Quantcast

10/23 Raptor Video

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
14,441
Location
Port Townsend WA
Reinforcing poor decision making...
I meant he now has the 5-10 landings you said an average pilot needs to avoid PIO in a canard transition.
I don't understand why these threads keep reverting to dumping on PM for not using a test card or whatever when he is clearly making gradual progress.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,800
Location
USA.
Back in 2007, I had about 30 hrs of testing the little ultra simple SSSC. Took 15 hrs just to get the trim correct. 40 hrs will just be a start.
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
14,441
Location
Port Townsend WA
He is getting flight test consulting with an experienced designer/instructor (Bill Clapp) and a DAR.
 

Marc Zeitlin

Exalted Grand Poobah
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
848
Location
Tehachapi, CA
I meant he now has the 5-10 landings you said an average pilot needs to avoid PIO in a canard transition.
That's true. He does have that. The last landing didn't indicate any particular improvement in that arena, however, but that's just one landing - I screw them up also on occasion even after 2000 of them.

But PIO's on landing (or takeoff) are hardly the only issue here. PM is landing the plane far faster than he should be. He's operating at very low altitudes, not within gliding distance of the airport. He hasn't explored the slower flight regime, in the area of his landing speeds, or below. He's refusing to consider performing stall tests, and since he doesn't understand that what he's experienced so far is NOT canard stall, he incorrectly believes that he has some stall experience.

There are many other specific issues of judgement, but in general, he's violating every tenet of test flying a new aircraft, so when I say that he's merely reinforcing his own poor decision making, that's a comment on the test flight program, not his character. And to Voidhawk's comments, I agree 100% - he is most certainly normalizing deviance, and I have a fair amount of experience with being stupid in that arena as well - see:


So I know whereof I speak (as should most of us, for that matter).

I don't understand why these threads keep reverting to dumping on PM for not using a test card or whatever when he is clearly making gradual progress.
I'm not dumping on anyone. There are safe ways to make progress, and there are less safe ways to make progress. If there's a less safe way to make progress than what the Raptor program is pursuing, I can only guess that it would be along the lines of the late Mad Mike Hughe's test program. Making light of the lack of test cards ("or whatever") is inappropriate - test cards are how test pilots ensure that they're following a planned flight, and that they've planned the flight and fly the plan. It keeps rigor in the process.

I'm attempting (possibly poorly) to indicate what a REAL test program for a new design canard aircraft might look like, and what folks versed in the art would do if they were involved. I guarantee you that Wasabi would not be flying the flights that PM is flying, were they still involved in the program. And that far more, and more useful, data would be collected.

He is getting flight test consulting with an experienced designer/instructor (Bill Clapp) and a DAR.
I don't know Mr. Clapp, and won't say anything about his abilities, but a DAR doesn't necessarily know anything about flight testing new designs, nor does an A&P or a Commercial Pilot or a CFI or product development. Even if one has been asked to do the first flight of several experimental aircraft, that does not indicate specific knowledge regarding test flight programs. I'm happy that someone with some experience is advising PM - that's a good thing. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and the eating, in this case, indicates a severe lack of rigor and judgement in the testing process. There is no one in the test flight community that would look upon what is happening with the Raptor program and give it a thumb's up.

If we are discussing the test program (which I think we are) and not Peter's character or intent (which I hope we're not), then indicating where the test program has gone off the rails seems to be within the bounds of reasonable discussion.
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
14,441
Location
Port Townsend WA
Test cards are how test pilots ensure that they're following a planned flight, and that they've planned the flight and fly the plan. It keeps rigor in the process.
He isn't a professional test pilot working for Scaled on a two hour flight. He was only testing the cooling and didn't need a list.
 

jedi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
2,312
Location
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
Does PM even have an accurate method of determining his airspeed? Is his P/S system sound?
BS warning:

Who cares. You all would have been delighted if PM were at this point two years (or more) ago.

Bask in the glory. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. Don't you all know what a thrill it is to fly on a wing and a prayer?

Feliz Navidad A Todos!
 

Marc Zeitlin

Exalted Grand Poobah
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
848
Location
Tehachapi, CA
He isn't a professional test pilot working for Scaled on a two hour flight.
Professional or not, there are accepted procedures for performing test flights that have been developed over the years (and dead bodies of many test pilots, or pilots that perform test flights even when they're not professionals). It doesn't matter how long the flight is, or is planned for.

