March - April 2017
I did some local flying in March and got the airplane ready to fly to the Bahamas in April with the Bahama Bash group. We flew down to Ft Pierce FL one day and met the group the next to fly to Abacos for the week. We had 6 canards in the group and 2 twin engine 340's. An excellent time was had by all and we were blessed to also have Craig Catto of "Catto Propellers" with us for the week.
This month brought us some great weather and good flying around GA. With some trips to Cartersville, GA to visit friends and down to Fitzgerald, GA to see my mom's hometown, as well as give a couple rides, we tried to get out and exercise the canard a bit. That led us to 4th annual "Canards over Georgia" fly-in we held at the end of the month this year. We had a good turnout. A few long-ez's flew in and engineer Jeff Kerlo brought the prototype project to their new single seat prop/jet powered canard aircraft. We fed BBQ to about 35 people who flew or drove in. It was a good day of flying and fellowship.
The airplane was down almost all month due to a needed upgrade and rebuild of the hydraulic pump. My original pump was a 1994 model that did not have the required backpressure valves, I had been overriding the pressure switches to get the gear to extend smoothly. Now the gear works normal in both directions using the pressure switches as designed. I also took this time to change the brakes, discs, as well as the tires.
After testing the new instrument panel and making a few small adjustments, I had some fun in the local area with some good flying weather. I begin having some issues with the extension of the landing gear being to slow and began to investigate. This has led me to upgrade my hydraulic pump to a newer one with built in check valves and backpressure relief valves. It is actually the same pump and motor but a new valve housing. While the plane is jacked up I have been changing brakes, rotors discs, and tires. (pics shown above in Sept report))
June - July 2016
After a little local flying I decided to rebuild the instrument panel. This was done for mainly 3 reasons:
1. More leg room for the passenger (my wife), and to relocate the ipad mount.
2. The old panel was ugly and yellowed and not user friendly
3. After 4 years of adding to a basic wiring system The wires behind the panel were a mess.
I used a red fibered carbon fiber cloth to make a 1/4" panel. You can see the pics of the construction in the "Upgrades" section of this website
Original panel New Panel
We did a bit of local area flying but, I took a couple weeks to install new antennae, lights , as well as a new propeller. You can see some pics on the "ERacer Upgrades" page.
April was a great month of flying highlighted by the Bahama bash. We departed as a 2 ship with Allen Floyd and Laura in his newly built Longez from Peachtree City Falcon Field. After meeting everyone in FL, we departed as three groups to Stella Maris, Bahamas. We flew a 2 ship with Mike and Bridget Turner in his Longez. The flight was beautiful but the landing was on a 3500x75 runway with direct crosswinds of 17 gust to 26. It was sporty to say the least. We had a great week with friends and even flew out to the Exumas during the week. We look forward to doing it again next year.
This month has brought some spring weather so we have gotten out a bit.
This month has been a cold and rainy one but I have been able to get some local flying in between work and the bad weather. Looking forward to the warm spring and some cross country flying.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! December 2015 and January 2016 were very full for me so my flying time was limited. However I did manage to get the ERacer out every week or two. Between a sailing trip to the BVI, Christmas guests, my daughters wedding, a trip to Key West, a couple trips to Texas, ugly cold and rainy weather, and of course my Job of course, I really wasn't able to do much fun flying. Looking forward to the warmer weather and the Bahama Bash trip in April.
The airplane continues to work well. We have enjoyed some late fall warm weather flying.
We also installed our 2016 Customs sticker in preparations for our Bahama trip in April.
This month was pretty much local flying and one big airshow at our home field , KFFC,. My canards friends Mike and Bridget Turner flew down from North Atlanta for the show.
Well the month didn't start out too well since a huge weather front from the Great Lakes to Texas got in our way of going out west to the Kanab Canard Fly-in. We were very sad to not be able to join everyone. So we headed east to Savannah for a few days to enjoy the coast and some good food.
Also did some local flying .....
Another year of the "Canards over Georgia" Fly-in is finished. We fed about 30 people some good BBQ and we met a few builders and flyers from around the area, The weather around GA was less than favorable but the weather at our field was excellent for the whole day. Thanks to everyone who supported our efforts.
Annual Condition inspection at the beginning of the month this year.
I was able to get quite a bit of flying in before the Condition Inspection in August and the ERacer Fly-In on 22 Aug.
Weather finally improved which gave me a few chances to enjoy Georgia a little before I had to hanger the plane due to a surgery and the birth of a grandson in Texas.
This month was a very wet one with a lot of bad weather and my work schedule kept me pretty busy. I was able to get the airplane out a few times for some local flying. Everything continues to work great.
We had planned to fly the ERacer to Cat Island, Bahamas for the 2015 Bahama Bash but due to wx we decided to fly commercial with our other friends who had to wx cancel also. Eight Canard aircraft did make it and we had a lot of fun with out Canard Aviator friends.
I have continued to fly when the weather is good. I got to test my modifications on an 82 degree day. My CHT temps were overall 20-30 degrees cooler than I encountered last year on a similar day. Cruise CHT temps averaged 290 and oil 190. Took a nice 2 hour flight through the mountains of Georgia on my way to have lunch with my daughter in Athens.
I have been flying and testing all my cooling mods. Right now it looks like I'm seeing a 40-60 degree drop in CHT in all aspects of flying as well as a 20-30 degree drop in oil temp, I will continue to test this at different outside air temps. I have good notes from my first year of operation so I do have a good comparison.
I took the ERacer up to Lawenceville, GA for the EAA 690 pancake breakfast. Joerg Wekenberg was my passenger since a stuck hanger door kept him from getting his plan out. Dave Schultz had his Long EZE up there and we were able to take a look at Jason's Eze project also.
Happy new Year!!! I have now finished and am testing all my mods in primer. I will repaint the changed areas when it gets a little warmer and will also post my results. Please see the "ERacer Upgrades" Tab for these mods.
I have continued to do some tests on the new scoop configurations. I have seen some improvement in oil cooling though with cooler all around outside temps, its hard to really tell. Engine cooling has not changed much but I have not began my cowling vent mods yet. Not that I really had issues to begin with, I just wanted a bit cooler. Anyway I have decided to keep the modifications so far and will micro, finish, and paint all the modifications. You will see this in the upgrade tab soon.
I have the airplane in pieces right now doing some upgrades that should result in a bit more efficiency and less drag....see the "ERacer Upgrades" tab for details.
Pine Mountain Fly -In
We flew down to KPIM..Pine Mountain for a evening dinner fly in. Had a great time of plane talk but found ourselves parked where we were completely surrounded by RV aircraft. Actually, these RV's are from our home field where there over 30 flying RVs are based as opposed to 2 canards. Guess we need some more canard builders out there...:)
Canards Over Georgia Fly-In 2014
The fly-In lunch went great. We at least had 2 more planes than last year and had some good weather, good food, and great friends from as far away as Colorado. Looks like we fed about 30 people and with the EAA workshop students stopping by in the afternoon, it was a full day of airplane talk and overall aviation fellowship. Thanks to everyone who came and helped out with the setup. Guess we will have to have door prizes next year to get some more canards to show up.
Annual Inspection done and back in business !!!
This month is Condition Inspection Month so I have begun the process and hope to complete the C.I. in about 2 weeks.
July consisted of just some local flying due to a heavy work schedule and a 2 week vacation.
I took the ERacer to the Pine Mtn Flag Day Fly-in on June 14th. Flew down with Joerg Wekenborg in his Vari-eze. We were the only two canards to show. Nice little getaway.
Peachtree Airport was closed during the first week of June so I took time to do a couple upgrades. See the "Upgrades" tab for details as the month progresses.
I have flown local flights on the last two days with the new pipes and completely repaired and paint underbelly...All systems are 100% . I am working on some added baggage shelving in the cargo compartment. I will post pics in the Upgrade tab when I'm done.
I have been doing some cosmetic repairs to the bottom of the aircraft. I also have taken the exhaust pipes off and sent them in to have a ceramic coating put on. This will aid in reducing the temperature inside the cowl as well as prevent corrosion.
After a couple days of fiberglass work on the bottom of the plane and a couple days running and testing the engine. I made a 4 hour flight back to home at KFFC. The plane performed flawlessly which leads me and some more qualified people to believe that the cause was a sub-standard air filter that I installed in hopes of getting a little more cooling air as well as some ram effect. This motorcycle racing filter was not reinforced so after some wear and age, it basically gave in and collapsed into the injection servo nozzles. We could find no other reason for the power loss and engine failure.
