Flights #1048 , #1049. Revolution Test Flight

Same weather as last flight there was a fresh breeze 5 to 7 mph from the south.

Paramania Revolution 36 meters……

The wing inflated beautifully, the launch was smooth and predictable. Once aloft it was clear the brakes needed to be shortened. While kiting the wing, I guessed 5 inches. But once aloft it looked more like 12.

The brakes were way too heavy, It was a chore just to fly a figure 8 and land. I came in pretty hot and without much flare at all. I think it will be much better with shortened brake lines but …. will it be enough to make it flyable for me? A big part of the problem is that I’m heavy on the wing. Maybe 450 lbs. all up. Eric warned me that it required strong brake input but that and brake lines 12″ too long, made for a very uncomfortable flight. I was able to eventually take a couple of wraps but even then I didn’t feel like I could apply enough pressure to achieve a good flare. This wing needs a footlaunch guy who weighs in around 200 lbs.

Revolution test flight.

The second flight was with the APCO Lift EZ. No Drama, comfortable and familiar. My folding the leading center edge is getting better. I allowed the motor to run for over a minute and it didn’t catch the wing. The launch was quick and the wing, felt so much better. I would have stayed up longer but the Revolution was still in the field and I wanted to have the truck loaded before dark.

Flight #1047

Working on my skills. The “wing tuck was better tonight. Starting to master the GoPro7.

Launch was 68 degrees with 6mph winds. No Drama

I was a little wary of a group of 5 cars that cruised around while I was flying. They had driven past my truck and windsock earlier in the flight and toward the end had all stopped about 500 yards north of it. I waited them out and landed shortly after they had gone on the move.

Flight #1046 It was like butter…..

Sunday afternoon flights in the winter used to be a thing. I remember the warm glow driving home from the field after a magical twilight flight. The air was so calm that you could hear the sounds of nature with extra normal clarity.

I arrived at the field about 4:00. “GOOD NEWS….! The weeds have been cut down to stubble. I wasn’t restricted to taking off from one of the roads. There was just a hint of breeze from the east so I set up centered at the western edge. The clouds were thin and high, but still thick enough to dampen the bumps. It was the perfect recipe for buttery air.

I took my time laying out the wing perfectly flat with a tuck in the leading edge. It worked well to deflect the prop wash and today the motor was running about 30 seconds before starting the rollout. So we had that working for us, ….however, it took forever to get the wing up and inflated. There was a cravat on the left side which required brake input and looking to the right, I caught a glimpse of a poorly inflated and unloaded wing. It was a good thing to be in a field where I could look up and pay attention to the wing and not worry about staying on the road. It might have been lines snagging in the stubble or perhaps the 30 seconds of prop wash, whatever the cause, the wing was poorly prepared to initiate inflation. Eventually it got sorted out and I accelerated to liftoff.

It was a soft grey day. The overcast sky washed out the colors and removed any sharp edges. The horizon was indistinguishable over the ocean. I headed west to the Gaspirilla Marina climbing to 2000 feet. After a few turns I cruised over to the northwest corner of the Mangrove preserve where I observed a large sedan doing donuts and powering through shallow bogs. There was also a pickup that looked to be stuck in the mud. So Florida Man, was having fun tearing up the nature preserve and exercising his vintage sedan. Eventually they raced out of the bog and charged into the Meadows going at least 70mph.

I’d descended to 200 feet while watching the car play, so I added power and turned back toward the LZ, taking care to avoid the new houses that had sprung up over the last year. I flew to the far eastern corner looking for good launch sites and there was Florida Man, tucked way back into one of the wooded cul de sacs. There was a bunch of steam coming out from under the hood and kids pouring out of the back doors. I circled down and waved at “Florida Man and his family. They didn’t seem distressed by the clouds of steam and were happily waving so I did some mild wing overs and waved back.

I stayed low and enjoyed the calm air for awhile before returning to the LZ and landing. It was a great flight that reminded me of another Sunday afternoon in another place and another life.

Flight 1045 Sunset

This was a much better take off than this morning. The wind was barely showing a breath 25degrees off the runway. Hardly enough to consider it a crosswind launch. The wing was laid out straight ( without Chevron ) on a clean surface runway. I carefully folded the leading edge trying very hard to get every thing square and flattened so the prop wash wouldn’t catch it. I hate a premature inflation! 😡

So, anyway it came up cleaner and I was able to stay on the road and get up to speed before the road started to curve. I could feel the cart wanting to fly and just before I was about to drive into the rough , I popped a bit of brake and launched cleanly.

