I had the chance of meeting with Gilbert Martel at AirVenture 99.
Gilbert is also a member of the RAA Chapter 415 and he built this HDS from
scratch over the fast several years. Me and Gilbert share the same
mentor; Fernand Levesque.
This is his plane during its first flight. The test pilot
mentioned that the plane behaves as it should and flies very well.
While there were some difficulties with the engine (that are been promptly
solved following the flight), everyone was very excited to see the success
at the end of a long building process.
||At the time I took that picture (mid August 1999), Gilbert was making
few adjustments prior to the final inspection. The work on this plane
is in my opinion very good and Gilbert definitively has been quite creative
in addressing issues that were important for him (redundancy, maintainability,
balance and performance).
The engine is an EFI EA-82 (Subaru) with a reduction from Dave Johnson.
The cabin heater is mounted on the firewall. For another picture
of the engine, click here.
||Easy to unplug
The builder of this airplane is an expert with electrical systems (in
manufacturing applications). One of the several things that was important
for him--and I think it is a good idea-- is to have the possibility to
unplug everything easilly in case he wants to remove the engine.
The fuel tanks are made of copper. Apparently it is easier to
solder. There are two wing locker tanks and one small header tank.
||Fuel System (cont.)
Facet fuel pumps are mounted in the centerwing, on the spar.
The EA-82 engine being quite heavy, Gilbert decided to experiment
by putting the radiator behind the cabin. The air exit on each side.
There are 8 automatically activated fans that help air flow when waiting
on the ground. For the air intake, click here.
The radiator is now a Volkwagen Fox unit. Prior to this, Gilbert
tried two Renault radiators with deception (the radiators failed and leaked).
The instrument panel is very nicely laid out. On the top left
is a uEncoder from RMI. The red light at the top is a warning light
that illuminates when any engine instrument is off limits. Gilbert
also made green and red lights for each of the instruments showing either
lor or high limit violation. This also serve as a backup unit for
||Preparing for a test flight
Fernand Levesque and Pierre Morel were the two test pilots for Gilbert's
aircraft. Fernand was Gilbert's advisor during the project... he is now
my mentor. Pierre used to teach aerobatic flying and flew over 50
different models of airplanes during his "career". He also
built a CH180 Super Acro many years ago that he still enjoys flying.
Here is a picture of his beautiful plane: