Archive for December, 2015

Phase 1 Flight Testing Completed. Bird is Free

Hello anyone. Been quiet here for some time for a reason(s). The Dragonfly had a couple of maintenance issues that were a horror to get repaired and adjusted. So, here’s the scoop:

The Dragonfly was starting engines for its final Phase 1 flight the first week of March when the main fuel boost pump decided to go south. Getting it repaired turned into a nightmare as we couldn’t find a shop that was willing to tackle the job. After months of looking for an FAA approved repair station, I called a mechanic in Arizona who put me in touch with the ONLY shop in the US that would do the repair. Turns out the shop was right around the corner from me in FL! So off it went, the parts ordered, and 30 days later I had a like-new boost pump. They also repaired a spare I had, but the parts took several weeks to get. So now I’m golden.

boost pump

We were, in the meantime, trying to figure out a hydraulic indication issue. The books did not enlighten us. With some advise from a friend in Australia, we looked at the hydraulic actuated wing spoilers and their associated activating cams. Turns out that when we readjusted the ailerons a year ago we should have adjusted the cams at the same time. Book did nothing to advise on this. Cams adjusted to neutral, and now it looked like the bird was set to go.

With new tires, all squawks eliminated, it was time to fly. Steve K, test pilot, came into town to finish off this tiny beast. The flight was flawless. A full functional check flight was flown again with zero “down” items.

Steve did a roll to let some FOD fall, and found a couple of small items, including a razor blade I lost at the very beginning of the project 14 years ago. And there it sat on the floor awaiting my magnet.

Fod test flight taxi out 2

Performance is terrific and the excess power allow a much greater safety margin. Aircraft did a 1 engine-at-idle through touchdown as a simulated engine-out landing. Truly a piece of cake. Single engine go-arounds easy. This is going to be a dream to own and fly.

Phase 1 completion means the bird is free from its home base at KTMB.

Can’t wait to get this to Utah museum, Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum. Will be flying it out of Utah.

Merry Christmas to you all.