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Old 01-20-2016, 09:49 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Mt Beauty, Australia
Posts: 963
Default A 70hr SS7 report form OZ.

Having now clocked up 70 hours since the first flight 2 mths ago, I thought it might be useful to reflect on what I have learnt, report a few stats, and indicate what I still have to learn.

1. What have I learned? First, the first flight was as others told me - just like flying the Stick and Rudder planes - if I hadn't made the effort to go and get instruction on their aircraft though there would have been a few surprises! And then there was the generosity of the Oregon guys who gave me a great days flying! (you are including as an honorary Oregon guy here Floog!) So, for someone with no other Kitfox time, it was a great investment of time and effort ... and fun! Having said that, our plane has some differences as well as a lot of similarities. For instance, my first flight was the first time I had flown the combination of SS7 with 912is Sport, Airmaster with 75"blades and 26" bushwheels and the specific instrument pack that I have installed. So rather than let the differences concern me, I concentrated on the similarities - same airframe, same wheels =same picture out the window. Prop and engine just varied the performance a bit so I just flew (and still do) conservatively. Next thing I have learned is that flying a tailwheel and wanting to maximise the STOL capabilities requires an additional set of skills form normal GA flying. And learning those skills is an ongoing program. I try to fly each day, record performance and what I have learned and set myself a lesson for the next day. I am pleased to say that I think I am starting to get a bit better at this type of flying. I have a friend with a Super Cub who has a cattle property not too far from here and he is very accomplished at bush flying and generous with his property. his time and expertise! He's no cowboy, and leaves me fully in charge of my learning but supports and challenges when appropriate. Lesson for me was to find someone who suites your learning style and work with them - distance the others who are willing but a nuisance!

I also learned to take the cowl off after each flight and check everything! easy to pick up little things early that way.

And getting the prop dynamically balanced smoothed things out a lot.

Learn your checklists, keep modifying them, and NO SHOTCUTS - especially when getting a little older!

I had a few little issues with the Rotax connectors for the airbox sensors and one of the fuel pump connectors - from researching on the web this seems like a well know issue - Rotax have provided a fix - but I don't really like it as the underlying issue of poor connections is still there-otherwise, it is a well designedengine and functions very well.

The Airmaster prop is great - very easy to use and service and I am imagining that it enables the good cruise speed even with the big tyres!

What else? Well, I knew this before we started building but the Kitfox is nearly impossible to overload or to load out of the WB envelope - nearly! However, Gayle and I can fly with full fuel and 68kg(150lbs) of luggage we are still under weight and in the WB envelop. Mind you, at those figures we have to be careful of performance. But not too many other similar designs can do that and still get the cruise speeds we do! Which brings us to a few figures....

The Stats:

Take off and landing all under 100m (320ft) - working on settings and techniques to max for each situation.

42kts (48mph) Stall, power off no flaps

38kts (44mph) Stall, power off 1 stage flaps

37kts (42mph) Stall, power off 2 stages flaps

32kts (36mph) Stall, power approx 2800rpm, full flaps

105kts (120mph) cruise, 5000rpm and 24/25" MAP

Fuel burn is about 15lt (3gal) /hr

Still to learn? - Heaps, but the main thing is to really get to know the aircraft and how to fly it for each purpose and to each set of conditions. I am a slow learner but that just means I have to practice more!

And to finish, a few pics ( everyone loves a few pics!)

I have installed VG's - cant say they make any observable difference to top speed nor stall speed. I do think however, that they make a difference to elevator authority on landing. They are from STOLSPEED - I actually went and visited the guy who makes them here in OZ - John Gilpin - a great guy to talk flying with and well worth a visit to his website where he has some interesting pics of flying in remote outback OZ and also of his adventure around the US.

Other pics are of my sunshades - just to remind you nth guys that there is a sun!

And another pic of how I have mounted the control boxes for the Lightspeeds - these are also wired with Lemo plugs and have a lovely, single and flexible.

Oh, and a pic of Gayle's old short stockings that make good covers for the fuel tank vents - in case they are ever forgotten the tanks will still be pressurised.

cheers for now

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Mt Beauty, Vic
Kitfox SS7
Rotax 912is Sport
Airmaster CSP 75" blades
Now flying!!!
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