Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Howard Hughes Engineering LightWing Lw1 25-035, Dave See, Callide Dawson Flying Group

Manufactured by Howard Hughes Engineering / Aviation of Ballina, New South Wales, and first registered September 1986, LightWing Lw1 25-035 is reportedly airframe No.2 of this specific aircraft model.
However, according to RA-Aus records, 25-035 was the first LightWing to be registered, 21 days before airframe No.1 which is said to be currently hangared somewhere in the Mackay / Proserpine area.
Newly built, 'Papa 35' began it's flying career with a Mount Gambier based aeroclub in South Australia and was predominately used for flying training.
It is believed the original powerplant fitted to 'Papa 35' (either a Rotax 447 or 503) was grossly underpowered for the required purpose leading to an unfortunate incident when the engine became unserviceable after being cooked or a fault leading to a seizure of the powerplant.
Upon minor modifications, 'Papa 35' was retrofitted with a larger, more powerful Rotax 532.
After spending some time flying with the Mount Gambier based aeroclub, 'Papa 35' was eventually onward sold to become a resident at Parafield, South Australia.
Sometime later, Roger Porter of South East Queensland who is associated with the aeroclub at Jacobs Well / Heck Field, purchased 'Papa 35' and flew the aircraft to it's new home from South Australia.
Apparently the then fitted Rotax 532 also died (cause unknown), and replaced with a new 'grey head' Rotax 582.
'Papa 35' then changed ownership yet again when Rex Koop of Theodore, Central Queensland, purchased the LightWing in 1989.
Unfortunately, and yet again, an engine failure caused an outlanding resulting in substantial damage, but was steadily rebuilt before being fitted with a ‘blue head’ oil injected Rotax 582 in 2008.
May 2009, 'Papa 35' was purchased by Callide Dawson Flying Group member, David See, and flown to nearby Frogs Hollow which is a short 10nm hop from Theodore. Of interest, the original registration was changed from P35 (hence 'Papa 35') to 25-035 for the purpose of conforming with RA-Aus requirements.
Since taking ownership of LightWing 25-035, Dave reports he has thoroughly enjoyed a number of memorable flying adventures with the aircraft which include two trips each to South Grafton (NSW), Childers and Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island, three visits to Moonie aswell as hops to Emerald and the nearby community of Clermont.
Dave has also flown to a ‘Wings & Wheels’ event at Maryborough, visits the annual Old Station Fly-In at Raglan, while very rarely missing any of the regular Callide Dawson Flying Group Fly-Ins and hangar chats. Additionally, Dave proudly reports he was among the first to arrive and leave at both the 2010 and 2012 Monto Fly-Ins.
Please note : all original log books associated with 'Papa 35' / 25-035 were lost in the Theodore flood of December 2010, along with much of the literature and files. What has been reported in this post is to the best of Dave's knowledge and the memory of previous owner, Rex Koop.

J6 Karatoo 19-4396 'Spirit of Smoky Creek', Len Neale, Callide Dawson Flying Group

