Joe's SkyRaider UL Project
Enterprises, Caldwell, ID (now out of business as of circa '04)
Bologna, Completed 3rd Qtr 2002
Single carb, Dual Cap. Discharge Ignition/46hp @6250 rpm
high wing monoplane, tractor
Steel tube, alum. tube, wood (ribs) and Stits fabric, auto paint (2
|26 ft. 2 in.
normal/ 28' w/ tips (mine has beautiful tips)/107 sq. ft.
normal, 20 ft. wings folded / 5 ft 8 in./8 ft. 4 in.
|63 mph / 100
the story with photos of Joe Cook's purchase of a SkyRaider
ultralight to add to his collection of various vehicles, and hopefully
fly soon. The connection was made via an ad in Barnstormers
placed by Vic Bologna of Lakeport, CA. The plane was
actually being flown out of Petaluma Municipal Airport and that is
where we picked it up. On Sat. 12/3/05, my brother Dan and I
departed for Petaluma towing JL's trailer at 0800. Going by way
of 162, I-5, 505 (Winters Cutoff), I-80, 37 and 101, we got to the
Petaluma airport about 1050.
We found the plane already out of the hangar and ready for
inspection. Vic went over the pre-flight walk-around and answered
questions. It all looked good, as expected. Then Vic asked
a friend, and CFI, Chris, to do the demo flight and that all went well.
So Vic and I went into the Petaluma WaMu bank where I presented the
"Official Check" and he got it cashed/exchanged. Meanwhile, Dan
was working on getting the trailer ready to load. This involved
adding some plywood planks which he had scrounged from a trash pile and
some plywood shelving donated by a neighbor from the hangar across the
way (and owner of a Viking). Good thing we brought our cordless
screwdrivers and lots of 3" drywall screws. :) The combo
extended the available deck space such that we could load the SR facing
forward and get the tailwheel onboard. This got the CG of the
plane in a better position on the trailer and eliminated any worries
about reverse airflow on the tail feathers which might have been a
problem with a tail first trip. All this was accomplished with
the help and advice of Vic and several of his friends.
Once we got going we could see that
the prop was developing enough torque at 60 mph to slowly rotate the
engine. So we stopped on SR37 and put a bungee on the prop to
stop that. I looked in the cockpit at that point and found the
ignition key was not in place and wondered where it might be
stowed. Turned out it was tied to the safety pin on the BRS
(Ballistic Recovery System) and made perfect sense. We got a lot
of approving glances and thumbs ups from various people in traffic as
we moved along at trailer pace vs. their more normal speeds. We
pulled into the Rest Stop on I-5 south of Williams for a pit stop and
to check the load. I parked in a "trailer" slot on the truck side
that had an empty slot on each side. Before we left, an 18
wheeler had pulled in on each side. And the drivers and their
passengers stood around and asked questions and admired the plane for
several minutes. And I was more than happy to answer their
We got back to the OFOF Briefing Hut
about 1730 pst and since it was dark by that time, we just rolled the
trailer and SR into the Hut after placing a caster unit under the
trailer jack. Rolled in quite nicely and fit the space available
On Monday, 12/5, we unloaded the
SR and unfolded the wings (sorry, didn't take a pic with the wings in
place yet). Found it is more of a two man job than expected to do
that task. It has a very tight fit at the fuselage fitting and
the alignment has to be just right to get the pins installed. I
found a Phillips screwdriver in my tool box that was about the same
diameter as the pins and that helped to get everything aligned so the
pins would go in. I think I'll try and find, or make, a tapered
pin to accomplish that task. With everything in place, I climbed
into the cockpit and tried it on for size. Seems basically
excellent as is. Found out my LightSpeed headset doesn't have the
proper plug to fit the existing Ultra-com comm panel jack. I have
subsequently found a couple of adapter cables that should work, on the
Web. We folded the wings back up and rolled it back in the
Hut. At 20' long with the wings folded it needs to be angled
to leave room to pass at the south end. Dan was going to
rearrange some of the stored stuff to facilitate a better position.
