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One of the last practices before the season opener

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One of the last practices before the season opener

Post  RknRusty on Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:11 pm

Well, my season opener anyway. Weather permitting I'll get one more in next week. It was a tough day. The day after a front came through and the wind was unruly. I don't mind a stiff wind if it stays in one direction, but it was all over the place today, sometimes switching 180 degrees. If the judges are watching, and standing upwind it helps a lot if you do all of your stunts directly across from them, or they cannot accurately grade your maneuvers. In a contest, you have to take risks that I'm not willing to take in practice, so I moved with the wind rather than bashing my planes.

My mission today was to decide which plane I was going to fly in the Profile event, the Ukey or the Shoestring. I rigged up the Ukey and took off, flew the 5 level laps and entered the reverse wingover, pulled out inverted, wind buffeting it and half a lap later inverted at 6 feet high it skidded into the ground. I don't know if I did it or if the questionable elevator linkage finally let go. I prefer to believe the latter, I have never planted a plane during or after a wingover and have no problem with my reflexes flying inverted. The engine inhaled dirt and the tank was askew, the aforementioned elevator horn was broken, so I parked it. That's how the day started. The stab is fuel soaked anyway so a new one was already needed.

Last weekend I had a good run with the SS, but didn't do the whole pattern, just confirmed my mods to the engine would keep it running through the maneuvers. Today, I found that it doesn't hold enough gas to get through the whole thing at 5 second laps. I leaned it out and flew it again and it was running 4.5 seconds which I can handle, but it was back to coughing out in the corners. I had to abort a couple of maneuvers because of it. Three years of this and so I parked it. No time to screw with it any more. I'll bolt an OS 25 on it later, but not now. So one goal was accomplished, just in an ugly way. The Ukey gets the call for the profile contest.

Now it was Oriental time. In October I bought two gallons of Powermaster 10/22 thinking it would get me through May. It didn't, so I bought a gallon of Sig 10/20. I've made the same switch seamlessly before with my fp35 and couldn't tell the difference. This time I had to turn the needle on the fp40 out a full turn richer and launched at about 11.5k RPMs. Probably too lean in retrospect, but not so lean that what follows could have been expected. It sounded fine on the ground, slightly crackling rich, but as soon as the wheels lifted it sagged. I repeatedly tried a low wingover and it slowed in the climbs. Running lean and hot. I flew it level for a bit over half a tank and it finally quit. It was so hot the aluminum spinner backplate burned my fingers. I took it to the pits and opened it up, cowl and tank cover had to come off, and checked for a leaky pressure line or trash in the filter. All was good. I de-fueled it and pumped it full of some of the last of my Powermaster and wind be damned, flew a nice pattern. Launched at 11.1k RPMs. I did bail on the hourglass, but it was my fault I didn't climb past 90 degrees, a must for me in the wind, so I just looped out at the 3rd turn up top. I could have gutted it out and finished it in a contest, but I don't take the chance in practice. You can see me do the exact thing in my most recent Magnum flight.18 laps later it cut off. So All that's left is to meter my fuel... if I can find some. I'm hoping Bob Krug, the powermaster guy will make the trip to H'ville. I have enough for one more practice. Or I could add castor to the Sig, but I question if that's the only problem with this batch. This expensive batch. We shall see.

So other than that frustrating Ukey incident and disappointing Shoestring performance, I guess the day wasn't a loss. I'll be better prepared than I've ever been before a contest. When I flew my first Beginner contest, I went into it only having successfully completed the pattern twice. Won 3rd out of four contestants. The second time in beginner, 7 months later I won it, first out of three contestants. My first try at Intermediate I flew two events. Profile was on Saturday and scored a great 417.5 and beat some of the big guys(no skill classes in that event). I was lucky that some of them had crashes due to the sun and wind and fuel mismanagement. I only came in 3rd out of three the next day in Intermediate PA, so got a trophy, though it was sorta like kissing your sister. But it's on my wall of fame and there's no asterisk in the books, so I'll take it. Sean "Shug" Emery took first and thoroughly deserved it. He's a natural and will always be better than me. He won't be back till October and will probably be flying in Advanced by then. But Wayne is planning to fly Intermediate, so he'll probably thrash me. This might be the first time I don't bring home a trophy, but if I can beat my last year's profile score, I'll be completely happy. That's the most fun event. I love being on the line with the experts.

This was going to be a short report. Oh well, can y'all tell I'm jacked lol.
Stay tuned for next week's report
Rusty

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Re: One of the last practices before the season opener

Post  getback on Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:02 am

Jacked I would say , Had to go get more coffee before reading /// Did you not no the stab was fuel soaked and why was it ?? I have a shoestring I have never flown and needs repair from moving witch is good all a round the bellcrank has pulled out anyway Huh... . It has an Enya 29 that's barely broken in on it , I was thinking Wayne was flying expert ? Hope you get things straighten out for the contest and Best of experience to you ! Luck goes both ways lol! Eric thanks you Very Happy
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Re: One of the last practices before the season opener

Post  RknRusty on Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:16 am

Eric, Wayne is a PA judge and a very skillful builder and trimmer. He's been in aviation a long time, open cockpit gliders as well as a powered aircraft pilot, and an FAA accident investigator. He also works on full size private planes when a project arises. His patterns look advanced to me, he might be just jerking my chain, but he hasn't flown in many contests. He always brings planes but then gets asked to judge, which conflicts. That Ukey is very old and wasn't finished with the right stuff. The fuse is pine and painted with thin epoxy, but the stab just has something red on it... what hasn't sloughed off yet anyway. Yeah, I knew it was a casualty waiting to happen.
Rusty

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Re: One of the last practices before the season opener

Post  roddie on Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:08 pm

Hi Rusty, I read 1/2 way through your post.. then needed to shave.. and get coffee before reading the 2nd half.. Laughing   (just kidding man!)  Smile  I hope you can get more of the Powermaster 10/22.. Would it be a pain to find a slightly larger tank for the SS? Was getting the one that's on it; plumbed-correctly.. the issue there? I can't remember.. Embarassed

Did the horn on the Ukie pull a chunk of wood right out of the elevator.. (IE: was elev. fuel-soaked too..) or did the horn itself break? Was it an old slotted ply horn by chance? (the only photo of it that I had saved.. is one of Wayne flying it..)

Good luck with getting it all sorted-out. I know you will!
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