Saturday, April 09, 2005

Finally into the glass ship!

4-9-05 First flight in the PW-5 single-seat glass ship (first in ANY glass ship). I had been signed off many months ago, but weather, scheduling and focusing on the PPG prevented me from ever taking it up.

I had worked through Wander’s book on transition to single seat, and J went over many aspects of it with me, so I really wasn’t nervous or worried. Well… I did fail to finish the pre-takeoff checklist, so I wasn’t perfectly focused, but it really did go well.

Wind was from the left quarter about 5 kt, no bother on takeoff roll but did push me sideways a bit after liftoff. Climb was really fast compared to the Blanik – I was at 500’ by the time I’m usually at 200’ (maybe the wind helped, too). But I seemed to be below the ideal position for about the first 1000’ of altitude. I finally got up where I should be.

I let off at 4500’ MSL and tried out turns, slow flight, near stall, and spoilers. First time using an audible vario, so I had to get used to that a bit. The PW5 has a bit of a nose-high attitude compared to the Blanik, so it kept fooling me into flying too fast: the pitch that felt right went about 50 or more, but the min sink is 40 and the best L/D is 44. Finally I trimmed back a notch and that helped.

VERY responsive. It also overbanks a bit in 45 degree turns, so I need to remember to use top aileron next time.

Lots of lift – a post-frontal day about 68 degrees with lots of CU. Turbulent but not bad. I thermaled up to 5300’, just below cloudbase. A little jet went by me about a quarter mile away and 500’ above. Some turbulence over the hills but not a lot of wind that I could tell, although it was a windy day elsewhere. Lots of sink, too, so I headed back to the IP area. At 1100’ AGL (or less) I found some lift, at first 100-200’, then stronger and stronger. I ended up about 4500’ MSL again. With so much sink around, I did not go far. In the last 500-800’ before reaching pattern altitude at the IP, *LOTS* of sink, 800’ to 1000’ DOWN! I got to the IP at 1000’ AGL, but was worried about sink on downwind. Fortunately that never materialized, and the PW5 is efficient, so I was OK and actually used spoilers on downwind and then on base.

Final was pretty good – I experimented with spoilers and found they are very effective and immediate. Pop them out, go down steeply. Push them in, float for a long way. Cool! I did end up just a bit short but no problem. Nice smooth landing, and Dave later complimented me on it. No bounce or balloon. Rollout was not quite straight, but not bad. 46 minutes total.

3 comments:

Roger said...
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Anonymous said...

PW5 with an L/D of 44? wow, someone tell the manufacturers that ;-)

In reality its about 32 at 48kts....

Roger said...

Sorry, I meant best L/D is at 44 kts. I'll go check the polar...