It FLIES! Really!

N87921, Dragon921, has flown.  On November 6th it left the ground, finally.

With Phase 1 Ops Limits in hand, and no more items to fix, correct, modify, etc, it was time to fill up the wings, taxi out, and see if it would fly.  Major butterflies!  This is a complicated bird with lots of things happening, all at once.

Everything worked mechanically, just a couple of minor adjustments to make.  In the air, it flew straight and true, hands off.  Acceleration was perfect and ground run was so short it almost looked like some airshow routine.

Gear came up right away, and much quicker than I had expected.  Power back to 90% before halfway down the runway. Then down to 8o% on climb out. Straight out over fields and Everglades in case of any problems. The ‘chute was just repacked and certified, but I just don’t like the idea of leaving unless you absolutely have to. But NOTHING wrong came up.  No anomalies whatsoever.

Over the ‘glades to verify the gear, flaps, stall speed, indicators for landing, etc. And all looked great.     Up to 8500 feet.  Cycled the gear several times checking for pitch changes–none.  Time to return to base and check out the bird.

Power down, landing instructions, gear down, speed brake out, thrust attenuators working perfectly at 60%, in and out for speed control, landing smooth, no bounce, no aerodynamic breaking first time out–use brakes right now to ensure stopping. Taxi in and shut down.

No leaks, no burn marks, no “down” systems.  Checked oil, hydraulics, etc. and all perfect.  Time for some photos and handshakes, congratulations.

I’ll post some videos and photos later. We have some adjustments to make. One item I am seriously looking at is putting in an Aspen AHRS and getting rid of the electric gyros, heavy and an expensive issue to rebuild.    Talk to you all later. Thanks for being here!

Champagne anyone?

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 11th, 2012 at 7:01 PM and is filed under N87921 Restoration. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “It FLIES! Really!”

  1. Pat McAdoo Says:


    Yeaaaa hoooo!

    one thing to get your test pilot to do is show you the yaw problem when on one engine. No need to shutdown, just use idle. the advance the other engine really quick without getting the rudder in early ( real early). You will be surprised. Then do it again and lead the throttle by a lot with the rudder. Note the difference.

    The problem becomes more serious if you are pulling back on the stick, like a go around.

    Again, attaboy!!!

    Pat sends…

  2. Ron Says:

    Lots of Congrats! I just today found your website…..I flew the A-37B at Edwards AFB as a test pilot and still do test pilot work. If you need any help, let me know! Thanks for keeping the SuperTweet legacy alive! Capt Ron

  3. largay Says:

    We need this airplane on the vintage aircraft circuit and for people to learn its history. I’ll be letting everyone know where it’s going.
    It is a very capable little aircraft, accurate and reliable. Thanks for flying these birds for out country. As a fellow pilot I’d like to say that …..uh, uh… (A shout from the background)..”Hey Charlie! Will you PLEASE shut up and sit down!”)

  4. henk T-33 crewchief Says:

    charlie congrats my friend……. you did a awesome job on restoring this beauty!!!!

    hope to see you at one of the fly-inn’s


  5. Scott Says:

    Great news that it flies! Congratulations! More of these aircraft need to become flyable again. Thank you for making this one fly!

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