Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby bluemax » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:54 pm

Barry,

I like your wheels and tires. Those are the ones that I got with my kit, but later changed my mind and splurged for the 29" Airstreaks. If my Airstreaks wear out too soon, I'll be switching to the ones like you have.
Max Rentz
Newark, Ohio

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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby User GDS » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:25 pm

Beautiful ship, you will be happy you went simple with your interior and panel. Color is great, too. I'll start looking for some friendly desert between our home bases!
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby JHR » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:15 am

Congratulations.

I really like the yellow, what is the colour.

John
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby Gil T » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:17 am

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Steve

I decided to check my speeds again yesterday since it looked like it might be smooth. I was wrong. But you can see what I came up with. The indicated looks about 7 MPH over the calculated. I don't know what table would show for the altitude and temp factor. I switched my Skyview over to MPH from knots so nobody has to work hard at conversion. Thirty minutes of flight time trying to stay right side up trying to punch buttons on my Skyview was enough flying for me yesterday.

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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby av8rps » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:33 pm

barry767 wrote:Hope this works...


It's a Highlander, I'm sure it will work just fine :)

What a nice job you did on it. I love it's simplicity as typically that equates into "light weight". And there's nothing like a light airplane for high performance.

I look forward to learning more about your impressions of the flight characteristics and flight qualities!
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby barry767 » Fri May 23, 2014 11:47 pm

16 hours and all is well!

The airframe is solid and comfortable and the engine inspires confidence with its smooth and reliable power delivery. Lots of fun!

Some random notes:

I usually cruise around 4500 rpm which yields about 85 mph indicated. Seems to be a nice compromise between fuel burn, performance and cockpit noise level. 5000 rpm will easily produce 100 mph but I'm never in that much of a hurry to use it for very long.

Here in San Diego, I have a tough time getting the minimum recommended oil temp of 120 degrees F prior to takeoff, despite sitting on the ground warming the engine for quite a while. So what I do is wait until I see something above 100 degrees F and then do a reduced power takeoff of about 4500 rpm. At that rpm and flaps 1 setting I still get a very quick takeoff and brisk climb. Soon thereafter the oil temp gets to 130 F but I have yet to see anything above 140 and it's been hot here in San Diego lately. CHT's have been within 5 degrees of each other, usually around 295 degrees F for the entire flight.

I added a second bolt (AN3) through the top of the flap handle assembly to pull the two halves together so that I could loosen the bolt (AN4) that actually engages the three detents. This completely fixed the problem of the first two flap settings unexpectedly popping out but I still have a slight problem with the third. It's definitely better though. Will probably add the same knob that GDS installed to his flap handle push button so it can be pulled it into place.

Very happy with my decision not to cover the area just forward of the forward door post. Instead, I installed a removable aluminum panel to access the rudder pedals and back of the instrument panel.

Just replaced the cheap throw away fuel filter that came with the kit with a better quality one that can be disassembled and cleaned (Mr. Gasket from O'Reilys Auto Parts) Found quite quite a bit of junk in the fuel filter. Using only premium car gas.

The 8 inch wheels and ballon tires I'm flying with seem to be adequate for anything I'm likely to do with the airplane and I've already landed in some fairly heavy sand out in the desert. So I'm thinking of selling the 29 inch Alaska tires that I bought with the kit. When not actually landing on them, they would be just that much more drag and weight to haul around.

Today while flying I looked back at the elevator to see where it was flying in relation to the horizontal stab. I noticed that it was in a slightly elevator up position, may one to two inches or so. I'm wondering if this due to a forward CG position with just me in the airplane. If I had a passenger, or more gas or more cargo which move the cg aft maybe it would be more faired with the horizontal stab. Has anyone else seen this?

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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby User GDS » Sat May 24, 2014 9:58 am

Here in San Diego, I have a tough time getting the minimum recommended oil temp of 120 degrees F prior to takeoff, despite sitting on the ground warming the engine for quite a while. So what I do is wait until I see something above 100 degrees F and then do a reduced power takeoff of about 4500 rpm. At that rpm and flaps 1 setting I still get a very quick takeoff and brisk climb. Soon thereafter the oil temp gets to 130 F but I have yet to see anything above 140 and it's been hot here in San Diego lately. CHT's have been within 5 degrees of each other, usually around 295 degrees F for the entire flight.
same for me, when ambient temp is <40, I only get up to about 105 on the ground. I do the run up then launch with full power. The only time I get oil temps above 190 is on the climb from the desert at 3000' up to Big Bear TPA at 8000'.