Left: Aircraft at Ft Pierce FL after the repairs were complete
Right: During the flight home at 10,500ft
ERacer is back home in it's hanger where it belongs....:)
"Bahama Bash (bang) 2014"
Well the ERacer made it to Ft Pierce FL without any problems but experienced a complete power loss after takeoff the next morning. Below is what happened:
We pre-flighted, started, and taxi'd out. Engine run-up was normal. We took off as the 4th ship in a group of four canards headed for Great Exuma, Bahamas. After a normal liftoff, I raised the gear, and at about 400' the engine power was lost and we began to sink. I started a slight right turn thinking... "I don't want to be that guy that killed himself trying to turn around too quick", I moved the mixture lever back and forth and the engine momentarily kicked on and then off a few seconds later. This gave me the ability to get the plane around more. I eyed an empty and large highway (Sunday morning), I declared an emergency and got the engine to kick back on for a few seconds giving be the ability to bring it around for a right base for the cross runway I dove down toward that runway and the engine was stopped at that point. We came over the end and touched down harder than normal because the gear was still retracted. We slid to a stop and egressed. There was no fire or much damage except to the bottom of the plane. I'm glad I had a 2 bladed prop because it stopped in the horizontal position and sustained no damage. We had the plane lifted, put the gear down and pushed it to parking. Assessment and repairs are underway.
We would not let that little mishap ruin our plans so we flew commercial to the Bahamas and joined all our Canardian friends for a great week of fun and fellowship.
March has started out in an unusual way. I flew up to Athens,
GA to pickup my daughter and bring her home for a few days.
The weather was nice and the ERacer was flying great.
After the return trip taking her back to school was over,
I was pushing the plane into the hanger and discovered major
damage to the prop. It was so bad that I had to box it up and
send it to Dale for repairs. So I'm am using this down time to
do and early annual inspection on the aircraft.
Above are some pics that my daughter put together from our trip back and forth to college.
The major prop damage: looks like a large bolt or something went through the arc. Note the bolt thread marks in the laminate.
Left: The canard if off for inspection and hydraulic rework for the annual.
Right: Propeller boxed up and being sent out.
It has been a cold month but I have managed to get the plane up for a flight every 4 or 5 days.
I have also taken this time to do a little needed mx. I noticed extensive wear on the inside of the main tires over the past year so I installed some shims to correct the problem as well as new main tires. I also installed new canopy gas springs
I did a little cold weather flying to see how the ERacer handles colder temps. It was 10*F at the airport when I cranked up. The engine warmed up nicely and the flight went great. The gear seemed a little slower on the retraction but worked perfect both ways with no leaks. Over all a good check but I don't want to make a habit of flying in that kind of cold...BRRR.
Looks like we will be joining the "Bahama Bash" canard trip this April....should be a fun adventure!!!
Last week I was landing with a passenger at my home field. After what I would call one of my smoothest landings...then, (about 500 feet into the roll out) I began to feel a rumbling from the nose wheel. I relaxed the brakes and it continued to get worse so I continued to slow hoping that the fork was not coming apart. I then saw pieces of rubber flying up and knew the nose wheel was gone. I was able to slow to taxi speed, pull off the runway and shut down. Below is what I found and my repair which included a new Grove rim and stronger 4 ply tire.
Its time for an oil change and I need to replace the canopy gas springs. I have learned that keeping the canopy closed for long periods of time reduces the life of the gas springs.
I have taken the plane up every 3 or 4 days to keep the engine lubed but the hectic season can make that difficult.
November was a very rainy month so I got in a couple local flights. I hope to get out a bit more in December...:)
This month marks the one year Anniversary of ERacer N382RB's First Flight. It has been a great year of great flying (78 flight hours) but we plan on doing more in the year to come.
Work kept us busy but we managed to fly 5 flights around the local area enjoying the fall colors and cooler weather.
ERacer Aircraft also completed and delivered its first ERacer landing gear kit since we restarted the production of the gear legs.
