High Speed Taxi Tests

The weather was iffy but flyable so I decided to take care of some of these high speed taxi tests.  The weather needs to be flyable even if you’re only planning to stay on the ground, because murphy’s law dictates that there’s always a chance to get airborne, and that’s not the time to realize you weren’t prepared etc…

After buttoning the bird back together (top fairing was off due to the radio installation a couple of weeks ago), I pulled it out and cranked it over.  The right tank still is loosing some fuel somewhere, but no stains on the ground or on the wing fabric.  The consensus at the airport is that it’s simply venting off…  Over six months, 2 gallons have “disappeared” into the ether.

Warmed up, I taxied down to the runway, transmitted my intentions, and made an up and down pass at about 1300RPM (gets me to 40MPH which is just below the stall speed).  The tail didn’t come up, but the rudder is definitely effective with the prop blast running over it.  If anything, I’m too touchy on the pedals, a suggestion is to fly with slippers on so I can get a better feel of the pedals while I get to know the plane a bit better.

Doing taxi tests on a small airstrip like this gets the heart rate up, and doesn’t leave much time to fiddle on each pass, but after this first up and down pass, I knew the brakes were working, and how much space I needed to slow down from the speed I was getting up to.

For the second up and down pass, I brought the power up to 1500RPM which just “felt right”.  The tail came up after a few seconds and a few hundred feet, but I was pretty busy over compensating on the pedals to get a good look.  When I did get a peek, I was seeing 60MPH which seems high to me.

For the third pass, I went right to 1800RPM, the tail came up quicker (more prop blast of course), and I held it up longer etc.  I’m still heavy on the pedals, but it felt good in the level attitude going down the runway.  After the third up and down pass, I pulled into the pumps and shut it down to talk things over with the local crowd.

Of course, murphy showed up in full force, and when I tried to start it back up for some more runs, and to get airborne for a few circuits, the battery was dead 🙁  The slight hill back to our hangar loomed large as my son and I pulled it back up and put it to bed.  I borrowed a trickle charger from Gary at Action Ultralights and I’ll come up again in a couple of days to see if that takes care of the battery issue.


High Speed Taxi Tests — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: It still flies! Lands too! | C-FJYF

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