The air was buttery and warm. I passed back and forth along the western edges of the development along the nature preserve, watching the sunset. About 5:20 , ten minutes before sunset the winds came up from the NE so I turned back toward the LZ.

Landing was thrilling. I ran into some sink on final and had to add some thrust to hit my mark.a2

Little Boca. And the Gaspirilla Causway.

Flight 1044

Good Flight except that it was another funky take off. The wing came up poorly and I had to waste half the runway getting it settled down. When the road curved I stayed on bearing and accelerated into the grass. It took another 100 feet to launch. Five hundred yards later I overflew a fellow unloading another Trike. It looked like a green eagle.

I flew west and crossed the Gaspirilla Causeways and flew along the beach for awhile before reversing course and returning to “The Meadows”. It took 5 minutes of scanning the area to find the other pilot , he was flying low out over the mangroves. We hooked up and we danced a bit before landing. I didn’t realize it until later but it was not a Green Eagle PPG it was a Legal Eagle PPC. He obviously had a ton of thrust and the big elliptical wing was very maneuverable.

We chatted later, and although we had never met, we did know each other from Facebook. Rob Norland …. well met , I look forward to flying with you in the future.

Flight 1043

It was thin fog between the house and Jobean bridge. On the other side it was thicker and at the field it was thick but patchy. I decided to go for it hoping that the patches would diminish as it warmed up. I set up on a crease road that was wide enough for most of the wing. Unfortunately it was a Funky take off . The wing was all over the place and poorly inflated. I’m not sure if one side was just uninflated or if there was a cravat. Eventually I was able to sort it out but I had used a bunch of my runway and had to finish the run up in the grass. Once up, I hit some sink and dropped 15 feet, almost touching down before climbing again.

Most of the fog was between 250 and 550 feet. I climbed above it briefly and realized that if I continued, I would be out of sight of the ground most of the time. The flow was from the North East and looked to be thickening. I could see where I was on the GPS. I could have easily climbed above where the visibility was great and it was undoubtedly warmer but …. not a good idea. I would have risked landing in pea soup.

So… I landed with just 8 minutes of air time. Plenty.

Flight. #1042

First evening flight in a long time. I arrived at the field an hour prior to sunset. The wind was a steady 7 gusting to 10. I took my time setting up, hoping for the glass off” that never came. The weeds are too tall in the field so I drove around until I found a section of road that faced the breeze. Nice clean pavement. I set up , tucking the forward edge.

Takeoff was messy. Fortunately the wing came up clean, I committed to launch and ran up the motor. Maybe I’m getting my speed cues from the breeze in my face, it felt fast to me. I tapped the brakes and lifted of and just as quickly , I touched down before starting the climb out. Hardly what I expected with a 7 knot headwind.

In my haste I left the GoPro on the runway, which was just as well because it was bumpy everywhere I went. The wind that was coming from the NNW was twitchy and bouncing the trike and I at about a level 6. The Sky was beautiful with the sun setting opposed to the rising of a full moon. Unfortunately there was a marine haze sucking the color and drama from the image, spoiling the photography.

It had started to calm down at 1200 feet but it had also turned cold enough that I was wishing for warmer clothing. 😄

About 15 minutes in, the winds started picking up. I turned back and descended for landing. At 150 feet it was bouncing so much that I changed course slightly so that I would set down in the weeds instead of the pavement. It turned out to be unnecessary because the air settled down at the very end and I greased in for a nice landing.

Good flight.

Tech note…. need anti-slip pads on the ramps.

Flights 1040 & 1041

Three mornings in a row!

My skills are improving. I’m still not happy with folding the leading center edge under the wing to keep it out of the prop wash but I’m getting used to it. The trike rolls forward about 3 feet before the wash starts to inflate the wing and its abrupt and strong when it catches. This morning I had severe oscillations, probably because the prop wash caught the wing improperly. I was happy to be able to back off the throttle and get it back overhead before committing to takeoff. It helped to be on smooth and clean blacktop.

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Yesterday’s flight was also good. I fumbled with the A’s because the wing was starting to dance as soon as I started the motor. Once up, all was good. I’m getting familiar with the wing again. I started a spiral and was surprised at how fast the wing descended. It’s a little disconcerting to be hanging out so much in turns. Not having a side rail or a seat that wraps is taking some getting some getting used to. I don’t feel like I’m going to fall off but I’m sure it looks that way.