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  #1  
Old 12-31-2011, 06:56 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Default RV-3: The First Ten Hours

Well, with a large break for the holidays between first flight and today, we have managed to squeeze the first ten hours of flight time onto our new RV-3?s airframe. The first six hours were pretty much dedicated to engine break-in, with lots of high-powered laps up and down the gulf coast, and very conservative operations. This mostly straight and level time was used to debug a few avionics issues (we had an intermittent Air Data board in the EFIS, which Garmin replaced via overnight express, there was a bad Comm 1 antenna connection, etc?.) and get a feel for the airplane ? which continues to be delightful. We had to adjust the governor cable to get maximum RPM?s, and are tinkering with a flaky left fuel gauge ? but nothing else sticks out.( Getting use to all that traffic information took a little while as well!)The oil level only went down about a sixth of a quart in those first six hours, so I figure that the break-in was quick, and cleared the airplane for unrestricted engine operations.

When we got back from vacation a couple of days ago, it was back to Phase I, and the real beginning of the flight test program. First up was an ASI calibration using a four-course GPS leg and the excellent little application found on Kevin Horton?s web site. I flew several four-course legs at different altitude and power settings, and found the ASI to be within two knots over the normal sped range. EFIS airspeed matches the backup ASI to the width of the needle, so I?m pretty happy there. (The G3X is absolutely awesome when it comes to data recording by the way. Pop an SD card into the PFD before the flight, pop it out at the end, copy the file to the computer, and click it ? Excel opens it up right away, and all of the columns have labels. The data is at one sample per second, which is fine enough to find all sorts of interesting stuff. It should be a piece of cake to build performance tables efficiently.)

I am extremely impressed with the Silverhawk fuel injection and P-Mag combination on the TMXIO-320 ? starting is instant, and operation is very smooth ? I can use the mixture control like a throttle when it gets over peak, and it stays totally smooth as the power simply drops off. I can?t wait to see how the power tables turn out with this combination! Cylinder #2 is consistently hotter than the other three, so I probably will fool with the baffle dam a bit. EGT?s are very well matched, and I have detected no thrumming on the belly from exhaust pulses.

Yesterday I tried a few gentle aerobatic maneuvers to feel out the handling qualities ? some rolls and wingover, keeping the G?s low until we expand the envelope a bit. It is hard to understate the handling qualities ? this craft is simply superb. You can start and stop the roll rate instantly ? it stays where you put it, and goes where you tell it. All with almost no control motion ? simply delightful. It?s going to take a touch of rudder trim, and since I haven?t installed a moveable tab yet, we?ll experiment with a wedge.

Louise is warming up to fly it soon, and I can?t wait to see how she likes it! Once she?s familiar with the airplane, we?ll get her collecting performance data while I expand the CG and loading envelope incrementally. Of course, we need this Houston weather to start cooperating with us (which it didn?t today), or I?m going to have to continue cleaning up the shop instead?.

Absolutely no regrets at this point, and nothing that I would have changed!




Paul
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Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2011, 07:20 PM
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Mike S Mike S is online now
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Default Sounding GOOD

Jealous I am.....
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Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2011, 08:50 PM
N427EF N427EF is offline
 
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Default Me too!

Paul, I know how you feel and I am with every step.
Just broke the 10 hour mark and sorted out a couple of avionics issues.
Let us know more about your flight test regimen. Most of us don't do it very often and some guidance in how you effectively spend 40 hours flying off phase one would help a lot.
BTW I always read your posts with great interest.
Happy New Year.
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2012, 09:07 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N427EF View Post
Let us know more about your flight test regimen. Most of us don't do it very often and some guidance in how you effectively spend 40 hours flying off phase one would help a lot.
.
Give a look at AC90-89a. It is probably the best-written advisory circular that the FAA has ever put out. If you follow the plan laid out there (understanding that it is very generic, so some things won't apply), you can't go wrong. One thing to do is to start with a list before you go out and waste time by flying in circles. Read the book, jottting down tests you feel are applicable to your airplane, then use it as a menu when you plan each flight. My "category" list looks sort of like this:

Engine Break-in
Performance (to develop cruise, climb, landing, T/O charts)
Envelope Expansion (speeds, G's, Loading)
Stability and Control (including stalls, CG testing, etc)
Aerobatics and maneuvering (To satisfy Op Lims which require explicit tests)
Avionics (testing performance, configuration, and procedures)

I then use that list to develop specific flight cards.

Many things can be done in any order, so if it is not a good day to do a performance test, you can switch to a systems test.

Once you red the AC, and make a list...40 hours doesn't seem like a terribly long time, does it?

Paul
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Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:19 AM
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Danny King Danny King is offline
 
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Default RV-3 Report

Great report Paul. I'm looking forward to Louise's impressions of Junior. The RV-6 might start collecting dust!
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:29 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny King View Post
Great report Paul. I'm looking forward to Louise's impressions of Junior. The RV-6 might start collecting dust!
Look for her report soon - it was a nice morning here in Houston (although a tad gusty...) !
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Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:48 PM
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Geico266 Geico266 is offline
 
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Default

I think Paul is having too much fun in the -3 to let Louise fly it.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2012, 01:24 PM
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panhandler1956 panhandler1956 is offline
 
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Default Good stuff!

Thanks Paul! A lot of builders and potential first-fliers are getting a free education.

Way to pay it forward!

Keep up the reports!
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:13 PM
the_other_dougreeves the_other_dougreeves is offline
 
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
Look for her report soon - it was a nice morning here in Houston (although a tad gusty...) !
I'm looking forward to hearing about the -3 landing performance in gusty winds / xwinds.

TODR
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by the_other_dougreeves View Post
I'm looking forward to hearing about the -3 landing performance in gusty winds / xwinds.

TODR
Well, it's light - proportionately so to the -6 or -8. It certainly is nothing like the high-winged "Drunken Dinosaur" of course, but it feels lighter than it's bigger siblings.

The whirlwind prop does not act as much as a speed brake as the massier Hartzells on our other airplanes, and this plays into the crosswind performance a little. It's common to add a few knots for gusts and crosswinds, and with the Hartzells, this is super easy to take out when you get into ground effect - you pull the throttle back, and you slow down instantly. Try that in this airplane, and you're going to float a bit. At least, that is my initial observation. We'll probably adjust pretty fast - it will just take a few landings.

Today when we got back to Polly Ranch, it was out of 010 at 10 gusting to 17 pretty much straight across the runway. We have those big trees on the approach end of 29 that makes for a huge burbling mess with a northerly wind, so you have to land long. With the extra speed for the winds, and a longer touchdown point, the math just wasn't' working out, so I went around and landed the other direction (no obstacles or wind shadows) - which worked a whole lot better! It was still a bit like watching our neighbors land their Mooneys, but I got stopped before our taxiway.

Paul
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Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
http://Ironflight.com
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