As summer gives way to fall we in Cincinnati inevitably run out of daylight to fly in during the week, leaving you with two choices. Either put the plane away for the winter, or get comfortable flying your experimental home-built airplane at night. And I’m not talking landing at dusk after a day of flying night, either. I’m talking about take-off and landing in total darkness night. Elizabeth has been working on night flying the last couple of weeks, including a New Moon night where it was so dark it gave me a case of the goo watching from the ground. But she is doing great, so we’re going to try to install our vortex generators next. We’ll fly them once in the daylight before I let go out with them at night, and I hope to see a 5-10 kt reduction in take-off and canard stall speed. We’ll see, but the Fox leapt into the air solo last night in cool 45 degree darkness at 65 kias, and climbed like she had afterburner. She very much likes the cool, thick air. If we can take even 5 off of that it would be great. The forward-cg loaded (dual large pilot) stall speed is about 10 above that, so if we can reliable reduce it to 70, then flying an 80-85 kias final approach would be reasonable and we should still get good aileron effectiveness with the VGs. Exciting stuff.
Posted By: Brett FerrellThursday November 18th, 2010 at 10:37 PM