Today I flew the Sierra for the first time since Christmas Eve of 2006. I was defiantly a bit rusty. We did the post annual/modification test flight. The vacuum pump failed shortly after the first start up during the annual (dunno why, research it in the logs and noted it was a new pump when installed in 1982). The new pump is working fine, as is everything but the gear horn (stall horn ok) and the vacuum gage. So, more tinkering before it's really done. If you have be following the progress on the modifications and this maintenance visit, we have done quite a lot. Some I will NEVER do again. First the windshield: NEVER change your windshield unless there are large cracks or holes in it. Lindberg didn't have a windshield, so they really aren't necessary. Patch them and paint a floral designs on them, or what ever, and figure out how to find the runway like Lindy did. Tail strobe: Same applies here. If you have protruding wing tip strobes, you're good......save a lot of
frustration and a little money, then let the tail strobe/light go.... two strobes is good enough.... really.
We recorded some performance numbers on this flight: 7500 ft PA, 9 deg C, 2500/23", peak EGT, 9 gph. We got 136 KIAS. Now, I can work that on my MB-4A two ways. Unfortunatly, I lost the instructions 35 years ago. I believe I should use the scale "FOR ALTUTIDE COMPUTATIONS WHEN TAS IS LESS THAN 150 KTS", (which shows a DA of 2400 ft in the DA window, but 7800 on the Cor. Alt. scale?) then, the 136 KIAS trued to 141 TKAS. The other way shows a DA of 8300 ft and 152 KTAS. Hmmmm...? Two way GPS runs averaged around 140 GS. Not as good as we hoped, considering the rotating beacon was on the bench for this flight. But, we did have the fuel sump drain fairing off. Hopefully the new OPP fairing will help some. This was about the same TAS we saw before the annual (139 - 140 KTAS). However, it was with a fairly forward CG condition for this weight. Our weight was 2456 lbs. and the arm was at 112.9 for T/O. So, we probably would have seen a bit more speed with a more aft CG loading.
Interestingly, we had the same IAS when rich of peak burning 10.2 gph. I guess I shouldn't complain, the POH shows I should be getting 133-134 KTAS @ 10.2 gph at similar altitude and power settings and leaned per .... you know, which is what we saw on the ferry flight from AUG to 57AZ after we bought it. I think we were pretty close to 75% power settings as the MAP was close to POH values for the RPM, if I interpolated correctly. So, we pretty much have a 140 knot @ 9 gph airplane.
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