Gerry Hodnefield’s Glasair II-S First Flight

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Written by Larry Graves and Dave Saylor, AirCrafters LLC

We successfully conducted the first two flights yesterday with Gerry Hodnefield’s Glasair II-S FT (kit 2008) at Hollister airport in Northern California. Gerry’s plane is an original II FT with the wing in the standard (forward) location but with the enlarged tail and rudder. He has installed an overhauled Lycoming O-360 taken from a Mooney M20J rated at 180 HP, with a Hartzell two-bladed constant-speed prop. Empty weight (in primer with minimal interior) is 1277 lb. and EW CG is 82.3 inches aft of datum.

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With Paul Mounter at the controls, the first flight took place at 2:20PM and lasted 40 minutes during which no major problems were noted. Ground test- ing in the previous week revealed a weak vacuum pump (replaced) and a cooked nylon brake line at the right caliper (repaired and will be replaced with aluminum lines).

First flight at 2,500 ft msl, 25 inches and 2500 rpm indicated approximately 160 kt in circling cruise flight. With probes on cylinder #3 only, EGT indicated 1200F and CHT 450F. CHT was higher during climbout, and we’ll be looking at ways to lower that. The right wing was “heavy” in cruise, attributable to a very slight but noticeable washout in the right wing leading edge. There was also a nose- wheel shimmy after a nice slow, smooth touch- down, traced to insufficient “squeeze” on the bellville washers in the castering assembly.

After a thorough post-flight checkout the nosewheel was adjusted, the left flap was raised by “two turns” of the actuator rod end fitting and flap travel stop, the right flap was lowered by the same amount, and a second flight conducted at 4:55PM. During this shorter flight, the aircraft flew level, hands off at 140 KIAS. No other anomalies were noted, and the flight concluded uneventfully just prior to sunset. Flight testing will continue through the week.

Gerry contracted with AirCrafters LLC of Gilroy, CA to bring his Glasair to flyable condition after the 90% completed project had been sitting for two years untouched in his hangar at San Jose Airport. Gerry is happy.

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