Flight #11                                       

Conducted 11/15/2012 -

So now that we can trust the airspeed indicator, we’ve spent a few weeks waiting out low clouds.  We know the old adage’ that idle hands are the devil’s workshop…and if by ‘devil’ they mean Cozy, well they’re right. When staring at the clouds, wishing we could be flying we find a little bit of relief by at least doing something with the plane, even if it’s just another condition inspection to make us feel twice as confident that the bird is ready to go when the weather cooperates.

One of the small squawks John's had is that the rudder pedal spacing wasn’t ideal. We decided that being the weather wasn’t cooperating We’d try moving the right pedal a bit closer to NG30 to give John's ogre feet about another 2” space (obviously can’t move the left pedal and closer to the spacer block).

After repositioning, redrilling, and reassembling the right hand rudder pedal, We next needed to move the master cylinder over as well. If ever you have any doubts about how strong flox and fiberglass is, try taking it apart! It took a good deal of effort with the fein to cut the brackets free from the floor, so we could reglass them back in line with the now repositioned pedal.

Once complete, We realized that our nylon brake lines were now too short to reach the master cylinder. We didn’t want to put splices in line (although it would have obviously worked), but We figured if we was going to order parts, we’d just order the parts we should have ordered in the first place; aluminum hard lines, and PFTE lined braided SS flex sections. Cutting the nylon line free of the bid tapes that held it to the fuselage side reminded us once again that fiberglass and epoxy sure stick well.

Wednesday night we worked late to get the new lines installed and bled. The forecast was looking good for Thursday through Sunday, so John had taken Thursday and Friday off from work in hopes of making a 4 day flight test extravaganza weekend.

John's flight report is below:

"Thursday morning I awoke to the clear blue sky the weatherman had been promising me for weeks but had finally gotten around to delivering. After seeing the little one off to school, I dashed out to the airport. First on the agenda was to taxi test the plane to verify the right side brake was still functional after the line change. Everything seemed great so I taxied back to the hangar to check each brake line fitting for leaks and give the plane a once over before going off to punch some holes in the sky.

With all the fittings dry, and everything seemingly in its proper place. I ballasted the plane for a mid CG of 99.5 and set about to do stability and stall testing. I’ve been rather worried about stall testing. For no other reason than my fear of a deep stall. I’ve read every thread on both the actual cases of deep stalls we’ve had in Cozy’s as well as Nat’s testing, and all of the non specific chatter on the topic. Still I worry. Mostly because I’m concerned with not having any recognizable warning to give me time to break the stall before it locks in. Nat’s comments about watching the airspeed indicator and recovering if the speed should start decreasing rapidly is the about the only indication I could find.

I resolved to do stability testing first, then approach the stall as slowly as I could and recover if I felt the Airspeed Indicator was even going to THINK about dropping below 50Kts.

I took off and climbed to 9500’ (8500’AGL) to give myself lots of time if needed. The stability testing went fine. Pitch stability was as expected, after pitching up or down enough to alter airspeed by 10 kts from where it was trimmed, the plane would return to its trimmed state after 1 or 2 oscillations (2 when the speeds were higher). Roll stability wasn’t quite as hoped, and admittedly I believe it’s because of something I probably should have long since corrected. My aileron hinges don’t operate completely smooth. They got a bit of epoxy gunk in them when building and I thought I had gotten it mostly cleaned out, but it still causes a bit of stickiness. Because of this they don’t return exactly to trimmed position even statically on the ground. I guess I thought the aero loads would help that.

After completing the stability testing notes, it was time to slow the airplane down and see if the canard would stall. I eased back on the throttle as slowly as I could, and kept easing back on the stick to maintain altitude. Watching the airspeed slowly drop to 80kts, 75, 70, 65, 60….I paused there for a minute, and tried to collect some more courage from between the seat cushions. I was definitely a bit nervous. I eased back a tiny bit more…59kts….a bit more…58Kts…still no canard stall, but it wasn’t falling out of the sky either. At this point the flight timer alerted me I had hit 1 hour which was my mark to head back to the airport. I hesitated pushing the acknowledge button for a second to debate continuing the test. Instead I stopped at my prescribed mark for this flight."

Some Pics from Flight 11: