would remain pretty much the same.
                Hmmm, I'm not sure about that. For a constant pitch rpm altitude and throttle your prop absorbs a set amount of power. Increasing the ceiling with high comp won't change that cruise power, so I would think the % figure would drop. Eh?
                Scratch building Patrol #275
                Hood River, OR


                • #10
                  I used the 9 to 1 pistons primarily to avoid lead deposits with 100LL, not to increase power. I don't really think they will provide much of a power increase. I think you really have to use higher RPM to get much more power with an O-200 and I am satisfied with the power at 2,750 RPM. Bob


                  • #11
                    The weather has not been cooperative, but I have still been able to get in a few flights since last report. However, all of the pictures I have are either .jpg or .mov and I have not figured out how to post them using my iPad. Hopefully I will get that figured out soon, or get someone to take some with my phone.

                    I have been been continuing to explore the slow end of the flight envelope and I like it. At full power, the climb angle at stall is so steep with wings level that I can't imagine an accidental stall. However, when it does stall at full power, it spins quickly. Recovery is conventional though, requiring only neutral stick and full rudder to stop the rotation immediately so I have only done 1/2 turn so far. That is not enough to allow the spin to fully develop. I'll borrow a chute to fully explore the spin characteristics, but I really don't expect anything unusual.

                    I continue to to be amazed at how easy this airplane is to land. Most of my 1,000 plus hours in tail wheel aircraft has been in Pipers and Cessnas without any form of gear damping. I find that the gear on this airplane does not have the same tendency to bounce even if the landing is a bit firm. Also, the airplane likes to track straight after touchdown. I have only done full stall landings so far, as I prefer them, but I will try wheel landings next. I'm hopeful that the gear will make those easy, as well, though.

                    More to come! Bob


                    • #12
                      I've managed to get in a couple more flights during which I climbed hig to get to smooth air. It was cold and it is clear that I will eventually want to work on sealing up the cabin better as the air infiltration overwhelms the heat available from the Vetterman system. I don't have fairings at the landing gear attach points, or any sealing at the wing roots. I think that the heat will be adequate after those are sealed even though I decided against an interior installation.

                      I have a very slight tendency to roll left which my A & P thinks might be eliminated by adjustments at the tail. I would prefer to avoid aileron trim tabs, if possible. Other than that though, I continue to be impressed with how well the airplane flies and how easy it is to land. I did a couple of wheel landings when the wind was varying between 11 and 13 knots and gusty. The gear did a good job of absorbing my mistakes so I liked that. Frankly, I find wheel landings much easier in aircraft that are heavy, but this one is easier than the Cubs, etc. for me.

                      BTW, my A & P suggested that I paint the interior of the fabric the same color as the fuselage tubing and not install an interior. I like the result as the tubing sort of disappears into the background. The painting was done with a foam brush. It takes a while, but it is worth it to me. I had already gone heavy on equipment so I needed to save a couple of pounds.

                      More to come. Bob


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by bway View Post
                        BTW, my A & P suggested that I paint the interior of the fabric the same color as the fuselage tubing and not install an interior. I like the result as the tubing sort of disappears into the background. Bob
                        Do you have pictures of your interior? What kind of paint? I was thinking about the same thing in my 4 place but would like to hear operational stories about durability or other drawbacks. Thanks for your posts!


                        • #14
                          I'll take interior pictures next flight which may not be until next week. The paint used was latex. Bob


                          • #15
                            Bob has a recommended method for trimming in roll. It involves raising or lowering the aileron by putting washers between the hinge mount and the rear spar. It is amazing how such a tiny adjustment can make such a huge difference in the way it flies. Let me see if I can find a reference for which aileron needs to be adjusted etc.