Thursday, June 3, 2010

Belite Trike gets a nose job; then it flies.

The Belite Trike finally gets its nose cowl.

I arrived at the airport at around 11am this morning. I asked Gene to give me a hand with the installation of a new fiberglass cowl on our redesigned Belite Trike. Gene disappeared from the hangar and reappeared a couple of minutes later with a tray of nuts and bolts, along with some tools. We got to work.

This was the first time we'd put a cowling on the Trike; I was eager to see the results. I was curious as to the aerodynamic improvement (if any) along with the aesthetic improvement.

It took us about 90 minutes, but we had the cowl fitted and looking very sharp.  We had to make some minor cutouts on the cowl for the carb and for electric starter motor.  A couple of support rods still need to be welded into place, and Gene and Ken, our expert welder, would get that done while I ran some other errands.

Returning later in the afternoon, the Trike was sitting, ready, begging to fly.  But first, it had to sit still for photos.

All it needs now is fabric on the rear fuselage, and a good paint job.  I'm thinking Cub yellow, what do you think?

We fired up the engine.  I taxiied to the end of the runway, applied power, and the new improved Trike proceeded to fly. 

Actually, I think I'm landing in the photo above.

And I'm clearly levitating in this photo.  I think I was doing a touch and go.

This shows our redesigned nosewheel.  It's already taken some nice bumps.

Density altitude today was 3700 feet.  I was using a 28HP Hirth F33 engine.  I weigh 200 pounds and I had a full load of gas (30 pounds.)  Soon, we will test our 45HP MZ201, and then hopefully we'll test our electric powerplant.  Propeller used was a Tennessee propellers 60 x 27; it's a perfect match for the Hirth F33.

What a fantastic little airplane!

1 comment:

Joshua said...

It is indeed a fantastic little airplane. It seems to me that you are very experienced with building or fixing parts of your plane. I am in no way an aircraft expert nor a master builder of planes, although it has been a life long dream of mine to build my own little aircraft.

I recently bought an engine built by an AS9100 certified company. I will be taking my time building it with the guidance of an expert engineer.

By the way, I think a cub yellow paint will make Belite Trike lovelier but it is pretty already in its own way. Happy flying!