Heya all! Tossing up an official flight report here for the zero powered Belite. It's a bit of a saga, so hold on.
After a day of slow taxi, a big teardown and inspection, a day of fast taxi and another inspection, finally yesterday 10-30-18 was the first flight at Madras airport from 16 in the grass.
Flight number one was straight down the runway, luckily madras (S33) has a 3k+ foot grass strip, so plenty of time to transition slowly from tail-up taxi to about 40mph and then let it transition into flight in a very smooth and controlled way, climb to about 30 feet, get it back on centerline and bring it back down for a wheel landing. Everything went flawlessly, and it was a piece of cake to keep it on centerline, although it needed a fair amount of stick forward pressure and stick left hold for level flight.
Flight two I removed the spring leveling the elevator, and adjusted the aileron heim joints to help center the stick a bit. Also adjusted the brakes to make them less easily triggered. Same flight down the runway and a greaser landing, It still needed some stick-left input for straight-and-level flight, but not bad.
Flight three's plan was to climb up into the pattern and then exit the downwind and climb above the pattern to determine what the thermal cutback behavior was, but after getting a few hundred feet up and in the downwind leg, I started catching some pretty serious thermal/turbulence action, and the stick was still heavily biased to the left. Fearing a lack-of left turn authority, and needing some knee-bumping stick travel I decided to stay in the pattern and bring it in for a landing. The landing was not good, i went for a three point, but while rounding out the approach pre-flare I had very little up elevator authority, and the landing was very firm. No bounce but at full elevator deflection it did not pitch-up quick enough and planted a little hard. No harm no foul, but the bumpy air and quickly increasing wind had us calling it for the day.
Day two, Gabe and I headed to Prineville airport (S39) as madras was windy and did some flights there taking off from rwy 33, and landing in the gravel bar to the left of rwy 33.
We adjusted the elevator control rod to buy us about 10 degrees more up elevator travel, and adjusted the strut heims to add some twist ti the wing and try and get the stick straightened out.
For flight one at prineville, The winds were very calm and I back-taxied down 33 to survey the gravel bar next to it for landing, then I took off on 15 and made right pattern out over the hill to the west of the airport. I left it firewalled while climbing out, and at the end of rwy 15 (3kft) I was at 480ft. Doing the math at a 55mph climbout says just under 800fpm climb rate from 3200ft to 3680ft. I continued to leave it firewalled as I circled up watching the temps climb. At about 4000ft it hit thermal cutback at 150C indicated and I watched the motor controller reduce power from ~360A to ~200A momentarily, then it recovered and stabilized at 280A a few seconds later where it climbed slower, but still around 2-300fpm climb in full thermal derating. I continued the climb to 4800 feet where I turned back and entered the left downwind for 33. I attempted another three point landing on the gravel bar, and it had more authority this go-round but not enough for a proper flare again, and it bounced pretty hard. It also still needed more right aileron trim, but not as badly.
Flight two, we adjusted the primary stick-to-bellcrank linkage to scoot the stick an inch or so to the right. I took off on the asphalt 33, and climbed into left closed pattern. The control stick was hands-free and centered, so making some progress there. On my landing I attempted another three point in the gravel carrying a bit more speed in the approach. It still did not have enough elevator to flare, and I had a good few bounces down the gravel (this plane bounces well!)
Flight three we made no adjustments, and were seeing some rain starting, so I quickly taxied out and did a more performance-takeoff with the brakes held and released at WOT, and it was off the ground in a four of five plane lengths. I ascended into left pattern for 33 again and brought it in for a flawless wheel landing in the gravel, with some beta thrown in at the end to get stopped faster. Electrics are pretty fun
We packed it up for the day, and called it. Gabe and Bob flew back down to SJC in Bob's awesome Lancair, and I stashed the cub at the shop.
There is a bit of a squawk list if things to sort out, but its flying and has transitioned from being terrifying and unknown to somewhat less terrifying and a LOT of fun.