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.


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...