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Re: REFLECTOR: First Flight - 642PT

Congrats & safe flying.

Larry Epstein
173 FGE (Years away from flight)

>Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 19:04:54 -0700
>After 3 years, we finally had our first flight in our Velocity Standard
>RG Elite.  We elected to follow the adage of "if you have more hours
>building, than flying  - get a test pilot".  Tom Jeter was kind enough
>volunteer for the task (for a very reasonable fee).
>Tom took about 3 hours to pre-flight the aircraft - it was great to see
>another set of eyes go over the plane.  He suggested a few items but
>nothing that was going to deter him from flying.
>Tom took off from Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix, AZ at about 4 pm -
>yes, the hottest part of the day - about 107 degrees.  We got concerned
>since Tom was forced to stay on the ground for longer than we wanted
>while the world seemed to want to land.  The airport had been quiet for
>at least 45 minutes before he took off but as soon as he started to taxi
>- the airport came to life.
>Tom started the take off roll, rotated and then retracted the gear!!!
>All seemed to be going smoothly except for the concern about high engine
>temps.  We monitored Tom's communications with the tower and wre
>expecting him to make a circuit and then come back in because of engine
>temps.  Tom then left for a while and then came back toward the field.
>We figured (and later found out we were correct) that Tom decided to see
>if he could get the high engine temps under control - lo and behold he
>did.  The highest he saw while, as he put it, pointing the nose down and
>letting the air flow was at about 390 degrees.  We felt the Swing's
>plenum system justified itself at that point - we are running a 200 hp
>IO 360.
>After a fly by  - Tom asked the Tower to check that the gear and all
>doors were up and closed - Tom went away for a while and then came back
>to a touch and go - Boy is that a pretty sight!!!!  He then returned for
>a full stop landing.
>The flight info he gave us were (this is based on memory- the info is at
>the airport):
>Engine CHTs      - no more than 390 degrees
>Climb                 - 2000 fpm (after the touch and go)
>Flight Character. - No adverse flight characteristics-
>                              A dream to fly- he said
>                              (Yes, we did hire him so we have to take it
>with a grain of  salt)
>Speed                - He ran at about 130 kts at about 2450 RPM
>Now for the bad news - we discovered we have a problem with our retract
>system.  The co-pilot  main gear socket became cracked and the pilot
>side is stressed.  We need to repair that before we go up again.  So
>regretfully we let Tom go home before he was able to do the high
>performance test.  We'll need a couple of days to fix it and didn't want
>to waste his time.  After discussions with Scott Swing, we discovered we
>had just glassed in our sockets instead of taping them to the legs and
>lowering the gear and the sockets (with micro in place) in place.  So
>we'll redo the sockets, and get ready to go again.
>Even with the sockets, it's a wonderful feeling to know that it flys and
>flys well.  We're looking forward to more flight time in the near
>Pete and Toni

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