Those are nice airspeeds, is your prop pitched for cruise? Mine is pitched for climb, at 5400 my top speed is about 85 mph. I went flying out at Parker with Trilander Ted yesterday, on full power take off at 400' I go right up to redline at 5800. I'm flying up to Idaho next month, wondering if I should re-pitch for the long haul and then change it back when I get there.
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby barry767 » Sat May 24, 2014 11:09 am

The prop is pitched toward cruise at 11 degrees. Static rpm is just barely 5000 rpm. Since my cruise airspeed is very acceptable and climb performance is great I think I'm going to leave the prop right where it is. Haven't done any fuel burn calculations but according to the charts I'm probably burning around 3 gallons per hour at 4200 to 4500 rpm. Using car gas that's pretty cheap flying. I look up at the fuel level in the wings occasionally and it just never seems to decrease that much!

The paint color is called Fall Leaf, an Acroglow polyurethane product from Alliance Coatings near Gillespie Field. The airplane was covered and preped for paint using the Poly-fiber system but I didn't like any of the finish colors available. I also wanted a glossy finish so I went with Alliance. Why no trim color? Didn't want the extra weight!

I really believe I was rewarded by keeping the weight of the airplane down at every opportunity. Now I wish I would have built it even lighter!
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby Gil T » Sat May 24, 2014 7:19 pm

Gary

If your prop isn't too hard to reset the pitch for cruise you might want to do it before your trip. I have a Kiev and it takes a while to get it set up and re-torqued and I can't remember what yours is but there is nothing more frustrating than wishing you had done it.

On another note I flew up to Needles (KEED) this morning. 60 min. up and 62 back at 6500 and 7500, 5100 RPM, 4.5 GPH, 91 Kts GPS ground speed. Thats 104.72 mph for you guys that are still flying cars. Part way over the mountains I heard a thump. I didn't think it could be ground fire from one of your bird hunting buddies but things like that make nervous. All the numbers looked okay and I couldn't see any parts falling off but when I got home I had a flat tail wheel tire. If I had known a little sooner I could have got my heart rate slowed down quicker.

Have a good trip.

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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby kenryan » Sat May 24, 2014 8:36 pm

Just a reminder that Rotax Service Letter SL-912-016 says minimum take off RPM at WOT should not be less than 5200 to avoid overloading.

https://www.raa.asn.au/documents/airworthiness/Rotax_SL-912-016.pdf
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby danerazz » Sat May 24, 2014 10:54 pm

That is probably assuming full-throttle to avoid low-rpm, high manifold pressure and high cylinder pressures. The RPM limit is to make sure you are not over propped, not necessarily a prohibition of reduced power takeoffs.
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby User GDS » Sun May 25, 2014 11:52 am

Here is a performance chart for the 912ULS that shows the relationship of HP and torque to RPM.

http://www.rotaxservice.com/documents/912Sperf.pdf

Maximum HP is obtained at 5800RPM, maximum torque is obtained around 5000RPM.

I don't know what any of this means for flying your airplane, but this makes sense:
Since my cruise airspeed is very acceptable and climb performance is great I think I'm going to leave the prop right where it is.


Have fun
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby User GDS » Sun May 25, 2014 11:57 am

Part way over the mountains I heard a thump. I didn't think it could be ground fire from one of your bird hunting buddies
The guys I hunt with are very safety conscious; they'll only take the shot if they've positively identified the target and they are sure it's my airplane.
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby levyland » Mon May 26, 2014 1:26 am

Barry install a thermostatis http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/eppages/xcomthermostat.php

In NZ it's virtually impossible (especially winter) to get to 120 F on the oil temp. This is the answer. The plumbing parts are available through summit


BTW Great looking airplane. Nice job my man
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Re: Reflections on the first flight of a Highlander

Postby barry767 » Mon May 26, 2014 9:54 am

Levyland,

Thanks! This certainly does sound like the answer. I'm on it!
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