Task-based Flight testing for my GT-VX2

Loren Jones

Gold Supporter
Joined
Aug 3, 2022
Messages
568
Location
Minnesota
Aircraft
Own Cherokee 180; Built award-winning Gyro Technic GT-VX2 with 912iS; Looking for training gryo
Total Flight Time
10,800+ (and still counting!)
After getting my sign-off a week and a half ago I managed to get in ONE flight before heading off for my gyro CFI training. It was delightful and I was anxious to get back to flying it.

After returning I dove into testing. I opted to use the fairly new Task-based Flight Test program that EAA has been working on for a decade and a half and which the FAA finally approved last Fall, I believe. Instead of having to just fly 40 hours the task-based Phase 1 has a list of about 18 flight task needed to document the performance of the aircraft. Probably a third of them don't apply to most gyros (gear and flap testing, for instance) so that shortens the list quite a bit. It's kind of an interesting process and forces you to actually focus on testing instead of just flying around.

N557LJ flys beautifully. So light on the controls and very responsive (but I only have Eurotubs to which I can compare!) The only issue I've battled is some higher than desired oil and coolant temps. So today we relocated the radiator to a lower location that should have fewer obstructions to the cooling air. And we added an air deflector below the oil cooler to help deflect more air toward the oil cooler. Subsequent flight tests on a day that was almost ten degrees warmer than my previous flight saw engine temps 20 degrees cooler. I'd call that a success.

But in the process of planning my data recording for the tasks I was trying to figure out now to capture all the data. Video? Photos?

Then I reread the Kanardia EMSIS manual (remember I have to Kanardia units in the panel, the PFD and the EMS.) They're technically different units (the PFD has inputs for temp probe, airspeed input and static port) and the EMS just has a CAN bus connector to get data from the PFD. All screens are available on either unit so they back each other up.

Well, it has a built in logbook function which captures flight times. Cool. You an input multiple pilots even and select who's flying at startup. But the really cool feature is that it logs DETAILED flight data and engine data (52 parameters total!) once per SECOND during the flight! So after the flight I can download the data to a MicroSD card and pull it into Excel to analyze. It's amazing. Now the data comes in in kilometers, meters, centigrade) so I do a little massaging to get it to match the way I have the data displayed on my instruments (Knots, Feet, Fahrenheit, etc.) But once I do I have all the flight and engine data I need to analyze the flight. I've attached a screen shot of a portion of the Excel sheet. I think it's going to be an invaluable tool.

Loren
 

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I'm jealous! I have the Kanardia Digi, which doesn't offer this. In my Columbia with the G1000, I find this data invaluable.

When doing my Phase 1 testing, I used a GoPro pointing at the Digi and was able to run through several 'cards' at a time. Remember, the cards are only suggestions. Instead of stall speed, you can use 'minimum controllable speed' and other analogs for testing.

Have fun!
 
I'm jealous! I have the Kanardia Digi, which doesn't offer this. In my Columbia with the G1000, I find this data invaluable.

When doing my Phase 1 testing, I used a GoPro pointing at the Digi and was able to run through several 'cards' at a time. Remember, the cards are only suggestions. Instead of stall speed, you can use 'minimum controllable speed' and other analogs for testing.

Have fun!
I, too, have used the G1000 data that proved invaluable on more than one occasion.

I was planning to go the GoPro route til I found this treasure trove of data! And I agree on adapting the cards appropriately. Maybe we should pool our collective experience and suggest some revised Phase 1 tasks for EAA to consider.
 
I, too, have used the G1000 data that proved invaluable on more than one occasion.

I was planning to go the GoPro route til I found this treasure trove of data! And I agree on adapting the cards appropriately. Maybe we should pool our collective experience and suggest some revised Phase 1 tasks for EAA to consider.

This would be a good project for PRA. Come up with a set of suggested gyro cards for phase 1 testing. The cards from EAA are not regulatory, they are just suggestions of tasks for fixed-wings. We don't even need to involve the EAA if we don't want to.
 
This would be a good project for PRA. Come up with a set of suggested gyro cards for phase 1 testing. The cards from EAA are not regulatory, they are just suggestions of tasks for fixed-wings. We don't even need to involve the EAA if we don't want to.

Sounds good. I wasn't sure to what extent the FAA had endorsed the specific EAA tasks.
 
Leigh and I had a good day doing Phase 1 testing of our machines today. We hopped over to a quiet little airport ten miles to the north and set up orange cones at 50' intervals, then videoed a series of takeoffs and landings for both machines. I'm anxious to analyze the data in conjunction with the video. It should be interesting.

