Friday, December 17, 2010


The brothers built a movable track to help launch the Flyer. This downhill track would help the aircraft gain enough airspeed to fly. After two attempts to fly this machine, one of which resulted in a minor crash, Orville Wright took the Flyer for a 12-second, sustained flight on December 17, 1903. This was the first successful, powered, piloted flight in history.
While I had gone over to the airport a few times to look at her, '74PS had not been started in over a week. That just seemed too long to me. So I took the tie down straps off, removed the canopy cover, flipped on the switches to check the battery and was pleased to find it all in good shape. So I gave her a good preflight, just to make sure nothing unusual had happened, no bumps or bruises or scratches on her skin. I pulled her out about a foot or so to straighten the nose wheel and make sure the tire wasn't developing a flat spot, and then settled myself in the cockpit and went through the checklist. Nine or so props later she came to life. Still a bit strange to use choke instead of mixture, but once closed the engine smoothed out to a nice purr.

Glitches #1 and #2 still there, it was a bit early to check on #3. I kept the RPM low to let the oil warm up, and watched the needles for anything strange. It felt good. After a few minutes the oil temp came up and I did the run-up, all very smooth.

Then the sun came out, beckoning me to fly. It didn't take much to convince me. Just one lap around the pattern to a full stop. Just sweet. From the time I left the house, to the time I got back was just over an hour. Flying on a lunch break, I can really get into this.

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