Saturday, July 4, 2009
Belite Test Hop on Independence Day!
I got up this morning at 6:00am hoping to fly the airplane. A quick look outside showed rain and storm clouds. But the good news was that it was supposed to clear out in an hour or two.
I met up with Terry Alley who has became a faithful advisor on this adventure at around 7:30 at Jabara (AAO) airport. The wind settled down to 11-12 knots nearly straight down the runway. We added 2.5 pounds of ballast to the nose, as the bird was a little tail heavy and slightly out of CG.
We're trying a different engine on the Belite demo plane -- a Compact Radial Engine MZ-34. I'm very impressed -- very smooth power, excellent throttle response, dead simple starting, electric start.
The takeoff roll was short, and I climbed up to what felt like 25 feet off the ground, and flew down the runway. Then I reduced power and settled in to a nice 3 point landing. The video is posted on youtube, search for Belite Aircraft and you'll find it.
This is fun!