Sunday, September 02, 2007

J230 Does Its First Two Tows

It happened yesterday (Saturday 1st September) late in the afternoon. 24-5109 our new Jabiru J230 completed her first two test aerotows at Horsham Aerodrome. A number of members were around the club, some coming from near and far to witness the big event. The final few hours were flown off during the day to get the engine hours to over thirty.

(Peter and Mark check the alignment of the tug mirrors)

Max Hedt DI’d the Twin Astir while PW was taking a TIF flight in the Jabiru to the Grampains and back. Mark Griffin arrived in time to pilot the first launch. The cameras were prepared to record the big event. Mark had a briefing with Mark and a good look around the aircraft, the mirrors were adjusted and a quick circuit flown.

(Max gives Mark his 'riding instructions')

Max Hedt took up position at the very end of runway 35, the short strip. The take off would be into the North. Steve Schneider elected to run the wing, while everyone else headed for the other end of the strip to watch. Finally the Jabiru and Twin Astir commenced their ground roll. The glider lifted off first and the Jabiru further along the runway. We had lift off. The combination passed the watching spectators and continued along 35 gaining height, cleared the end fence with a respectable margin and began to climb away. The climb rate was varying between 300 and 500 feet per minute and averaged around 400 feet per minute.

(Nearly ready waiting for the tug to land after a circuit)

The first launch was to 2000 feet AGL, our standard launch height. The time for the Jabiru was just on 10 minutes from power on to wheels down and back to earth. Not bad we thought.

Steve Schneider flew the glider during the second launch. The Jabiru/Twin Astir combination took a little bit longer to get off the ground this time. The height over the end fence was respectable but not like a launch behind the old Pawnee. Again the launch was to 2000 feet and the launch time was again around 10 minutes from Power on to wheels down.

(Away they go off into the North off Runway 35)

Initial feelings were good. More test flight need to be done to determine out standard procedures. The first two launches were done on grass on the shorter of the two Horsham strips. We will see what the Jabiru/Twin Astir combination is like on the 08/26, the longer sealed strip. We are yet to go two up in the glider. All will be revealed in launches to come.

Stay tuned for further updates and photos to be uploaded as they become available.

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