First Flight on June 25, 2004 at 9h15 am!
Text left on the Zenith-List on June 26th:
"Well, Friday at 9h15, another plane defied gravity. The last few
weeks that followed the final inspection and flight authorization
(received on June 8), have been fairly difficult. I discovered on June 13,
that my engine mount was a piece of crap! Too
flexible, design error. While that sounded like a major setback, I called
somebody who knows a bit more than me about aircrafts and he found a way
to modify the mount directly on site without removing the engine (see my
web page for this). The modification was done on Tuesday this week and I
spent the evening and part of night on Wednesday to reposition the hoses
and wires and attach everything under the cowl. So there it is, at 1h37am
Thursday, the plane was "serviceable".
Friday morning, my test pilot and I met at the airport at 07h40. He
spent time inspecting the work and modification. I explained him the
systems (mainly the EIS). He paid special attention to the controls. We
checked the engine on the ground (including the timing). Then, at around
9h00, we taxied the aircraft to the runway where he made a few
acceleration tests. At 9h15, he announced "Zulu Gulf Quebec. Will
take off from 29 and stay in the circuit" (the verbiage was in French).
Before I could set the camera to take pictures, the plane was already in
the air! (and I did not see it taking off!). The flight lasted 35 minutes.
Pilot commented that the rpm is a bit low at 4400 rpm on takeoff.
We readjusted the propeller to a pitch of 12 degrees (at the tip of the
blade). He also commented that the engine does not get warm enough (yes,
you read right!). While he his happy with water temp at 180F (thermostat
temp), he does not like that the oil temp does not go beyond 160F. We
covered the oil cooler with duct tape. He went back for another half hour.
Great! He now gets 4950 rpm on takeoff, climbing at 800fpm. Later, he
check ascent rate and climbed at 1300fpm. Water temp increased to 188F
(part of radiator blocked by the covered oil cooler). Oil temp climbed to
175F. The then made a third flight later so we recorded 1h25 to the
Journey Log. The pilot commented that my rudder is very sensitive
(compared to his--he owns a CH601-HD as well). And I seem to have that
heavy left wing problem that many people had... but this needs to be