Dec 29th

2015 - Rotax 912iS powered DJ-II

By Abid Farooqui
SilverLight Aviation will be offering Rotax 912iS powered trikes in 2015.

After waiting to see if Rotax settles on its quest to make 912iS stable, it seems like they have setlled on 912iS Sport configuration now for some time to come.

We are beggining to take orders and starting second quarter deliver Rotax 912iS powered trikes to provide potential customers wanting fuel injection and better fuel economy this choice. We will do the same with our gyroplane as well.

There is a substantial premium to pay for 912iS engine but the choice is the customer's. Please free to contact us for further details at info@silverlightaviation.com 
Dec 23rd

Amazing Wind Gradient

By Paul Hamilton

Yesterday was one of those days flying that the wind gradient amazed me. Report was 30 knots winds aloft at 9000 Feet MSL and the surface forecast was light and variable all day. Beautiful at the airport. The wind reading on top of Slide Mountain almost 10,000 feet  was  30 gusting to 43. HUH. Pretty high gust factor and winds overall. More than I like but we would go up and see what happens. Predictions and observations spelled out what was to come.

Takeoff at 4700 feet MSL and climb out was glass calm until about 6500. Little wind and bumpy until we got to 9000, than started getting pretty bumpy. Additionally being on the lee side of mountain peaks does not help. Reading my ground and true airspeed it was hard to tell exactly where the wind was coming from. Very inconsistent direction. This was the first clue to an unusual situation. The peaks where I fly typically are at 9,000 to 10,000 so I had to get to 10,000 or 11,000  to have a safe margin of altitude above the mountain mechanical turbulence. Typically after I get 1000 to 2000  feet above the peaks it smoothes out because you are above the mechanical turbulence. I informed the intro student, who was an airplane pilot who flew some knarley air, that it typically would smooth out about 10,000.  

Not today. The higher we climbed above the mountain peaks the worse it got. In this type of air, typically students chicken out and want to go back down. Not experienced Alaska bush pilot Frank. Did not bother him. Handling the turbulence was my problem so we continued to climb to get over the ridge hoping it would get better. NO GO. the higher the worse. Finally at 10,500 I knew it was not going to get any better. Now fighting a 40 MPH NW quartering headwind we have a safe glide so we headed out to Washoe Lake.

At this point in the flight you have to decide to head out high to avoid the mountain turbulence or descend to get lower to where it is calmer. Typically if there are big mountain rotors, more than 15 knots coming over the peaks, you stay high to get away from the mountain peaks to minimize turbulence. Here I split the difference. Moderate descent to get away from the mountain turbulence but get down to the calmer air. We descended and it got nicer as we descended. We got down to about 6500 and it was glass calm.

So what happened which are lessons learned applicable to trike pilots:

Winds aloft and TAF predictions and observations are pretty darn accurate. Use them. Winds aloft are important. It was pretty much what the weather said.

Evaluate all the information and make the best decision of Weather to Fly. We have great tools for weather predictions. Fly within your pilot and aircraft limitations. Especially newer pilots, use the Weather to Fly system, you will get smarter each time you fly.

This was pretty much what I expected except the turbulence ABOVE the mountain peaks. One of the reasons I chose the Revo trike is the small wing, high power and easy handling. All this makes flying in these conditions more practical and has extended my flying envelope.

Fly safe.

Dec 21st

Three new trikes coming to Reno/Carson/Tahoe early in 2015

By Paul Hamilton

We had three new Revos arrive about a year ago. One for me, one for Raj/John and another fully loaded fuel injectedI I had in stock which went to a happy owner. We have a new batch, a wide variety of new trikes ariving early this coming year. In January, a Delta Jet 2 and a Northwing soaring trike with 17M wing. Both to students who are training with me. Additionally,  I will have a new fully loaded fuel injected Revo in March which I will have in stock ready for you to fly away.  I will be also selling my 912S used Revo so you will have two Revos to choose from.

2014 was awesome and I feel a great 2015 is ahead.

Hopefully you will get some new trike or trike accessory you want for this holiday season or in 2015.

Happy new year to all.

