Monday, January 25, 2016

KIT #6 HAS A NEW OWNER !!!!!

This is just a quick blog update to let everyone know that Kit #6 that Bryan and I rescued a few years ago has been sold to Eric F.  Eric is from the Montreal, Canada area and drove down to Memphis to pick up the kit from Bryan the first week of Jan, 2016.  This will be Eric's second experimental aircraft build - he has already completed and RV project (Bryan thinks it was an RV-6).

Here is a photo of Eric checking out Bryan's Prowler (I believe that is Eric's friend in the background):

And, one photo of the kit crates being loaded on Eric's trailer:

Bryan and I are both extremely pleased that Kit #6 has found a great new home.  It is so gratifying to know that this kit that we rescued is now in the hands of a proven experimental builder.  It makes all the work we did to acquire, move and complete this kit worth all the effort!  We are certain that Eric will build and excellent Prowler!

Welcome to the Prowler community, Eric!  Please let any of us know if there is anything we can do to help you with your build.

Friday, January 15, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM PROWLER AVIATION - RAY'S TAXI TEST VIDEOS

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope everyone had a great holiday season and you are all off to a great start in 2016.

In my last blog update, I reported on Ray's taxi tests that he invited me to take part in.  I had a day off in LA on Dec 23rd and Ray invited me up to the Camarillo, CA airport to get some pictures and videos of his Prowler airplane during the tests.  We were joined by Ray's friend Jim who has helped Ray during various stages of his Prowler build.  It was a beautiful day, the weather was great and the taxi tests turned out to be very productive.

As I outlined in the last blog update, the objectives for the day were to:
A.  Put more time on the engine, while monitoring parameters to determine patterns and possibly detect any problems;
B.  Test the brakes, tail wheel castering and overall taxi characteristics;
C.  Monitor fuel consumption from individual tanks and see which tanks drew down fuel the fastest, the most total fuel consumed from each tank, etc.;
D.  Look for general issues, problems or gripe items;
E.  Take pictures, videos and have some fun.

For the most part, all of the objectives were accomplished.  Since then, Ray and I have discussed a few issues that he(we) would like to address.  To quickly recap (in the same order as listed above):

A, The engine ran great.  Ray may tweak his fuel control just a tiny, little bit, to give a little better top end performance.  But, overall the FWF is working very well, all the parameters fell well within expected ranges, and there are few gripes;
B.  (Brakes) He did find that the brakes started to drag again (was a previous problem that he had worked on).  You can see this on one of the videos towards the end (below) where he has to add a lot of power to get the airplane to move.  He has since re-plumped the brakes with a flexible brake line in place of the hard line that George had provided with the kit.  Ray says that has completely fixed the brake issues. 
B.  (Tailwheel)  We've found that the tailwheel castering is not optimal.  You can see in a few pictures that the tailwheel strut is canted (lower end is pointed aft) a fair amount.  This makes the plane of rotation of the tailwheel NOT parallel to the ground.  This causes the tail of the aircraft to lower as the tailwheel rotates off center and requires the tail to raise up (from the ground) in order to get the tailwheel to return to center.  In order to lift the tail when coming out of a turn, you have to step on the opposite brake and add a significant amount of power to get the tailwheel to center up.  Ray has decided to tackle this problem and we are currently exploring options to fix this issue in the easiest, most practical manner.  I will report more on this, once we determine what the appropriate changes are.
C.  Fuel Consumption - All the fuel consumption characteristics fell in line with what Ray was predicting.
D.  We didn't find any other large squawks with the airplane during the tests.
E.  Between Jim and I, we managed to shoot about 30 short videos that day.  Some are very short, while some are a little longer.  I've put them together in (mostly) chronological order.  I will post them all below. 

Videos are below, but first, here are all the pictures from that day - not in any particular order:














Video Disclaimer & Information - I uploaded these videos using the blogger.com system.  The uploaded videos are limited to 100Mb file size and it resizes the videos to reduce the file size during upload.  In doing so, the videos are fairly clear in the (only) window size that the system provides.  If you click on the larger video window icon, the window size gets larger, but the videos get grainy.  Sorry, but this is the best I can do  using the blogger.com system.  The 100Mb video size limit forced me to break several videos into 2 or 3 individual videos.  If you're not familiar, with today's smartphone cameras, 100Mb represents about 60 secs of video!

The day started with using Ray's own design for a tailwheel towbar system to push the airplane out of the hangar.  Here is Ray's towbar design that lifts the tailwheel off the ground to allow easier steering with the electric tug.  Here it is:
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Jim and I both captured Ray tugging the airplane out of the hangar (from different vantage points):
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Here's a few shots of the engine area and the cockpit:
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Climbing In:
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Pre Start-up:
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Taxi out:
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First Taxi Runs:
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Run Ups:
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Done, Already!?!?
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Jim's Turn:
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Idle:
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Back to the hangar:
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What an awesome day!  Thank you, again, Ray!  I really enjoyed the opportunity to taxi your INCREDIBLE airplane!  Thank you also for providing me the opportunity to share it all with the Prowler community.


FOR SALE - Prowler Aircraft - Kit #13 (Major Assembly Completed)


Prowler Aircraft (Kit #13) For Sale - $22,000USD

Roy Farris has decided to put his Prowler Aircraft up for sale.  If you are interested in this Prowler airframe, please use the Prowler Feedback link to send me an email, and I will put you in touch with Roy.

This aircraft kit was purchased from the original Prowler Aviation by Ron C. in Jacksonville, FL in the early 1990's.  To the best of my knowledge, the kit was assembled by him (and a friend) in the mid 1990's.  Later, in 2009, the airframe was purchased by Rick P. and moved to Memphis, TN (when Rick purchased all of the Prowler related planes and parts that Ron owned).  Then, in 2011, Roy purchased the airframe from Rick and moved it to Franklin, IN.

Currently, there has been a majority of the airframe assembly completed.  Also, several of the systems have been pre-installed - including some electrical, hydraulic and cable control systems.  What you see in these pics from Roy are basically what is included with the sale.

Here are several recent pics of Kit #13 from Roy:















Here are several pics of Kit #13 from Rick during the move from JAX to MEM.  These are additional pictures to familiarize a prospective buyer.  However, some of what you see in these pics may not be included in the sale.  Please contact Roy for details:






















Here are pics I have of this airframe from Ron C. in 1994 while the airframe is being assembled in his shop.  These photos should help a prospective buyer become familiar with the building of Kit #13 and to see what systems were installed during the build.  However, these photos may not (now) reflect what is included in the sale.  Please contact Roy for details:



















Again, if you are interested in purchasing this airframe, please use the link on this Prowler Feedback page to send me an email.  Thank you.