Oct 16 2011

Day 17… Pat’s Solo

We met up at Fullerton about 11 am for Pat’s solo flight.  A quick 6 minute flight to Chino and after about 6 or 7 practice landing from the back seat felt Pat was ready for his first fight.

Needless to say I was probably more nervous than he was.  Whenever you flight a new bird the first time, it can be a bit scary.  This one is quite a handful as the avionics are so advanced it can be a bit overwhelming.  It took wiring the plane, studying the manuals for hours to just touch the surface of what this bird can do.

As Pat was getting comfortable with the plane on the ground my first thought was the plane was going to overheat.  He must have spent at least 10 to 15 minutes on the ground with an already heat soaked engine.  Normally canards are notorious bad for overheating due to the fact they have no cooling air over the cylinders like tractor planes.  I became very alarmed with length of time he just sat there…and sat there.  Yikes.


Finally after what seemed like an eternity on the ground, Pat took off and made about 3 or 4 tough and goes.  He was flying!

The bird looked really fast from the ground and it was great fun for me to see her flying with the characteristic sound that a canard makes.

Finally Pat taxi’s up with the grin of success on his face.  Peace of cake he claims.

Strangely, when I asked him about the cylinder head temps, he said NONE of them were over 400 f while sitting idling on the ground.  I was in shock!  I had hoped the educators would work well, but I didn’t realize just how well they helped ground operations.   My bird only seems to get up to about 375F but I had never tried to sit on the ground idling with a heat soaked engine like he did.  I guess I’ll have try my bird out to see what happens.   I do know this, I am going to rebuild my cowls to look like Pats as I think not only to they look good but function much better than Tweedy’s.



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