My first flight was on July 5, 2009 around 11:00 AM on a cloudly day with a few drops of rain. After one more runway "hop" I decided it was now or never and kept the throttle full on till lift off.

Performance was not what I expected and it climbed very slow and as soon as I was out of ground effect I had a very heavy left wing. The climb was some where around 80 KIAS and was very slow. After a few circles over the airport and two attempts I landed unevently with a slight bounce. Also oil temp were on the high side at 220F with 225 being redline.

During the week I opened up the front baffles by 1" and 3/4" and re-pitched the warp drive 3 blade propeller from 13.5 to 12 deg. I also re-checked the rigging on the ailerons and wings very closely. I also drained a good 5 gallons of fuel from the left inboard tank and added it to the right inboard tank and realized I was much heaver on the left side of the aircraft

The next flight was almost a non event it went so smooth. Again this flight was only about 30 minutes just to sort things out and to do a few more landing with flaps UP.

During the next flight I worked into some slower speeds at altitude and it felt fine and very stable down to the 45 KIAS range. With the right tank full the heavy wing is not there. About this time I worked on lowering the flaps a few degrees at a time. Stick pressure builds fast and at full flaps the nose only goes down.

At this time I did some serious calculations. Also I have issues with the nose coming down as soon as the mains touch. I decided to move my battery from the rear of the seats to the tail as per design when using a heavy engine. With my present location, I was within limits, but was always to the forward end. After contacting the FAA I made the change.

Next flight the plane handled much better, nose lifted around 45 KIAS instead of 55 KIAS. The climb attitude was easier to maintain and I was able to trim the aircraft better with the trim tab. I also lowered the flaps a few degrees at a time and am now able to hold the nose up as well as maintain altitude with power (fair amount needed). I have worked on landing with partial flaps and I am not comfortable with anything but partial flaps (15 deg). With full flaps and low power this bird is an elevator sinking FAST.

Right now I am showing about 97 KIAS at 2500 RPM in cruise, but I will be able to get a bit more as I have some cleanup issues to work on. I am getting fairly comfortable flying it now with the new weight and balance.

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Comment by Mark Ertz on July 28, 2009 at 10:05pm
First of all, Congrads. More than a few pilots get on the left trim button on top of yoke and load up wing in left turns. How many tanks did you install? Moving 30 lbs of fuel should not load a wing baddly.
As for landing speeds. Sink w/ power on much less @ Full flap. FF landings are only needed in short fields. W/ fullflaps most of us keep a little power in. Hard surfaces of better than 2000 feet, I use 10% of flaps. W/ my Jabiru 3300 & wooden 51% prop cruise @ 125 mph @ 2650. Good luck.

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