Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mojave Airport Board Approves 2015 Sponsorship

Hey Guys,

I wanted to take a moment to thank the Mojave Airport for agreeing to sponsor the Mojave Experimental Flyin for 2015.  Their support means the tower will be open on Saturday, we will have security to help look after the airplanes and our guests, we will be able to use the Stu Witt Center for the dinner on Saturday, and the team from Design Build Test will be able to film the event.

Thank you Mojave Airport for your continued support.

Elliot Seguin

Race 44 550 Development Nomination

Title: Aero Chia 550 Cylinder Mod
Experimenter: Andy Chiavetta, Lynn Farnsworth, Chris Padilla, John Jackson, Justin Gillen
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: N23LF Race 44
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  Andy has worked very hard for many years dialing in the continental 550 for the very grueling mission of pylon racing in the Sport Class at Reno.  Since the last Aero Chia win at Reno in 2005 Andy has been hammering hard to understand this power package even better.  The result was 2014 was the closest to the winners circle that Andy had been in a while.  Over the summer of 2014 building up to Reno Andy prepped Lynn Farnsworth's Miss Karen II for the event.  It was fantastic to watch Andy get some traction again and see Andy back in his sweet spot, between the guys at Pacific Continental, Jon Hadlich, Lynn Farnsworth, and a little Mojave luck the whole package started to gel.  The testing meant a grueling schedule for Andy but with his ridiculous energy he got the airplane to Reno.  Unfortunately engine problems during a heat race cut the program short.  Since Reno Andy has been posting updates for his fans on the internet and the pace of the work is impressive.  We all look forward to seeing what comes next from the hardest working guy in Air Racing, Andy Chiavetta.

A day with Klaus at SZP

Hey Guys,

I went over to Santa Paula on Saturday to touch base with Andy and Klaus.

In the process I got a ride in the Delaminator!!

Klaus is planning to set up to five records with the Delaminator and the Determinator during the week of record setting building up to this year's Mojave Flyin on Saturday.

It's going to be awesome!!

A video posted by edseguin (@edseguin) on
A video posted by edseguin (@edseguin) on

Mike Patey Update

Hey Guys,

Mike Patey has just announced a contest to design a paint job for his new airplane.

Thousands of dollars in prizes for winners.

Email submissions to Painttheplanecontest@gmail.com.

Great Idea Mike!


Monday, March 2, 2015

51 Aero Nomination

Title: 51 Aero Nomination
Experimenter:  Fred Roscher
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: N695HR
Author: John Parker

The question asked is why the 51 Aerodata recording unit with the accompanying analyses, trending flight log software is significant and worthy of an experimenter award; and why does the Blue Thunder Racing Team use it?

In my mind the answer is painfully obvious.  The main theme of the experimenters contest is Design, Built Test. Fred Roscher, CEO of 51 Aero has designed a data recording, telemetry and trending software package that far exceeds the capabilities of other recording options and can be completely tailored to the designer and builder specific needs and desires cost effectively.

It is well known fact that after a flight test the least reliable information you get comes from the pilot.  When the pilot says everything went just perfect, the first question is, how do you know?  Without a reliable data recording system there is no way to verify that all the temperatures, pressures, speeds, roll and pitch rates and G loads were and that they were within limits throughout the test flights.

The 51 Aero Air Data Computer (ADC) has the capability of recording an unlimited number of inputs giving the designer, builder and tester the ability to selecting as many sensors inputs they think necessary.

At this time the Blue Thunder Teams ADC records 97 sensors or computed inputs plus monitors any sensor error signals.  The sensors we are currently using are:

·         21        Temperatures:
·         10        Pressures:
·         4          Voltages:
·         4          Amperages:    
·         7          Position sensors:
·         2          GPS positions:           
·         2          Fuel Flow:
·         2          Fuel Quantities:
·         1          Oil Quantity:
·         4          Speeds:

The additional displayed and recorded information is computed in the instrumentation and the ADC.  An example of computed information is fuel flow.  Fuel flow is the difference between the in and out transducers and it computes the total fuel remaining.

The ADC will record roughly 200 hours of flight data before the oldest data is over written.  The data can be downloaded and processed after every flight, or after each trip, or at the next 100 hour inspection.  Once the data is processed the trending software generates a flight log which keeps track of each flight duration but displays the takeoff and landing times,  the dispatcher airport and runway, destination airport and runway as well as the fuel used on that flight.  Manual inputs to the flight log can be made to include pertinent information about a flight such as the pilot and passenger names, purpose for the flight and any information the tax man may quire.

The trending software looks at all of the recorded data from the very earliest flight log an watches for changes in the reading which would suggest some sort of corrective action.  A long term change of an item such as fuel flow or pressure could indicate the need to change a fuel pump.  A subtle change in an EGT over time could indicate some valve work would be prudent.

The telemetry system is the ultimate in safety for initial flight testing of a new or recently modified aircraft.  This provide continuous real time monitoring by your ground crews of the flight parameters and can provide guidance to the pilot of just what is going on and if necessary suggest corrective action.

