Saturday, 16 March 2013

Rebuilding the Dream

After returning home all happy from Rotec Engines in Vernon and knowing that the rest is just sheet metal and some readily available parts from Zenithair it was on to moving the BushCaddy parts out of the way, momentarily and get working on the rebuild. The wing ended up on my 4' x 16' table and it was actually an easy repair. 

Left - Pilot Side Wing Repairs 

 Replacing the rear baggage bulkhead

I do love Zenair/Zenithair products for the ease of build and/or repair. You can call me anytime to do some work for these capable airplanes, as long as the in the UL category or I'm a part owner, which by now I was. While the material cost was rather low, the labor was extensive. Renovation kind of expensive almost, as in double the cost and triple the time it seemed. While the wing went along well, the Fuselage was laser levelled into the jig before any parts were removed. Checking for alignment, mainly in the tail section, it seemed the brunt was all taken up by the bottom sheet mid section and the side panel. Top and Pilot side was all good and so was the tail section. Lucky again! 

The new upgraded Nose Gear - more for looks as the old one was ok. 

Thanks to my wingman Willis it went together really well

..and off we go once again! 

The "Check Flights" went well! 
Notice the new panels Co-Pilot Side and Bottom of Fuselage

(Carolyn - If I help you fix this thing of course I want to fly in it!)
Carolyn and me at our favourite little Stop Over 
Slats were left off and replaced with VG's 

There is a few upgrades that went in the process that I really liked. The VG's on the Elevator are almost a must in my opinion as it really increases the authority at lower speed and allows to hang on to a more prolonged flare. Furthermore the drop at the end is not nearly as bad, if encountered at all during nose high full stall landings. 
The VG's on the wings vs the slats, I can do with either. Again, in my experience the VG's make for a more docile and predictable flying during flare. Speed is not that much and in all reality is a wind factor when it comes to ground speed as it is. The slats are really what makes the 701 fun, but they need to be understood, especially during take off and landing. You have to know (feel) when you are flying on the slats vs the wing. This only comes with training, practise and experience. There is a noticeable "translation" during take off when going from slat to wing. Do this at full gross, low to the ground and you might be in for a surprise. Again the same applies being too nose high, flying the slats on landing. When she stalls, she stalls, she's done and you better have that nose wheel straight and your remaining heights is only 6" at best. Blow this and you will do some damage! 
Having flown the sister ship the Savannah XL from ICP in Italy a fair amount too, you cant really compare them too closely. The Savannah has more wing for one, more room for another, a filled in center section over the cab, more lift therefore and better airflow into the tail. But it's not a 701! Is it better? Is a GM better than a Chevy, they are the same yet different. Depends what one is after. If you are a big guy like me there is certain attractions of the Savannah, but than I can go CH 750, longer wings, more room, but...  You can't go 750 without the additional weight penalty. The Savannah C-IRTX, now in QC, weight in at 2lbs different from OHW. Weights were taken on digital scales. Yes, they were that close. 
As for engines, the 912S makes the difference of doing a full power run up by skidding across the apron on locked up brakes, where with the 912UL you would sit there bobbing the tail up and down. And there is that cruise speed factor with the 912S, trust me I know of that one! 

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