He was only testing the cooling and didn't need a list.
You plan the flight and fly the plan. It doesn't matter what you're "only testing". The card can be short, but if he was testing cooling, it should involve (as Billski stated) a coherent process for determining and understanding what the engine and cooling system are doing - not "I'll just fly around a bit at some random altitude, and change the throttle and prop settings every once in a while to see what happens". While there is a small amount of information content there, it's not much, and it's not very useful.

But the main issue here isn't even that PM isn't gathering data in an efficient way - I don't give a crap if he ever figures out what the airplane or the engine are doing (or not doing), except in the case that some **** fool who doesn't know how to perform due diligence on a development project decides to throw more money at it or Cthulu forbid, get in the plane. The main issue here is that by ignoring good practices, developed by experience over the years, he's being unsafe. This is due to poor planning, poor technique and poor judgement. I've met Peter and spent a day with him - he's a nice guy. I don't want to see him get hurt. And even if I hated his guts, I still wouldn't want him to get hurt - I don't want to see ANYONE get hurt flying an airplane. I don't expect that anything I write here will affect what PM does during the Raptor flights, but I do HOPE that by clearly explaining what a test program is and isn't, maybe someone else will think a bit before making mistakes.
 

Voidhawk9

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
461
Location
Timaru, NZ
He isn't a professional test pilot working for Scaled on a two hour flight. He was only testing the cooling and didn't need a list.
Right, because multiple such test pilots refused to fly the machine.
And he isn't 'just testing the cooling', he is testing haphazardly, perhaps best illustrated by his rudder raps on short final a week or so back.

As others have clearly articulated before me, I'm not railing on the guy (nor do I think he reads or pays any attention to what is written here). However pointing out where things could be done far better and safer is a useful discussion for myself and I'm sure many others to learn along the way.
 

231TC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
104
He was only testing the cooling and didn't need a list.
Test cards are almost as much to constrain you about what NOT to do as they are to tell you what to do.

For instance, when he was "only testing the cooling" and decided apparently on a whim to do a hard rudder deflection on short final. I wonder what info that move gave him about the cooling.

Test cards give you structure to free up brainpower to focus on the task at hand, but also help to counter temptations to try stuff out on an impulse. Not on the card for this flight? Don't do it.
 

PPLOnly

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2020
Messages
69
He isn't a professional test pilot working for Scaled on a two hour flight. He was only testing the cooling and didn't need a list.
I worked for about a year as a "backseater" in an optionally manned aircraft flight test program. I read our test procedures out, made fine adjustments to flight controls and propellers, and handled the data logging. Even for a short hop test flight testing a single item we would:

A. Read out loud the purpose of the flight and do a verbal and mental inventory of what we would be doing from a big picture. (he does seem to do this)

B. Discuss prior to takeoff our takeoff and abort procedures at each stage of the flight and at each test configuration. If the engine crapped out at takeoff we knew where we were going and what we were going to do. At pattern altitude we had a different plan, and over the flight test area we had a different plan. And we had plans for each type of failure including engine, electrical, fire, flight controls, stability etc. etc. (I don't believe he is doing this as thoroughly as he should, his gear retraction with so little fuel at pattern altitude on downwind is the perfect example of this. We would have never found that risk acceptable and what was the emergency procedure going to be with 20 min of gas on board?)

C. Just like Raptor we were testing a totally new airframe with all these neat ideas incorporated. That meant we. stepped. very. slowly. through expanding the flight envelope and we started from the basics which we were able to develop during our taxi testing. That meant we examined how the plane and engine would run in the pattern, landing and takeoff. This way we had a safe flight baseline. Then we expanded a bit and did the same test and eval in a climb, then we did the same test and eval in progressively faster and higher configurations. We also explored how it would handle at all sorts of different pitch, bank, speed angles. This was the really really tedious part of flight testing because you can "see" the goal but it take FOREVER to get there. (if raptor is doing this, they are keeping it a secret. His altitude and airspeed just don't seem to be following any sort of plan. How does this plane handle in a steep turn? Slow flight? Hard flight control movements? High angle of attack? What is the actual landing speed going to be?)

D. This one is really really unsexy, but we would basically spend a day+ on the ground both going over the aircraft and debriefing the test flight before the next one. I don't mean making any changes either, I mean close up inspection of all structures, the powerplant, all the little unknowns to make sure the thing was still airworthy and who knows what wasn't developing. The data analysis and discussion of flight characteristics also followed a checklist, though I was less involved in that part.
 