On Tues., 12/6, I went over to the Hut
to check engine s/n, redux box, et al. Dan had indeed moved stuff
around and the SR was re-positioned at about a 30 deg. angle to the
front wall and had plenty of space at the rear. Even looks like
there is space for normal meeting crowd without rolling it out,
maybe. Eventually, the tentative plan is to build another 'Port'
to be able to store/hangar it outside the Hut. I removed the
cowling and inspected everything in the engine compartment. It is
all exceptionally clean. We'll see how long it stays that
way. :) Found the engine s/n and recorded it. Found
the gearbox is a 2.62:1 ratio (stamped 2.62 HM) and the prop is 64" in
diameter. Also found the primer port on the carb.
Presently, the Rotax 503 engine is started using the choke which is
actuated by a lever on the carb. you have to reach in thru the
front of the cowl to get at it. So the drill is to set the choke,
start the engine, let it run for 10 secs. or so, turn it off, then
reach in and turn off the choke, then restart. Rather
tedious. I have the option of installing a choke cable to operate
the choke or to put in a primer. The guys on the Fly-UL list are
mostly in favor of the primer because it also gives a backup, limp
home, mode if the fuel pump fails. You can also get rid of the
flexible 'primer bulb' which have been known to stick its ball valve
and cut off fuel to the engine. I'll probably go the primer route.
So as of 12/6, that's where we
are. I'm ordering the adapter cable and hopefully within a couple
of days we'll have the communication system up to par and I can do some
taxi testing, etc.
More to come.
Update #1 - 12/15/05 Activities - Taxi Practice (email to Dan)
Well, today was SR's debut on the tarmac of OVE. :) I was
able to get
it out and both wings unfolded. I ground each pin down to make an
entry taper up to about the middle of the safety pin hole. Seemed
help the installation some. I installed the "industrial strength"
Velcro on the panel after cutting to size. And it seems to work
and looks good. I gave it a squirt of Starting Fluid so it would
at home with the rest of our fleet. :) Set the choke, climbed in
it started after a couple of revolutions of the prop. It doesn't
long for it to run like crap with the choke on so I killed it, climbed
out, unset the choke, climbed back in and restarted. Much
seems to like above 2K rpm for taxi and smooth running. Turned on
ANR and sounds much better. :)
The wing clears all of your CalTrans
saw horses if you give them 6' or
so of clearance. As far as I could tell it wasn't making clouds
dust but the rearward visibility is zero. Forward isn't bad
dead straight ahead. By moving my head left or right I can see
where I was going without the "S" turns. "S" turns are no problem
tho. Rudder steering with the detented tailwheel works well, just
good for real sharp turns. I went over to the South Ramp
and gave it
a real workout. Slalomed around the tiedown buttons, did clearing
turns, left and right, stopped straight ahead, etc. Turns out
right brake is below par and the left brake has some eccentricity or
scuffing issues. But the left one definitely has stopping power
would pop the tailwheel loose and pivot on the left wheel nicely.
Think I'll be doing left hand clearing turns for a while.
right one doesn't have the stopping power, even with the heel pedal in
proper position. It is lazy with max. force. Think it will
inspection to check internal conditions. Interesting that Chris
give us any feedback on the brakes, just said, "Yeah, I used
With my comm all up to par, I did the
whole exercise and never heard
one call from anybody. The Quick had left earlier (didn't hear
overrevving out of it today) and the 2 trike guys were out on their
evening excursion. They all came back after I was parked back on
pad at the Hut.
I drug the feed scales out and with a
couple of 2x6 ramps was able to
get the mains up on the scales. I couldn't figure out how to get
tailwheel raised up to datum by myself. So I read the scales as
was...Oh..Oh. The left read 204 1/2 lbs., the right read 207
When we get the tailwheel up these will go up some more. So I
will be hard put to keep the gross below 550 lbs. Could be
more like 650.
I folded things up and put it back in
the Hut. Didn't time it but with
the door and everything, I think it takes about 30 min. out and 30 min.
back. BTW, I got the data package from Vic that includes the GPS
manual, Icom manual, Rotax 503 manual and the Flying K SR build
manual. Thanks, Vic. New pix added.
Joe Cook (12/18/05)