The following story was written by Len Neale, inaugural member of the Callide-Dawson Flying Group
The J6 Karatoo was originally designed by Jesse Anglin in the USA, and it was his intention to combine in the aircraft the best features of a Piper J3 Cub with the practicality and visibility of the side-by-side Aeronca Chief. Indeed, many of the construction features and components reflect their Aeronca inspiration, thus producing one of the most practical and forgiving sport aircraft ever designed.
The proven combination of steel tube fuselage and wooden wings provide traditional strength and reliability. Ask anyone who has flown a properly rigged Karatoo, and they will tell you it is one of the most delightful aircraft they have ever flown.
Being of American design, the wing aerofoil is classic 'Clark Y' with a span of 32ft and a chord of 4 ft / 6 inches. Overall length of the fuselage is 20ft. The empty weight of my aircraft is just over 300kg. Early Australian versions of the aircraft were built from kits manufactured in the late 1980's by Max Peters 'Australian Aviation Works' in collaboration with Jesse Anglin.
They departed slightly from the original design in that the upper rear fuselage shape was a straight line rather than the original curved turtle deck, giving it a more boxy appearance. Some were powered by Subaru EA81 converted car engines with an 'AMAX' belt reduction drive attached.
Martin Hone was the first in Australia to install an 80hp Rotax 912, which in 1994 produced a beautifully reliable aeroplane which still flies today. 
I decided to scratch build from plans, sourcing my own materials, while going back to the original Jesse Anglin design with the prettier slightly curved 'Cub like' turtle deck. I elected to install a 4-cylinder, 2.2 litre, 80hp Jabiru engine, which so far as I know had never been done in a Karatoo before. It meant that I had to design and build my own engine mount, which under the 19 amateur built category is permissible.
I considered the Jabiru engine's light weight and simplicity of installation as valuable features. I anticipated and overcame any engine cooling issues, (because of the Karatoo's lower cruise speed compared to a Jabiru), by installing larger intake and exit airways, enhanced air duct baffling, and by installing a larger capacity oil cooler.
The engine cowl was modified from one supplied by Jabiru, that was originally designed around putting a Jabiru engine in a Lightwing. The paint trim pattern was derived from a most recent example of a Piper Super Cub. 
During initial solo testing, I had tried a standard Jabiru wooden propeller. Although this delivered up to 90kts cruise speed, it would not have given sufficient safe climb performance for two people. I opted instead for a Petroney ground adjustable composite propeller, which with optimum pitch settings provides the best balance of climb and cruise performance for the aircraft.

It can now safely lift two 100kg people and half fuel off the ground, and climb at 500+ feet per minute, and still cruises at an honest 75kts on 2700 RPM. It's no speed demon, but provides relaxed and comfortable sport flying. The full 80 litres of fuel, (40 a side in the wings), at 15 lt/hr gives five hours endurance, way past sore backside time. Two up, it stalls at 38kts, one up at 35. Stalls are smooth and predictable at any power setting, with no wing drop.

I have been very pleased with the end result, and for over seven years have flown an attractive and beautifully balanced aeroplane. I believe with the Jabiru engine I have struck the optimum combination of power, weight and balance, which coupled with features like the differential 'frieze' ailerons, provides for enjoyable and safe 'seat-of-the-pants' flying. The aircraft requires no in-cockpit elevator trim, relying solely on good rigging and application of power to provide balanced flight.

At cruise on a calm day, the aircraft quite happily flies fully 'hands-off'. Like any real aeroplane, it also loves a balanced input of rudder to help it in its turns. For anyone considering building a Karatoo, attention to correct rigging is very important.

I have heard of examples where excessive wing incidence has produced sluggish performance. Any more that two degrees positive incidence on the wing chord line relative to the fuselage datum line is too much.

The name 'Karatoo' I believe arose from the evolution in design to two seats, from the Jesse Anglin single seat 'Karaone'. The title of this example, 'Spirit of Smoky Creek', is dedicated to the airfield where it was assembled and is hangared, and to the many people who have encouraged me and assisted in its construction.


How it came together, the building of 19-4396


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Aerial Survey & Mapping aircraft at Rockhampton

Not entirely sure why, however, presumably to conduct a survey or aerial mapping assignment of some sort, Interair Pty Ltd Piper PA-31-310 Navajo VH-FHJ flew a pattern above Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and surrounding region north of Rockhampton on three occasions over a four day period after the completion of Exercise Wallaby 2016.

Ferrying from Archerfield to Rockhampton on Tuesday, November 08, VH-FHJ remained parked on the General Aviation tarmac until taking to the air for it's assigned task on Friday, November 11. The process was repeated on Saturday, November 12, and again on Monday, November 14
VH-FHJ departed back to Archerfield after it's survey flight on Monday.



Meanwhile, also recently photographed on the GA tarmac at Rockhampton was Vulcanair S.P.A. P.68C VH-CFT, one of two locally based P.68C aircraft operated by Atlass Aviation, an Aerometrix owned company.

Along with sistership VH-KBO, VH-CFT is fitted with a modern LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) aerial mapping suite capable of producing 3D models of the landscape using laser technology.

Without divulging detail about this technology here, in-depth information however can be found at the Atlass-Aerometrix website : http://www.atlass.com.au/