We did a "River Run" on the way back and enjoyed flying formation with more than one Bald Eagle. At tree top level we were cruising neck and neck with him about 50' off my left. I looked over at him, he looked back at me and I'm pretty sure he was thinking "That's pretty cool." :cool:

Such an incredibly fun machine to fly!
 
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Leigh and I had a good day doing Phase 1 testing of our machines today. We hopped over to a quiet little airport ten miles to the north and set up orange cones at 50' increments, then videoed a series of takeoffs and landings for both machines. I'm anxious to analyze the data in conjunction with the video. It should be interesting.

We did a "River Run" on the way back and enjoyed flying formation with more than one Bald Eagle. At tree top level we were cruising neck and neck with him about 50' off my left. I looked over at him, he looked back at me and I'm pretty sure he was thinking "That's pretty cool." :cool:

Such an incredibly fun machine to fly!
That’s one of my fondest memories of my flying career. I was just out flying around by myself South of Wauchula when I noticed one just gliding along. I flew next to him for a good 10 minutes. Both of us looking over as each other occasionally. Then I guess he knew I was back at the airport. Just as I was about to enter my down wind he peeled off. It was majestic.
 
This would be a good project for PRA. Come up with a set of suggested gyro cards for phase 1 testing. The cards from EAA are not regulatory, they are just suggestions of tasks for fixed-wings. We don't even need to involve the EAA if we don't want to.
Please involve the EAA if possible. I am an EAA member, and the more they year about gyros, the better.
 
Please involve the EAA if possible. I am an EAA member, and the more they year about gyros, the better.
Well sir I have to tell you over the years we have tried numerous times to partner with the EAA. They have in the past basically thumbed their nose at us. We here in Florida even became an EAA chapter for a while. They still had little to do with us. Quite a few quit going to Sun-n-Fun because they were treated like outcasts and an annoyance. Gyros have been the lowest form of aviation for a long time. Even the fixed wing ultralights look down their nose at us. Who knows now that a gyro cost as much as a European Supercar maybe they don’t anymore.
 
Well sir I have to tell you over the years we have tried numerous times to partner with the EAA. They have in the past basically thumbed their nose at us. We here in Florida even became an EAA chapter for a while. They still had little to do with us. Quite a few quit going to Sun-n-Fun because they were treated like outcasts and an annoyance. Gyros have been the lowest form of aviation for a long time. Even the fixed wing ultralights look down their nose at us. Who knows now that a gyro cost as much as a European Supercar maybe they don’t anymore.
Most unfortunate. I know that the local EAA chapter with which I am involve are trying to get the nearest gyro dealer (our friendly neighborhood Aviomania dealer in East Texas) to come by one day so members can see what a gyro is, but we have a retired aircraft design engineer as a member who has designed gyros and aerobatic fixed-wing aircraft professionally, so maybe we're a little unusual.
 
I think I'm the first gyro guy in my local EAA chapter. I hope to entice a few more members over to the fun side of aviation. They've asked me to do the November meeting presentation on my gyro journey, including build and trip to OSH. I plan to have converts by the end of the presentation! :)
 
I think I'm the first gyro guy in my local EAA lchapter. I hope to entice a few more members over to the fun side of aviation. They've asked me to do the November meeting presentation on my gyro journey, including build and trip to OSH. I plan to have converts by the end of the presentation! :)
Loren,
One of the hardest things to do is get past the bad reputation gyros have. Most people who grew up around aviation of some sort I’ve heard of Gyro’s and have a bad opinion of them based on what they’ve been told over the years. My dad used to joke that half the United States male population has been killed based on the number of people that I’ve talk to us over the years saying that they knew somebody that died in a Gyro.

The other thing is to get your hard core fixed wing people to understand how vastly different a gyro flys. There are many maneuvers that are perfectly safe in a gyro that if observed by the average fixed wing pilot would be considered crazy or dangerous. What’s fun is to sit under the big tent at Mentone or Bensen Days and listen to people talk about gyros and pilots. It’s absolutely entertaining to sit and listen to a fixed wing pilot tell his friend or friends all about us crazy people who fly these crazy machines. The ironic thing is they think he knows what he’s talking about and most of the time he is absolutely wrong. He’s just spewing misinformation that he has heard over the years. If you can ever get them to take a ride they are hooked. Their whole attitude about gyros changes then.
 
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