C Michael Hoover

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
58
Wow! Only 38 hours and 8 minutes and Raptor will be fully sorted aircraft. /sarc off. The real fear for me is that PM will get more confidant and increase power, altitude, range from airport, speed, or some combination and something will break (redrive, engine, and control system are obviously areas of concern) and truly bad things may happen. I have pretty much given up on PM, but if he does make 40 hours, then someone else might just get in the aircraft (I just hesitated calling it an aircraft) and forget his lucky rabbit's foot)
 

dave wolfe

Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
39
I just really dont see where this project goes from here. This is about the time where the company tries to secure an SBA loan and free hangar and tax credits in return for the promise of jobs.
 

berridos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
1,116
Location
madrid
He isnt methodic at all and besides that, the cooling issues were so obvious, that they shouldnt be tested at this stage in the air. trial and error isnt a valid approach for brand new airplanes. He should have fine tuned the cooling issues in the air, but not test the whole setup.
 

berridos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
1,116
Location
madrid
Currently the fpv rc equipment is ridiculously cheap and has a huge performance (50km range with several cams broadcasting online). Is it ilegal to test a real aircraft in the first flight with such an equipment? Mounting servos at the stick and the throttle is a two evening affaire and to fly the pattern and record the instruments, you dont need more.
I guess it breaks the 55 pound limit, but i would have put a an inflatable dolly inside beeing spaniard.
 
Last edited:

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
14,176
Location
Memphis, TN
Not it is not legal as is. You would have to classify it as a drone. Not a toy drone but a big corporate drone like a Predator. Then the government will want verification of your wealth to be sued if something happens.

It’s a funny thing about pilots, they will fly anything if they don’t think there is anything wrong. Pilots are not afraid of crashing, they are not interested in the drone solution. They don’t think of crashing.

Everyone who has a passing interest in the Raptor has a list of likes and dislikes; predisposed opinions on the craft. I bet if non was known, everyone who is a pilot would jump in no questions asked, if you taxied up, through up the door, and said, Come on. If there is an issue, it’s voodoo. A pilot will not touch it.

Why does PM keep jumping in? because he thinks there is no real flaws. He really believes that. As a pilot he knows aileron flutter is bad as a mental exercise. He does not fathom aileron flutter can rip the wings off. It’s really the opposite end of the “If you want to build, build; If you want to fly, buy” statement. Builders think of details down to the millimeter. Pilots, who are only pilots, all white blank void. Pilots who build airplanes are the anomaly of pilots, not the standard; which is the opposite of RC, especially before ARFs. We have a big group of pilot/ builders here, but put in the bigger pilot pool, they disappear to be only a fraction of a percentage.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,800
Location
USA.
Not it is not legal as is. You would have to classify it as a drone. Not a toy drone but a big corporate drone like a Predator. Then the government will want verification of your wealth to be sued if something happens.

It’s a funny thing about pilots, they will fly anything if they don’t think there is anything wrong. Pilots are not afraid of crashing, they are not interested in the drone solution. They don’t think of crashing.

Everyone who has a passing interest in the Raptor has a list of likes and dislikes; predisposed opinions on the craft. I bet if non was known, everyone who is a pilot would jump in no questions asked, if you taxied up, through up the door, and said, Come on. If there is an issue, it’s voodoo. A pilot will not touch it.

Why does PM keep jumping in? because he thinks there is no real flaws. He really believes that. As a pilot he knows aileron flutter is bad as a mental exercise. He does not fathom aileron flutter can rip the wings off. It’s really the opposite end of the “If you want to build, build; If you want to fly, buy” statement. Builders think of details down to the millimeter. Pilots, who are only pilots, all white blank void. Pilots who build airplanes are the anomaly of pilots, not the standard; which is the opposite of RC, especially before ARFs. We have a big group of pilot/ builders here, but put in the bigger pilot pool, they disappear to be only a fraction of a percentage.
I have never thought of it that way, and you are correct. Bet a lot of us on this site are like me, where I started building model airplanes at 8 years old , designing and building all of my models at about 12 years old and bought my last kit when the CG Goldberg kit of the Falcon 56 came out until a couple years ago when I bought a little electric foamy sailplane.
Believe God use the same mold on a lot of us. Builders and pilots. :)
 
Top