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Monday 27th August at 0700, Aircamper VH-XHE took first flight with builder Graham Hewitt, aged 84, at the controls. The 20 minute flight was completed safely at Jandakot airport in Western Australia.
On the morning, 9th Sept at 0700, Graham took to the skies for a second time completing two circuits and landing safely on the grass strip adjacent to the runway.
Graham started the project about 7 years ago. The Pietenpol being his third homebuilt.
Graham's Aircamper is the long fuselage variant with Riblette 612 aerofoil and powered by an O-235 Lycoming.
The wing, incorporating built-up spars and Piper style landing gear construction are from Jim Wills plans. Graham has also incorporated a door for the front seat. Empty weight at 740lbs, initial flight reports indicate an excellent ROC and 85 kts at 2500 RPM with a 68x45 prop and at 33 kts she was still flying but had a high ROD and wings stayed level.
Initial flight problem was a nose heavy tendency possibly caused by wash-in at the tips of the stabiliser. This was corrected prior to the second flight however back stick was still required to keep the nose from dropping in level flight. To be resolved first before more extensive flight testing can continue.
The wing is shifted back 2" from vertical and the CoG was within range for the 612.