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Rich Brazell
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:04 am 
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Wait until you see the Les Sky Machine in person ! OH MY !

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bfinney
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:28 pm 
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What Rich said, BADDA BING, BADDA BOOM

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Bruce Finney
N18JF T-18C #262
Auburn, WA USA


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:18 pm 
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I had the privilege of seeing the Les Sky Machine at Oshkosh 17, and it is, indeed, an amazing piece of workmanship and innovation!

Well, yesterday was the BIG DAY! N12055 had her first flight since 1993 as far as I can tell. Also since my 3.5-year refurb! That was waaaayy longer than I thought it would take, but that's a different story. N12055 was originally build by Robert Kiergard in 1974 and he was known for building T-18's strictly to the plans and amendments. This was his second T-18. He outfitted her with a Lycoming O-290D.

After preheating, take-off was at 1:19 pm yesterday. I don't have a mechanical or electric fuel pump, so I first pump the throttle twice and go out and hand-prop 6-8 blades. Then I jumped in and the Lycoming O-290D fired up in 1 blade with the starter and she was rare-in' to go. Going down the runway at around 30-40 MPH, I could feel the fixed pitch 66-72 prop bite into the air and accelerate. She jumped up into the air in only 800'. I didn't see the initial ROC, but later as I climbed up toward 3,500' I saw 1800 fpm. We recorded a lot of numbers during the 20-minute flight (it felt like it was 30-40 minutes), but the number I liked the most was 150 mph at 2300 RPM in level flight at 3,500'. No wheel pants too. I was told it would cruise at 160 mph and I believe it - just haven't got there yet. Oh yeah - the airflow ripped my GoPro camera off the belly and broke the mount. I'll take that as a good sign :) .

The plane flew so nicely. Controls in all axes were natural and light. Trim hardly needed adjusted after takeoff with just me and 12 gallons of fuel aboard. Very comfortable.

I had planned on orbiting the airport but had a chase plane with me and we strayed away from the airport while he looked me over in flight. You'll like this - I told him I better turn around and head back to the airport, and when I did I couldn't find the airport anywhere around me. Turned out we were 8 miles away! I'm just amazed at how this aircraft covers ground so fast. I'm unfamiliar with the airport and landmarks where N12055 is based at, so I had to turn to the GPS map only to find the airport far in the distance. I was looking for where it would have been in a 172. Crazy!

The approach and landing was uneventful. I was a little high on final with 20 flaps, so I went to 30 and they really increased the sink rate for me. You guys all know about the joys of the T-18, but this whole flight was a surprise and a real treat for me. The past 3.5 years was worth it. I LOVE THIS AIRCRAFT!

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU ON THIS FORUM WHO HELPED WITH YOUR ADVICE AND SUGGESTIONS ALONG THE WAY THESE PAST YEARS!!! THANKS, CUBES, FOR THE PARTS, HELP, AND THE TRAINING! I had a whole lot of help, too, from my buddies and groundcrew at Rostraver Airport, FWQ. Couldn't have done it without all you guys. My wife was very supportive of this project, and she and my youngest son were on hand for the flight as well ;D !


Attachments:
File comment: The flight
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IMG_0086.PNG [ 4.84 MiB | Viewed 155 times ]
File comment: Just about ready to go!
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IMG_3086(1) - Copy.jpg [ 2.22 MiB | Viewed 159 times ]
File comment: Minutes to go.
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File comment: Back on the ground!
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IMG_3093(1) - Copy.jpg [ 2.22 MiB | Viewed 159 times ]

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)


Last edited by jtwigg on Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:50 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Jeff J
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:24 pm 
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Congratulations!

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Thorp T18
O-320-B3B (160 HP)
68x74 Sterba Propeller

"The joke in aviation is, 'If you want to make a million, you'd better start with £10m.' " -Bruce Dickinson


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rjaeger
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:33 pm 
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Congratulations, great to see Bob's old plane back where it belongs!


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James Grahn
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:00 pm 
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I’ll say it again..congrats John. That is a HUGE accomplishment. Well done.
See you Friday.
Cubes


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:12 am 
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Thanks, Jeff, rjaeger, and Cubes.

rjaeger - it certainly is great to see it back in the air. It was an honor to fly her. I think there is an aviation adage adapted from a watch marketing line to the effect of, "You never actually own a great plane. You merely take care of it for the next generation."

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)


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Ryan Allen
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:15 am 
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That's good stuff! All that hard work paying dividends, Congrats!


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SHIPCHIEF
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:39 pm 
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Congratulations John.
I’m inspired to keep working on mine, maybe I’ll fly it again someday !!?!
Good luck going forward, many happy T-18 flights to you!

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Scott Emery
EAA Chapter 326
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rjaeger
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:01 pm 
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Here's a photo of your planes sister ship built by BOB Griffith at the same time as yours was built.
Image


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Fraser MacPhee
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:22 pm 
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Many congrats! The last T-18 I flew with an O-290 was faster than my 0-320. Have a great time with her/him/it!!

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Fraser MacPhee
N926WM
Serial #279-1
Draper, UT


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jtwigg
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:35 am 
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Scott - your wings and panel look nice, so maybe you're closer than you think! I saw your post about not understanding the hole transfer method. If you need it, I have instructions from John Thorp that describe the transfer methods if that will help. Let me know and I can get you a copy.

rjaeger - That picture is so good. I had never seen a picture of his plane and didn't know they shared the same paint scheme. Whatever happened to his plane? I see in the FAA registry that it's registered to a Mr. Lyle Cartwright in Tuscon, AZ. Any idea if it's still flying? Do you have any old pictures of N12055 at Oshkosh or your chapter in the 70's? Please share if you have any!

Frazer - The O-290 is lighter than an O-320 to start with, and mine's as bare-bones as they get. A future project will be to replace the Delco-Remy heavy generator and the boat-anchor starter with modern, lighter ones. One thing that Doug Burke, the previous owner, told me was that his dad, Ed, worked with the Sensenich engineers and they modified the prop tip and shortened it per his request. Ed reported afterwards that he gained 10 MPH or Knots - not sure which - with this modified prop that's currently on the plane.

Everyone -- just letting you all know that we're honored that Cubes, his First Officer, AND Doug Burke (N12055's previous owner) will be at Rostraver, FWQ, in Pittsburgh on Friday 2/15/2019 to see N12055. If you're in the area and want to stop by, we'll be at the EAA Chapter 45 hangar from around 10:00 to noon. We're having lunch afterwards and you're welcome to come hang with us! Subject to change according to Cube's schedule, of course.

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John Twigg N12055 SN.79 Pittsburgh, PA (KFWQ)


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