Another good farm flight

Another good farm flight

January 15, 2006

I put another 3.1 hours on the plane today, for a total of 4.3 for the weekend, now up to 121.something. I flew down to my father's 3600' grass strip in south Alabama, visited for a couple of hours, and flew back. On the way back I "dropped in" on my sister's house unannounced, using GPS coordinates I got from Google Earth last night. I did about 10 steep banks around the house at 1000' AGL, and finished up with some strafing runs at 500' or so. That was a blast. I got rained on a little on the way back, but it was little stuff and I could still see 30 miles so it wasn't a biggie. I'm getting addicted to this stuff!

One data point I gathered on the trip was that the fuselage is .8 degrees nose up at 8500' wide open (3250 rpm), which is about 170 mph. At 9500' wide open (same 3250 rpm) I get 5.5 gal/hour at max EGT. Steepest climbout was at 2850 rpm with the fuselage at a 13 degree angle (that's only doing about 70 mph, which is awfully close to a stall).

I also got to try out the new Lowrance Airmap 1000. I'd have bought the color 2000c, but it's not as daylight viewable in an open cockpit as the 1000. I had a Garmin 195 that was fine too, but it got stupid and would only show airports after a few minutes of running, no matter what I tried.

I gave up on the Navaero T-Pad 800 completely. You may recall that it's a remote display for a laptop or something, supposed to be daylight readable (not in a bubble canopy it's not). The thing would never calibrate following the pathetic instructions, and even after I "outsmarted" the thing and guessed how to make it calibrate, it was never right. The cursor wasn't in jive with the stylus or touch screen. You could move the stylus in a straight line and the cursor would weave all over the place! Kinda like trying to run your PC using a dart board as a mouse! I even sent it back and gave them a chance to fix or replace it, but they just sent the same one back without comment. Three strikes, in my book. I got the distinct impression that their tech support guy had never actually seen one of these things, because I'm pretty sure I knew more about it than he did.

Here's the obligatory plot from the EIS data, for the real gluttons for detail. My RPM is really rock steady, but the EIS tach function is, uh...less than steady. I'm still waiting on a tooth counter from them. The second half shows how careful attention to mixture can help to bring all the EGTs a little closer together. I'm still experimenting with that stuff, but generally speaking, I end up with about 5.5 gallons/hour at 9500 feet wide open throttle and a stoichiometric mixture. The frenzy of activity at the end is three touch and goes at MDQ and a final landing at M38. The lowest EGT (dark blue) is from cylinder number one, which is down to 68/80 compression, because of a ring problem, apparently. The rest are better than 78/80.

Life is good...

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