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About GravityKnight

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    Co-Pilot Member
  • Birthday 05/15/1983

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    Flying, cars, guns, technology
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  1. The VDO cht sensors use, in my opinion a crappy connection. I'd personally rather have seen one of their sensors with the little stud and nut. Check there for a bad connection, it can get some grime there and give issues. I run two CHT gauges to help rule out those kind of issues and it helped once when I had a iffy connection there.
  2. My next bird will have the 3rd wheel in the back. Can't beat them off airport. I've taken mind into some fairly rough ridge tops, fields, etc. and thankfully it's held up with the custom fork and gear extensions / big tire setup I built. Mostly it's due to Randy designing a tough plane with a solid nose wheel design. But either way it's harder on it than a tailwheel. We also get horrendous wind here in CO near the rockies, so one has to make peace with the possibility there will be a few days a guy will want/have to sit out. I mean you can land in 50-100ft if you have some wind so setting it down across my runway isn't out of the question, but you still have to taxi in that crap! I see it as they are capable of 'more' (more-rougher surfaces, so more LZ's, more speed, more torn up gear and wings etc.! ) But it really depends on the plane too. Something you can touch down slow in allows more option for landing into the wind. Then again my buddies helio courier is a real handful in fairly mild cross winds (~15mph direct). It touches down slow, but the mains are in front of the firewall! You can slide the wheels on pavement without it nosing over, but there is a lot of weight behind the wheels and ground looping comes easy. Plus you can't see anything out of it on 26's Does sound more like a technique issue and not so much of a lack of rudder authority issue in the x-wind though. Bummer
  3. Looks are subjective..... but I agree, that's a nice looking / clean airplane. Very easy on the eyes....But I prefer the look of wing struts, especially single struts (cessna style). Doesn't fit my mission, but pretty airplane. The empty weight however is a little high at 829lbs for the LSA version. Also, the non-LSA version with a 1443lb max weight, comes in at 859 empty (still with rotax) wonder what the difference is...
  4. I know there are quite a few out there with some good hours on them. (like a lot more than mine - I have ~170 or so). And a fella on the BCP forum with a rans s7 just crossed 2k hours on his zipper (big bore installed at 700 hours) and he doesnt go easy on it. There was just a topic on the rans forum asking about issues with these, and there really isn't much negative out there which is a good sign. Most of the issues I've heard about from some guys in the know, are dealing with the 1622 super big bore that requires case/head machining and a different cam. Time will tell of course. I think the increased compression could potentially cause increased wear on the gearbox, I know mine sometimes starts pretty harshly when cold outside.
  5. apples and oranges though..... both great airplanes, for different missions
  6. I bought my RANS through Mark. Mark and Alina are good people. I would be surprised if you aren't treated fairly OP The only thing I would consider mentioning, is that you want a genuine rotax filter. I know he sometimes (maybe not now?) used the tempest filters.... That turbo s7 is amazingly nice. He won the award at the RANS fly in for the 'nicest' build (think it had a different name, but you know what I mean lol). And they just finished Alina's turbo s20... sweet ride!!!
  7. One little thing to add, and it's not a big thing... but your oil level will show at a different level if the oil is hot or cold. I usually aim for mid way up the flat spot when cold, this will show as around the top of the flat if you burp and check after shutdown (hot). Oil expands with temperature. Just something to think about if you check after shutdown....
  8. Correct me if I'm wrong - might have read what you posted wrong... But you stated that running decalin allows you the use of 100% synthetic with low lead in that original post. Now you are stating 'on occasion' which I would agree with. I didn't want the OP or anyone else getting misinformation and thinking they could run full synthetic and avgas all the time w/ decalin. If you had let's say a 50/50 mix of sport+ 4 and synthetic, you could run less 100LL before needing to change your oil vs. running 100% sport+ 4. If the sport+ 4 is the only oil suspending the lead, you don't have as much to work with before it needs to be changed. This is my understanding. This is a hard scenario to gauge and track, so Rotax states don't bother running 100LL and synehtic (as other manufactures have stated). As your are now changing oil more often and/or taking a chance of building up lead in places you don't want it etc. Also, I don't believe the oil type has anything to do with the ethanol limit on these engines (this isn't fact, this is my opinion after working with high ethanol fuels in other applications). And I know what oils are able to be used with the gearbox (the gearbox is the deciding factor, not the engine itself).
  9. Can we talk about this a little more. Not trying to start anything. I'd love to run full synthetic, there are some really great oils that meet the requirements for the gearbox (such as some of the motorcycle oils) But as we know synthetic apparently doesn't trap the lead in the oil properly. I run Decalin, and I believe it is a good thing with 100LL.. but it is my understanding it does not allow you to run 100% full synthetic oil and 100% 100LL.
