Well, I successfully flew the tail the full length of the 5500 foot runway today five times in a row. Had a few excursions from the runway before that into the grass, one time intentional and the others not.
I bought the plane with no logs on airframe, engine or prop. So after I put a new engine and prop and went through the aircraft fairly thoroughly, I had the guy who helped with the time in the KitFox IV do some test flights on it before I even considered getting into it. Keeping in mind that they guy I am talking about owns two KitFox IVs, has LOTS of tailwheel, and other, time. I believe the quote that I gave him is that if something was going to go wrong, I wanted to make sure that it was me and not the plane, so right now, I have to presume that the current issue is with me. I have been trying for the last several months to find someone in my area to assist, but so far I have only found the one and he is gone on a job for a while.
Which is what I am. I have over 1500 hours, but little tail wheel time. Unfortunately, the gross weight on my bird is at 850 with a 480 empty weight and with me in it doesn't allow much for someone more experienced to be with me. I managed to find someone with a KitFox IV to work with me for an hour or so, but now he is gone. In the his Kitfox I didn't have much problem with takeoffs in a wheel configuration, but he had fairly large balloon tires, so visibility over the nose was pretty much nil unless the tail was up and level and I never got the landings quite right. It had been some time since I had done anything with a tailwheel, so knocking off the rust on my happy feet and trying to land with 0 visibility over the nose was giving me issues. I took a cub out yesterday for about 1.5 and had no issues with takeoffs or landing, but as you all know there is really no comparison. I took my Avid onto the runway this morning and found that no only was the Cub not much of a comparison, but that it seems a lot more squirrely than the KitFox 4, but I thought it would be, just didn't know how much. I don't feel ready to take it off the ground yet, getting it in the air is not a problem...did that a couple of times unintentionally, getting it back on the ground safely is my primary concern.
I am considering a move to a Matco 8" tail wheel, but the spring that I have would not be suitable without bending, so I am thinking about just buying a new spring. On Aircraft Spruce, one of the few that they list that are 1.25 is for the Luscombe. Anyone know if this spring would be suitable for my A/B/C model Avid or have a better source? TIA P. S. for those that have been following my adventure, the Avid flew for the first time a couple of days ago. A couple of interesting issues....but making progress.
The EGTs got up to 1200. My issue is that the directions for the prop indicate that a 582 should start at 11-14 and a 503 should be between 2 and 4. Since the prop is set in the 503 territory, I am wondering what that says about how much power the engine is making. That is why I am trying to find anyone else who has this prop installed and attempting to find out what they have the prop set for with the protractor.
Well, verified the tach. I had to back the prop back down to a 3 to make RPMs, but have it in the 6400 - 6500 RPM range now. The Kiev instructions suggested a starting point of 2-4 for a 503 and 11-14 for a 582. Think I will go do the break in on the 582 now and maybe I can get ahold of the prop guys and the engine guy to figure out exactly what this means. I am afraid that it means that my "new" 582 is making closer to 50HP instead of 64, but we shall see.