Rough River Fly-In Review:
Though we were the only ERacer at the Fly-in this year, It was great to get my plane out and meet new friends as well as some I had conversed with by email for years. 58 Canards were counted in attendance. Great weather and food. Please plan on making it next year.
I was able to do some flying with my daughters this month. Annual inspection complete and the EFII electronic ignition is installed. I will complete the engine runs and flight this week. More details are on the "ERacer Upgrades" tab.
July, 2013 ** Canards Over Georgia Lunch Fly-in **
Some local canard builders came out to enjoy the good food and talk building.
First long cross country for the ERacer. We flew from Peachtree City, GA to Searcy, AR to visit our oldest daughter and her husband. I of course had to give them their first canard rides also. It was nice to stretch the legs out on the ERacer.
It was a beautiful day in GA so my wife and I took a skip(sky+trip) up to Kennesaw Airport (KRYY). We ate lunch at the Chophouse, a steak house located right on the flightline.
March had a lot of bad weather but I did manage to go up every 4 or 5 days during the month. I will try to make Sun-N-Fun. Right now Im planning to fly down on Thursday and camp in the Home Builder Camping. I will plan on leaving Florida on Saturday, Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
Today was our first official "out and back" for lunch in the ERacer. (Or a Skip [Sky+trip] as my youngest daughter, Rachel, has named it) We flew from Falcon Field, GA up to Athens, GA to have lunch with our daughter Mary at the University of Georgia. It was so enjoyable to be free to fly this wonderful aircraft to the first of many destinations.
I have now completed the 40 hour flight test phase. The aircraft is now signed off and complete.
Today I took my wife, Barbara, up for her first flight in the ERacer. This marked the first time I have carried a passenger. The flight went great and it was followed by a ride for my youngest daughter, Rachel. This flight included a little loose formation with Joerg in his Varieze for a few pictures.
Barbara, Strapped in and ready Smooth flight with my wife!!
Well January brought some bad weather but we had enough goods days to almost complete the 40 hour test phase. I have one more flight and then the aircraft will be officially signed off by me, the certified mechanic, for ERacer N382RB. I took a quick trip to the FAA in January and was issued my repairman's certificate.
As you can see from the Chap 23 tab, I also installed some bellville washers on the propeller and rebuilt my front canard cover, which I am still finishing. I do hope to repair all the needed cosmetics on the aircraft in the next few months.
As far as flying, I have finished my passenger tests going up to 200lbs (50lb increments) in the passenger seat on my last flight. The aircraft continues to perform nicely. One thing that I would consider and may retrofit later this year is a landing brake. The landing roll can be very long if no brakes are applied and I feel a little drag would help with brake wear. I am designing some landing air-brakes for the wings that can be applied during rollout.
** SEE Chap 23 "Flight Testing" to get a look at my additions and adjustments. **
Happy New Year to all my friends and Site visitors. Today finds me in Germany getting ready to fly back to the states. (not in my ERacer)
December has been an interesting month of no flying. I ordered a new fuel hose at the beginning of the month. After they lost the order and then delayed the new re-order, I finally received the hose and installed it last week. I ran the engine and it is now ready to fly again. In the mean time I made a few modifications:
1. New VVI
2. New removable dual cup holder
3. New accent stripes along the red stripe on the fuselage
4. New and improved glare shield above instrument panel
So, I think I made the best of my down time. In January I hope to fly the remaining 14 hours of my test time....weather permitting.
** SEE Chap 23 "Flight Testing" to get a look at my additions and adjustments. **
As we move into December, I have completed 20 successful test flights and logged 25.5 hours in ERacer N382RB. I had to ground the Aircraft after my last flight when I discovered a small fuel leak had occured in one of the fuel fittings. This was due to the way engine vibration was effecting the way I had plumbed part of the fuel line from the fuel pump "T" fitting to the Injector servo. I have ordered a new longer line with an angle fitting to relieve any torque on the fitting.
I have taken this "down" time to go over all the systems again as well as add a removable dual cup holder, new glare shield and a little art work to the aircraft.
** SEE Chap 23 "Flight Testing" to get a look at my additions and adjustments. **
CURRENT FLYING ADVENTURES
The following is a monthly update of our flying. Hopefully it will give you a feel for some of the possibilities and fun it is to own and fly an ERacer.