The ramp queen...

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rsrguy3

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Victor Bravo suggested a thread for this odd bird so here goes. I put it in the bush forum, so you guys can join in ... call me a bone head, give off airport or other advice or anything else... my skin is pretty leathery.
20220922_124058.jpg
The plane was built 20 years ago, the builder went west, it ended up in pa and was finished and first flown and then sold to a you tube personality here in UT via ebay.
Turns out it had a cracked motor mount that was found and addressed by a local ia. He repaired several other issues and added the larger h stab.
As an interesting twist to another purchase we ended up with this bird as well, so it ended up as a two birds one stone deal.
Once home our IA Rio found several issues.
As it was powered by a 220hp frank it didn't have a large enough fuel supply... we replaced the whole system, and repaired several other squawks over the course of the last year. We're now insured and flying starts this week.
 

rsrguy3

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It was built with a cs mt prop ... so climb should be a real trip.
We removed all of the 3/8" fuel system to the tanks and installed 1/2" hard-line the complete distance to the new steves gascolater, it flowed almost 3 gallons/minute out of the bottom of the gascolater, still need to test it tail down out the carb supply line but Rio is happy at this point.
With the re plumb job we installed a 182 1/2" left right both selector, so instead of auto rubber supply lines (2 per side) in the wings we're now running 1 1/2" line with minimal angles to the valve... It seems awesome so far. We have 60 gallons of capacity on board.
All of the a/c I've researched with this powerplant have 1/2" systems so I don't understand how it was built with the smaller lines especially since zenair advertised this pp on the 801 20 years ago.
So far I haven't found one 220hp frank 801 other than this one. Several were built but I can't find any one who owned or flew one for a pirep.
The other mod is battery in the tail and a steel plate.
 
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rsrguy3

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None that I can surmise. It was built pretty stout to start with, mainly because it was intended to be thrashed off airport and the increased power of the O360.
 

Victor Bravo

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FWIW, common sense tells us that you have a high lift, high drag airplane with high power, so the climb will be fantastic but the drag will prevent you from taking full advantage of the extra power in cruise flight. Very likely you'd be in a situation of using a lot more fuel to cruise only a little faster. Or, put another way, if you are cruising at 125MPH burning X gallons an hour, you might be able to burn .75X at 110 MPH.

So IMHO once you have proven out the safety and reliability of the aircraft, immediately begin testing and gathering data on fuel flows, speeds, etc. in order to find the "sweet spot" where you are getting a reasonable fuel burn and still making acceptable speed. On this airplane the sweet spot will be pretty slow, but that's in keeping with the purpose of the airplane. So don't try to expect Cessna 182 performance, even though you have the same power and four seats.

Once you find the sweet spots for fuel burn and cruise speed, you might realize that there is a secondary performance gain.... by flying more efficiently you no longer need to take off with 60 gallons, and taking off with 30 gallons instead of 60 gives you noticeably better performance, and better range per gallon.

I would bet that the later developments of using the Vortex Generators instead of the slats will work every bit as well on the 801 as it does on the other CH STOL wings. Which means the VG's will give you 7-12 MPH better cruise speed with only a very very small penalty in low speed STOL capability. Most of the people flying the 7 series STOL airplanes with the VG's instead of slats are convinced it is a very worthwhile bargain. This would give you yet another increase in range while reducing fuel flow.
 

rsrguy3

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These really don't fly faster than 100, it's a drag queen. My good friend has the same frank (different af) he cruises at 10.5 but his climb is gawd awful at 16gph. Even without slats and with full fairings it probably won't want to cruise anywhere near 100 at a decent burn. It just will never be a fast fuel efficient bird, but it will be able to get in and out short with quite a bit more usable interior volume than a cub.
 

rsrguy3

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Hahaha.... one would hope so, but this thing is a flyable brick wall.
 

rv7charlie

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Just a heads-up; one of our chapter members built a 4 seat Zenith with (IIRC) a Lyc 390". Had handling issues bad enough (verified by a couple of highly experienced CFIs who've flown probably hundreds of types) that he took it to Zenith so they could analyze the problems. Their test pilot got into an unrecoverable spin & had to pull the airframe chute. Airframe was destroyed. Needless to say, he didn't build another one; bought a Bearhawk project.
 
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Just a heads-up; one of our chapter members built a 4 seat Zenith with (IIRC) a Lyc 390". Had handling issues bad enough (verified by a couple of highly experienced CFIs who've flown probably hundreds of types) that he took it to Zenith so they could analyze the problems. Their test pilot got into an unrecoverable spin & had to pull the airframe chute. Airframe was destroyed. Needless to say, he didn't build another one; bought a Bearhawk project.
Eeeeke!! That'll get your attention 🤪
 
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