Larry's N203SW Update Page

June 24th, 2017  :  N203SW has been over at the Azalea Aviation Manufacturing facility for a few days while Larry finished up the canopy installation and some little items on the checklist.  After lunch, Loyd Montigue, our local DAR finished his inspection of the airframe and paperwork and signed of N203SW as a brand new airplane!

July 2nd, 2017  :   After a couple days of final trim, painting the canopy frame and closing up the airplane, it is time for the test flight program to begin.  Bill gets in after a final inspection and starts up N203SW and taxis out to the runway here at Cook County Airport (15J).  The runway is 5500 feet long and has a 4000 foot crossing runway....just adequate for flight testing. 

      First Bill does several high speed runs up and down the runway to test steering, braking and general ground handling.   Then he proceeded to do a couple runs with the tail in the air to test the transition to tail up.   This gives him a speed at which the tail will lift, check for adequate rudder control at low speed, and help with transition to tail low attitude.  It also will give an indication as to elevator effectiveness and control.   Next are a couple high speed runs where he lifted off the runway about 10 feet.  Although there isnt much time for a lot of feedback what we learn here is critical.  One, we are learning whether the airspeed indicator is accurately displaying airspeed.  It also gives us an airspeed number at which liftoff occurs.  Two, it allows us to test aileron control and effectiveness at a slow speed and check for a heavy wing. 

     All this time and running up and down the runway also allows for testing engine performance and calms the pilot down.  Everything seems to be okay because on the next high speed run Bill takes off and climbs smoothly into the pattern.   He does one lap around the airfield and back to a smooth landing.   He says that he always keeps the first flight very short and the canopy popped up on the left side so he didnt want to prolong the flight.   

July 4th, 2017  :  Spent the 3rd and part of the 4th working on little discrepancies on the airplane.  A couple items we worked on were:  Checking the engine compartment for security and leaks.   Adjusted spring on elevator tube  to help get the elevator into trim.   It tends to nose down slightly.  Checked the left brake for possible dragging.  Worked on canopy latch to improve visible lock marks.

      Bill took the airplane out again for about an hour to get a better feel for what the airplane needs.   He says he keeps the first flight short just to get over any nervousness he may have and then following flights are longer.  He took off and flew around the airport at @ 1500 feet for a while while he checks engine temps and performance issues.  Once he returned we went through the next adjustments.   

     To Do:   Elevator trim needs more work.  We added a small trim tab to get the elevator into nuetral.   As speed picks up the downforce increases - nothing big but needs to be trimmed.  The  ailerons are good and it flys level.   There are a couple adjustments to do to ventilation....looks like heat tube was hooked up to cabin air...oops.  Bill was sweating when he got 95 degree outside temp doesnt help.  We made some adjustments to the Aerocarb to lean it out slightly.  Engine is clean.

 July 5th, 2017 :  After all the little stuff Bill takes N203SW up again this evening.  Things must be looking up as the flight times get longer.  Bill took the airplane to 3000 feet and did some slow flight and stalls.  Clean stall is at 54 mph indicated.  The Cabin air is much cooler and the elevator trim helped....some.  Just a bit more tweeking there to do.   His Saberwing has a electric controled trim tab where this one has a spring loaded system I am trying.   It looks like there has been a radio issue though... we will test that out.  We did a valve adjustment and changed out one of the CHT senders.

July 6th, 2017 :     This morning Bill took the airplane up for over an hour.  He did some slow flight, different bank angle turns, checked out glide speed and minimum descent rates.  Checked CHTs for different climb angles and climb rates.  Did a simulated engine out from 3500 feet to 1200 feet - thing glides well.  Radio still not working as it should.  Bill did a couple high speed passes down the at 140 and one at 150 to test for any flutter.  Looks good going by!

    After Bill landed we looked into a couple changes to do.  One was to locate the issue on the radio.  Turns out to be a poorly soldered BNC connector.  Easy fix.  A little more trim tab on the elevator will help smooth the trim out.   Also having to change out our carbon tailwheel rod bor something stronger.  The carbon rod splits lengthwise and causes the tailwheel to sag a bit sideways.  Later we may get a Titanium rod but for now a steel rod will do.   No need to uncowl at this point as all looks good.   Will plan for another flight tonight!