Dec 21st

Best Engine Oil Temperatures for Winter Cold Weather Flying

By Paul Hamilton

Winter is here and I have been really bothered by water/moisture  in my oil system. When I check my oil water drops on the oil cap or a milky substance indicates unwanted moisture in the oil system.   Rotax recommends that the oil temperature should get to 212F/100C sometime during the flight to evaporate this moisture. I was only getting to 180 max when it was 40F or so OAT so I blocked off the cooling air inlet with some aluminum tape and now I get to 212 and the moisture is not there anymore.

 

I have seen others cover the oil cooler surface directly to achieve this.

 

Other thoughts on this subject. Boiling point of water where water will vaporize goes down by about 2 degrees per 1000 feet in altitude so water would boil at 202 degrees at 5000 feet. Additionally, oil temperature  is read after it goes through the oil cooler and cooled to the engine so the temperature of the oil leaving the engine going to the oil canister will be higher than that read from the oil temperature gage. Under this scenario perhaps I could boil off my water at 5000 foot altitude with the oil  temperature reading 192F or so. Any experience or observations from other pilots?

 

Finally getting a handle on fine tuning the oil temperature, heating it in low temperatures in the winter, and cooling it in high temperatures during the summer.WinterCoolingMod.jpg

Dec 17th

2001 Pegasus Quantum 912 ** For Sale **

By Tony Castillo

PEGASUS QUANTUM / ROTAX 912 (80 hp)  ** FOR SALE **
 
- 2001 Pegasus Quantum 912
- 395 Hrs TT with new sail installed
- Standard instrument set includes ASI, ALT, Compass
- Digital Rotax FLYDAT Engine Monitor System
- Strobe
- Radio 
- Lynx Comm System (Headsets / Helmet / Powered Intercom)
- Handheld GPS
- BRS Installed (need re-pack)
- Engine recently checked and serviced by A&P 
- Condition Inspection completed P&M USA
 
This is a great looking, great flying aircraft with low hours. Cruising speed 65 mph. Great all around from beginner to more advanced pilots and excellent x-country capability. A brand new sail was installed by P&M authorized rep. in the USA, test flown and tuned.  Includes a custom 12 ft enclosed trailer with a convenient tube which lowers/raises by a winch to carry the wing over the trailer. Contact info@pmaviationusa.com for more information.

Video available:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIgTWd7sLpg&feature=youtu.be
 
Dec 14th

Apollo Delta Jet II Flight.

By Mark Crabb

I am an Apollo Monsoon owner considering a new wing to replace my Profi TL 14.5.  I was vacationing in Daytona for the week and decided to make the two and a half hour drive to SilverLight Aviation in Zephyrhills to test fly the new DJ-II with the 12.4 Cheval wing.

 I met Abid on a chilly 40 degree Friday morning.  After a quick preflight and flight control orientation, I climbed in to the front seat and we were off.  The front seat was very comfortable and the controls were almost identical to my Monsoon.  Wing control on the ground was noticeably lighter than my Profi.  As soon as we rotated I could tell that the Cheval was much more nimble than my Profi as well.  We climbed out at about 1000 feet per minute and headed north.  We climbed to 2000ft and made some gentle carving turns.  The wing control was incredibly light and responsive.   Even at hands-off speeds at near 100 MPH it was rock solid and reassuring.  We were at medium trim and cruising about 85 at 4700 RPMs.  I cut the throttle and pulled the bar in to my chest.  The acceleration was incredible and immediate.  After about 3 seconds I glanced down and the air speed indicator was reading 109 MPH.  VNe is 115!  I think I made Abid a little nervous.  I was impressed with the response.  I attempted a few power off stalls but could not get the Cheval in a true stall.  After a few more turns we headed back to the airport.  As we turned for final, I was able to appreciate the glide slope and energy retention of the Cheval.  Out of the corner of my eye I could tell from the wind sock there was a light crosswind but it was not noticeable on the controls. 

The Delta Jet II with the Cheval wing is an impressive and great flying aircraft.  The round trip 5 hour drive to fly it was worth it.  The Cheval will be the next wing on my Monsoon and I’ll get to maintain my S-LSA status. 

If you have the opportunity, give Abid a call and schedule an introductory flight.  You’ll be glad you did.                  