  10. fwiw, all 3 planes had the same config (instruments, tire size etc.), same basic weight/fuel onboard during a lot of the flights, and the sw would consistently outperform the others.. chalk it up to whatever you like - I never could find a real/solid reason to explain it..and I hear what your saying- my bird has gotten pretty chunky since I started adding goodies to it! I liked the look of the LS better, the inside cargo area, rear windows and the main gear etc.. But I always chose the SW as the extra performance was pretty helpful up here. Very well could just be those particular airplanes though!! Loving it Andy! Had it at 1500ft at a breakfast run in Lucas, KS at the annual RANS fly in in. Thing was an absolute monster on take off and climb. Still uses just a touch of oil.. Leak down tests were real high/tight when I did the annual. So far so good! 150+ hours on those cylinders and pistons! Built a huge nose fork and went even larger on tires (could get 100knots out of it by adding some pitch, as is about 105-110mph cruise dragging those balloons around)... going after a whirlwind 75" prop next (saving my pennies)
  11. They were offered both ways.. sadly they are not convertible like the rans S-20 / Kitfox s7 etc. I mean anything is possible.. but the amount of work required would be staggering. For sure. I"ll try not to get too carried away in this thread, seems to never be popular on this forum.. A while back I posted some info/experience in a thread more suited for it (though I can't remember which one!) I have around 150 or so hours on the zipper kit (650ish total). I push it hard! I spin it fast (flat pitched). I have a hacman leaner, and see 3.6-3.8GPH fuel flows in cruise leaned out (I have 4 egts and a wb02 sensor). I have seen 1200ft sustained climb at 7000-8000ft altitude at around 1050-1075lbs flying weight. Usually will hold 1000ft/min on normal days up here. I have had it down to 1500ft elevation once.. I was full fuel and baggage and take off roll was 125-150ft with the speed wings. Climb was so steep I was watching oil pressure closer than anything else wondering if it was going to suck air (wasn't actually that worried..but it was STEEP). The upgrade was good for 300 ft/min easy. Prop added a little more. Headers/airbox/intake other homebuilt mods added a little more. Stock It would do around 700ft/min up here which was really good... probably would be above 1200 now but I have added a lot of weight with the tire upgrades, second oil cooler, tons of instruments etc. I don't regret doing the upgrade at all.. it will go well beyond 18,000ft, which of course is more than I need.. but it means it will still fly pretty good in the 15,000+ area good and heavy which is nice in the mountains of CO. Uses just a bit of oil, seems to have gotten better after getting some hours on it and breaking it in. Be happy to answer any PM's with more detail or info....or about the install (pretty simple and easy) etc. Thanks, Todd
  12. that what I couldn't make sense off.. the SW had coarser prop pitch vs. the others.. it was pretty over pitched.... not the way I prefer/good for it.. but ran pretty well..... and from what I understand now, 1 of the LS's got in behind a jet or c130 in the run up area and flipped over... sad
  13. For what it's worth OP.... I had time in a CTSW, and 2 CTLS's before buying my rans... (I'm at 6600ft ground elevation and flew regularly in the mountains of CO) the SW always performed noticeably better.... it's a little lighter, but that really didn't seem to explain it... one of the LS's had the prop pitched finer than either of the other planes, and still wouldn't perform up high as well. Could be a number of other things.. so don't take this as gospel... But the SW was always capable up high... I'm 6'4" and 240 and I took it in and out of leadville with a passenger who was ~170 and 2/3s fuel....the LS's were both dogs....just my experiences with a couple FD's. Whatever you buy, testing it as much as possible before buying something would be best....
  14. I could see it doing 115mph cruise depending on prop pitch, tire size etc. (especially tail dragger). Mine (fairly similar to these) used to cruise that fast, even before the zipper... but I fixed that by building a large nosefork (21" nosewheel) and gear leg extensions and 22" mains!! haha.... It has the power to do it now with the zipper, but I have it pitched finely to squeeze those 200ft take offs at 6600ft elevation (worth it to me). I'm all about the back country, and with these tires I have had it on random ridge tops as high as 10,000ft, and fields and other rough places. It handles it... but it will never be as good as a taildragger is. Only thing I would change now looking back would have been to buy the TG version! So if you are looking to do back country stuff, really give that some thought. Though dragging a nose wheel around does allow more opportunity to fly with the crazy wind we get. The newer kitfoxes are built with the capability to change from nose to tail wheel.... Are these that way? This is definitely a nice tough airplane from what I've read.
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