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Tuesday
Jun212016

Homebuilder's Workship: A Three-Day Trip

By Ed Wischmeyer

Do you like the number three? Do you believe that it is possible to fly from coastal Georgia to central Arizona in three days? Do you remember what happened to the S.S. Minnow when it went on a three-hour trip? (Hint: think Gilligan’s Island).

So I actually had a plan for this trip, me who’d rather do takeoffs and landings and approaches at home base rather than endure the interminable boredom of 30 minutes of straight and level to get to the next airport… and that plan was to fly from Savannah, Ga., to Prescott, Ariz., where I used to live and where, God leading, I might end up retiring full time or part of the year, with the winter months spent with my good friends and spinal surgeon in Savannah.

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Tuesday
Jun212016

Homebuilder's Workshop: A Three-Day Trip

By Ed Wischmeyer

Do you like the number three? Do you believe that it is possible to fly from coastal Georgia to central Arizona in three days? Do you remember what happened to the S.S. Minnow when it went on a three-hour trip? (Hint: think Gilligan’s Island).

So I actually had a plan for this trip, me who’d rather do takeoffs and landings and approaches at home base rather than endure the interminable boredom of 30 min utes of straight and level to get to the next airport… and that plan was to fly from Savannah, Ga., to Prescott, Ariz., where I used to live and where, God leading, I might end up retiring full time or part of the year, with the winter months spent with my good friends and spinal surgeon in Savannah.

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Tuesday
Apr192016

Homebuilder's Workshop: The $100+ Hamburger

By Ed Wischmeyer

It turns out that in this electronic age, it’s really easy to do things differently from the old days of steam gauges. With the cost of avionics data updates these days, you can spend $100 for your hamburger without leaving the ground, and you can work on your plane for hours without any tools.

One project that I’ve been working on (a bunch) is getting the checklist for the RV-9A just as I’d like it. I’ve got buddies who also fly my RV-9A, and they were not satisfied with the “idiot-syncrasies” of my personal checklist. And that’s reasonable, as my checklist has memory crutches dating back 30 years to when I used to fly and instruct in planes that included three different kinds of turbochargers, all with different characteristics, some planes with retractable gear, some not. I needed memory crutches that would work with a wide variety of airplanes, and I still use them. Unencumbered with such history, they wanted an RV-9A checklist. Solution? Two checklists, one for me, one for them… Meets both needs.

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Monday
Feb152016

Homebuilder's Workshop: Fuel

By Ed Wischmeyer

I have very little going on in the homebuilder’s workshop, as I’m recovering (on schedule) from yet another spinal surgery, but my guys have been busy on the fuel system of the RV-9A. And I hope to restart flying within the next month, accompanied of course by a babysitter CFI on the first flight.

The most recent project was the fuel gauges, as the Garmin G3X glass cockpit lets you calibrate those puppies. Although calibration had been done when I bought the airplane, they didn’t seem to be reading right. And besides, I had removed the analog fuel gauges to make room for the second G3X touchscreen, possibly confusing the electrons. Anyway, the fuel gauges are now calibrated, as much as possible, that is.

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Friday
Sep042015

AirVenture Oshkosh, Part 2

By Ed Wischmeyer

In my experience, ailerons are the most significant factor in how much a pilot enjoys the aircraft handling qualities. The SeaRey amphibian has new Frise ailerons that are much lighter than the already sensuous ailerons of the LSX, and I’m looking forward to visiting the factory and trying them out. I do want to let the southeastern summer abate, so I can avoid the oppressive heat and humidity, though. The SeaRey discussion on the shores of Lake Winnebago with designer and old friend Kerry Richter was much more enjoyable because of the cooler Wisconsin summer.

Meanwhile, out in Arizona, my airport neighbor who built a full-scale replica Spitfire added servo tabs to his ailerons to reduce aileron forces. It was surprising to read that the original Spitfires had heavy ailerons and light elevators, the reverse of recommended practice, but pilots raved about the handling qualities of Spitfires. That seems to reinforce the observation that the great majority of pilots adapt to their airplane’s handling qualities instead of being objective about them. Pilots will often express many enjoyable qualities of their airplanes in ways that really describe their experiences with the aircraft rather than the aircraft itself. In any event, he won an award for his Spitfire, well deserved in my opinion.

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