Dec 12th

Type Design Approval for Searey helped by SilverLight Aviation

By Abid Farooqui
Coverage for SilverLight Aviation's engineering certification work by Dan Johnson http://www.bydanjohnson.com/ 

Look for article dated Dec 9, 2014 called "Fresh American LSA & Ultralight Exports"
Dec 11th

'it's a little airyplane'

By monty stone

i frequently trailer my trike, and often, inquisitive earthlings ask 'what is it'?  well, trike don,t cut it. their little kiddie has a trike, and it don't fly!  using fed-speak 'flex-wing' only makes it seem dangerous! so, i usually tell 'em 'it's a little airyplane', which seems to satisfy the average proleteriat, but one little snot-nosed pre-adolescent asked 'who flyes it for you? obviously his part-formed logic-center (centre to my anglo buds)  couldn't equate how a pot-belly, bald, funny-talking octogenerian could possibly master this fearsome array of tubes and wires, when i admitted " i do" he walked away muttering 'lying old coot! another time when i was busy 'fettling' my trike a feminine  voice behind me said  "it's bigger than i expected". well! it's been a LONG time, if ever, that i,ve heard similar words! the voice belonged to a little old lady out walking her dog, which had not stuffed its snout into my crotch, nor had 'it' tried to hump my leg, so i didn't know she was there. she lived locally and said she enjoyed watching me fly my 'little airyplane' and that it 'looked like fun'. i agreed, it was fun 'flying my little airyplane'.. ps. for the non-anglophiles 'fettling' refers to tightening the swathes of baleing wire seemingly applied to those parts most likely to fall off, also wrapping another layer of duct-tape to any weather ravedged tape already applied to cover something we would rather not see any more, etc.  pps. some years ago  we 'trike drivers' had a lively discussion as to what it is that we fly. hardly anyone suggested 'flex-wing', but that's what we're stuck with. so be it.  but i still like to think i fly 'a little airyplane' it's more fun that way.  ppps i remember when SEX was fun and FLYING was dangerous! but, now.....                       monty

Dec 7th

Any Trike Pilots that also fly PPGs Powered Paragliders

By Rizwan Bukhari

Hi,

Is there any pilots on this forum that also fly PPGs? I have been thinking about exploring PPG flying in 2015.

I have done some research on it, my biggest fear like most new pilots would be the wing collapsing. Personally, I think this can be a great form of aviation. My inspiration to explore this field came from reading the book, "Running into the sky by Chris Wolf".

If there is anyone who was/is a PPG  pilot then I would like to hear your story and experiences and recommendations.

Regards,

Rizzy

Dec 5th

New Trike World Records

By Craig Valentine
FAI has announced three new trike world records:
. Speed over a closed course, 40 km:
    Flown with 2 persons, Gordon Douglass pilot, UK
   P&M QuikR,  Rotax 912, 106.11 MPH

. Speed over a straight course:
    Flown with 2 persons, Gordon Douglass pilot,  UK
   P&M QuikR,  Rotax 912, 106.78 MPH

.Distance  in a straight line without landing:
    Flown with 2 persons,  Olena Ostahova pilot, Ukraine
   Aeros 2, Rotax 912, 438.17 miles

 All three of these report a Rotax 912, and I don't know if in fact they were 912s's. It's easy to pull the bar in on a QuikR to 120 MPH but it's difficult to keep it pulled in and maintain that speed.  I would think it would be easy to fly a QuikR over a 110 MPH for an hour or more but very difficult with any wind at all over a closed circuit. Any wind hurts rather than helps you in a circuit. And as far as the two up 438 mile distance...I don't know about two up but one up it would be easy to more than double that mileage with an additional gas tank. There are lots of records out there to be had. It's difficult jumping through the FAI's hoops to properly certify these attempts, however.

IMHO the ultimate World Trike Record is an American Transcontinental Speed Record. I've flown coast to coast five times but never trying to set a record. I thought I was going to be the first person to set a San Diego to Jacksonville speed record and it can be done in well under 24 hours. Alas, it will not be me, probably someone younger.

Congrats to Gordon and Olena but why are the Euros getting all the Glory?