Ok I have a confession. I’m in love with another airplane besides my darling RV-8 and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it.
It started innocently and impulsively. I was strolling through Kitplanes and came across a company selling plans for a full scale Fokker Triplane….thus my obsession began. I know, it’s not easy being me. Continue reading →
Preflight Inspections: It’s What You Don’t See That Can Hurt You
Doing an adequate preflight inspection is one of the tenants to good airmanship.
We pride ourselves on knowing every nut, bolt, and screw on our airplanes, but how well do we really do with our preflights?
Let’s examine some of nuances and even some mishaps that have occurred and see how we can all do better.
I think we all worry about that a little bolt in the control system or a loose fuel or oil line – things we can’t often detect with the best of preflights. Are those really causing airplanes to come falling out of the sky? Continue reading →
Diane Thornton climbed into the cockpit of a T-6 Texan military trainer Tuesday morning and soon was the first adult recipient of an EAA Eagle Flight.
Her pilot, EAA president/CEO Rod Hightower, taxied them off in his warbird for a short flight over the Oshkosh area, and when they taxied back onto Phillips 66 Plaza less than an hour later, Thornton was thrilled.
I offer my opinion and experience on the subject of using high performance water-cooled automobile engines in your homebuilt airplane. Although I am not a mechanic, I have flown behind several professionally built and maintained auto conversions. In fact one of those car engines put me into a field and destroyed a beautiful replica mustang. I have also had some close calls testing various auto-derived powerplants, which I believe makes me qualified to speak on the matter.
Disclaimer: There are actually some really viable automotive powerplants for airplanes. Corvair, VW, and sub-2 liter variants, like the Geo Metro and Honda motors. Also, this discussion is limited to 4 stroke only powerplants.
Notice from my disclaimer that most of the engines that seem to work well are not fire-breathing V12 Merlin type engines. Where we get into trouble is when we want to put a 400+hp Chevy Corvette motor in our airplanes and think if we gear it down and derate to 300 hp and there won’t be any issues. That’s not how it works in real life. Not to mention that most folks are bolting these to airplanes with stall speeds that make an engine-out off airport landing dicey at best. Continue reading →
By Stephen Pope / Published: Jul 25, 2012
(editor: Check out this video to get the essence of how pure flying can be in a Cub!)
Simplicity and durability are defining characteristics of so many of the classic American products we love best: The Harley-Davidson Flathead. A well-worn pair of Levi’s jeans. A Rawlings baseball improved by the scuffs and scars and patina of use. For generations of pilots, the object of our nostalgic affection is the Piper Cub. Introduced 75 years ago, the J-3 established the idea of a simple, inexpensive and easy-to-fly trainer. In the 1940s and 1950s, more pilots learned to fly in J-3 Cubs than any other model. Even if you’ve never sat behind the controls of one, you understand the importance of the J-3 to general aviation history. If you have flown a Cub, well, you don’t need to be told it’s one of the best-flying light airplanes ever made. Continue reading →
Airventure Oshkosh is an event no self respecting aviator should miss. It has something for everyone and barring bad weather, there is no better aviation venue. The only complaint is you can’t see it all! This Oshkosh was going to be special for me; I was flying in with an airplane I built with my own two hands. Continue reading →
Over the years I’ve flown around a dozen varieties of the Cessna 182, from the latest glass-panel turbo models to impeccably restored early birds, but I’d never experienced anything like this. As I advanced the single black lever in Cessna’s new 182 JT-A to roll around the corner onto 19L at Wichita’s iconic Mid-Continent Airport, I felt a smooth surge of power. Continue reading →