|Nonstop 1400 Miles|
With the full seat support under my knees, two-levels of armrests, and a shim to put the seat back angle at 37 degrees, it is a beautiful and comfortable long-anticipated day of VariEze flying.
I’m a little stiff climbing out of the plane at Truckee, Ca. but quickly back to normal after stretching out a little. No sore spots.
Quite a haul. But well back in the pack relative to other EZ feats. If I remember right, one of Gary Hertzler’s international records in his VariEze was 2500 miles on 42 gallons. Klaus Savier reported flying 1600 miles with his standard VariEze fuel load.
45 miles per gallon doesn’t seem all that spectacular until I compare it to the drudgery of driving a car 1400 miles going the speed limit.
The comparison has to include eight
smiling hours holding that prancing steed back racing halfway across this
greatest country on God’s green earth (quote)—
2000 will be a good year. Gary Hunter’s Galveston Fly-in, Jackpot, Oshkosh, Reno, Rough River, Copperstate Dash… all places I’m glad I don’t have to drive to, doing the speed limit.
The Cessna 152 that this 0-235 engine came from “normally” does about 100 mph for about three hours and three hundred miles.
At Oshkosh a Cessna 152 friend and I once departed on a Sunday morning, both at 7 am. 920 non-stop against-the-wind statute miles later I overflew my home church buddies at 12:10 as they were walking out to the parking lot heading for lunch. My exhausted Cessna friends later told me that they landed three times for fuel and got here well after dark. We Lucky To Fly Eze.
The VariEze can climb faster, almost twice as fast, as some planes with similar hp normally cruise. Years ago Gary Hertzler encouraged me to try climbing at 80, 100, 120 and 140 and see what the difference was. Less than 100 fpm. So the cross country flights usually include a 130 to 150 mph cruise climb taking about twenty minutes to get to 11.5 K.
The Fuel System
Without going into detail here, the five gallon rear seat tank allows using almost all of the plane’s range. Both strakes drain freely into the rear seat sump. The only fuel discipline is to “have some”, and from there to have the self discipline to be on approach for landing once down to that last five gallons.
A guy has to be careful messing with fuel system designs. There is no fool proof fuel system. The only criticism on this system that holds water is that if JetA is put in one side, I can’t isolate that side.
I’ll take it. I am happy to manage against that one potentiality compared to the number of significant benefits over the years and miles.
WAGs Concerning Speeds and
On the optimistic side, a recent Oklahoma trip at 4 gph means I can go almost 9 hours. Times 160 mph, that’s about 1400 miles. So at least I know it’s in the realm of possibility.
The 2200 rpm Oklahoma trip averaged 155 mph. This Reno trip at 2400 rpm uses about the same 4 gph but averages 20 mph faster. Lean of Peak leaning was not used on either trip. Next time.
Knots or MPH?
Over the years it has been comfortable to figure trips at 3 miles a minute. One of my maps has 180 mile increment circles drawn on it. Like, locations under the third ring are three hours away. That’s ez for dreaming. And fun.
The clincher is that trips often work out to be around 190 mph, so 180 is reasonable, and why I choose to use MPH. That may seem like a weak reason.
OK, MPH sounds faster. For free.
Right now it’s knot as easy to use Knots, because it’s knot a reasonable expectation to cruise my plane at 3 Knots a minute. Someday. Why knot?
Will my VariEze fly that
As it works out, there is still fuel in the Atkinson gauges when my GPS says “approaching VNav profile” and the power is pulled back and the nose pushed over a tad and Truckee is that airport!
Best L/D AOA
My shade tree testing consisted of setting the RPM at 2600 and reducing 20 rpm at a time and recording how much speed was lost. Going below about 2400 rpm resulted in the first relatively large speed drop. This was consistent several times.
Big Friday Night At Truckee
Tim asks me to do a hatch/cowl demo for the group. I ask if anyone has a stop watch to time the cowl removal. There are always plenty of impressive aviation time pieces around. Again, I get the cowls off before anyone figures out how to start their stopwatch.
I look forward to moving through the development
period with the 0-290, including another trip to Reno (Truckee) and the
plush accommodations in Tim LoDolce’s kitchen. I would normally
expect the range to be reduced with the larger engine. But, Hertzler flew
one record flight with his 80 hp C-65 using about 2.9 gph and another
record flight with the 0-235 using about 2.4 gph. Something to look forward
Bill James, Fort Worth to Reno VariEze