In the pylon racing world, the pilots’ attention is primarily looking outside the aircraft station keeping and flight path maintenance.  This is where the telemetry system is essential.  The telemetry allows the ground crew to monitor the aircraft systems and advise the pilot should any system parameter starts going out of limits allowing him to make adjustments without looking at the controls.  Additionally, the crew can advise the pilot of things might improve his speed such as a suggested adjustment of the fuel mixture or RPM.  The analyst pages of the software allows me to review the ground track and verify how close I was to the pylons and show if an adjustment to the flight path would improve performance.  The Blue Thunder Crew has had every bit of its share of partial or complete engine failures.  In each case the crew has been able to immediately tell me just what happened and what I had left.  This information made it possible for a return to a successful forced landing each time.

The sophistication of the 51 Aero data recording system, its flexibility, its cost effectiveness, and the number of analysis pages make it a worthy contender for an experimenter award.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pedalusion Nomination

Experimenter: James Tascione
Category: Design/Build/Experimenter
Author: Alaina DeGuire/James Tascione
Argument: James is introducing Pedalusion, a human powered aircraft (HPA) of his own design and build. Pedalusion is being built from the ground up using simple materials available at your local DIY center. The super lightweight design and materials used in building Pedalusion are in tune with low wattage output capacity of a human power plant. Pedalusion's construction consists of a minimal wooden structure with bulk foam for mass. The assembly of Pedalusion is a challenge in so many aspects regarding weight and strength that James is constantly weighing and measuring to remove ounces yet maintain the structural integrity able to carry a man-or woman-into flight under their own power. James' goal for this project is to prove the science of his design and materials for simple, affordable home built aircraft that can be either human powered or with an electric motor. For more information and pics of James and Pedalusion go to his LinkedIn page---https://www.linkedin.com/profile/preview?locale=en_US&trk=prof-0-sb-


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

P85 V8 Conversion Nomination

Title for the mod: P85 V8 Aircraft
Who did the mod: Jeff Ackland
Suggested category of mod: Design, Build, Test
What airplane the mod was done to: P85 N273MP
Date the mod was completed: First Flight 12/17/2014. Phase I testing now complete. 18 month build period.
Author of nomination: Jeff Ackland
Description of the mod: The P85 is the result of installing a liquid cooled V8 power plant on a Radial Rocket airframe.
Why this mod should be considered: The primary goal of the P85 design/build effort has been to demonstrate a powerful, high performance, simple and extremely economical (in terms of acquisition and operating economy) power-plant option for the proven Radial Rocket airframe. The result is distinctive enough to merit a new name: P85. Power is delivered by a 400 cid / 400 hp GM LS V8 engine. Initial performance numbers point to a top speed at 7500 ft of 280-290 mph. Simplicity is achieved  via use of fixed landing gear, fixed pitch prop and electronic fuel injection resulting in single power lever engine operation. Economy of acquisition and operation is derived from the selection and use of high quality, mass produce LS engine architecture along with a readily available and low cost re-drive/Catto fixed pitch prop combination. Firewall forward cost (engine, ECU, ignition, cooling system, exhaust, re-drive, and prop = approximately $20-23K. Further economy is conferred by this engine set-up, designed to operate on 91 octane pump gas. 

P85 videos:

Photo attached (let me know if you need more, or you can grab them from our website?)


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LT-1: UL Edition Nomination

Title: LT-1: UL Edition 
Experimenter:  Andy Chiavetta
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: LT-1 SN:002
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  The LT-1 was designed and built by the force of energy that is Andy Chiavetta of Aerochia.  The airplane is a small, clean, single seat carbon fiber aircraft, that really stands out in the market place.  The combination of very small and very aerodynamically clean is not a bustling corner of the market.  Andy adds to the strengths of the airplane by leveraging his long history of building with composites to make the airplane particularly easy to build.  The airplane was debuted with a first flight video that was posted in 2010 (link).  I flew the airplane a few months ago (link) and I found what both other pilots to ever fly the airplane found; it is responsive and well behaved, requires very little power to fly, and the weakest link is the engine.  Andy has threatened to fix this for a while, but he is a busy guy so the idea has had to sit on the back shelf.  Over the last month or so that has changed.  Andy has started posting images of the second airframe, and even better of a new engine on that airframe.  We are all excited to see if the UL is the powerplant that can help get the design to market, so we can all enjoy seeing them darkening the skies.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Meredith Scoop Nomination

Roy's RV-6 Photo By Ross, from Homebuiltairplanes.com

Title: Meredith Scoop
Experimenter:  Ross Farham
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: C-GYZX
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  I first was introduced to Ross when I read his article in the March 2015 Kitplanes on this project.  I really enjoyed his willingness to be aggressively inquisitive in public because he worked in designing something, building it, and measuring it.  The concept of Meredith effect has been mentioned at so many airshows by now it is cliche and boring.  But the idea that a guy could try it, could dip his toe into the water and see what is actually there, wow that is something.  Ross has no problem questioning the status quo and his article openly challenges designs that are held on the highest of pedestal's (like the mustang and the spitfire), but the fact that he built his own hardware, measured it and shared it with the world is the kind of thing that keeps me excited about playing with airplanes.  The article and a related thread on which Ross explains some more of the details of the project are linked below, go build something!

Kitplanes Article: The Meredith Effect - Fact or Fiction?
Watercooling Thread on Homebuiltairplanes.com