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  1. After picking up the SoulMadeSim DHC-2 Beaver on the Daily Deal yesterday (http://store.x-plane.org/DHC-2-Beaver_p_395.html) I thought I might use that to complete the New Zealand Air Rally 2016 by Bluegrass Airlines. Unlike the GAAR 2016 I'm going to do this one "in theme" (which I'm sure @Andrew Godden will appreciate, assuming he was the flight coordinator). My quick flight this morning taught me that I have a LOT to learn about these older systems, which is GREAT because that's what I'm using these rally's for! Another thing that I found out was that the Beaver does NOT like to resume a flight from a replay as I did a quick flight this morning whilst the girls were out and then decided to pick it up just now and ended up with an immediate engine fire when I turned off the replay So looks like I'm going to have to fly these legs uninterrupted. Good thing they're only short legs! NZAR 2016 Leg One Auckland International NZAA to New Plymouth NZNP 142 NM This first leg sees us departing Auckland International on a 051 track for 11Nm to the Whitford NDB, turning to 187 for 21Nm over the Waiuku NDB and then 177 for 108Nm straight across the water to New Plymouth. For this first leg, I just wanted to get up into the air and get my hands dirty. This is a LONG rally so there's plenty of time to do Cold and Dark starts with the Beaver as I get more familiar with her. Oh, one thing to be wary of with the Beaver is that it has it's own control panel for "Airplane Docking" which gives you some better control for manoeuvring the float plane version after landing. And it stays on between flights... Which really explained why, when sitting on runway 05R almost full throttle, I wasn't going anywhere. Took that setting off and damn near crashed the plane! So, yea, make sure you turn that off. [image inserted after reflying the leg again ] Since I'm going to have to fly this section again, I'll take a snap from the runway or takeoff. Perhaps I can enter this in our May photo comp? 187 heading to Waiuku NDB Once again I've used Ortho4XP before hand to get some nice photo scenery. Below me is Motutieke Island south of WI NDB. Pretty happy with default X-Plane sky in this shot. Port Waikato near the top of the river mouth there. We're now on our final 176 track to New Plymoth and some 108Nm over ocean. Still close enough to the coast though. Not long after this is where I saved the flight as a replay, assuming that I could resume my flight due to interuption, which I had done in the LET L-410 for my MEBAR fligths. Then when I had some time this afternoon I loaded the replay, fast forward to the final point, made sure that the fuel selector was on the centre tank (already drained the rear tank), pressed go and had immediate engine failure. Oh well, hopefully tonight or tomorrow night I can attempt this again.
  2. A Flight in a Beaver - on Floats The Web Site: http://www.lakecountryairservice.com/ The Beaver Song: This was in Mt. Dora, Florida. There’s a guy at the lake with a Beaver on floats (not amphib – pure seaplane) who sells rides and we decided to go for it. $50 per person. The more people aboard (up to 5) the longer the ride. We were fortunate to fall in with a group of three so got the maximum 25 minutes, which includes only actual air time, not taxiing (or is that boating?). He taxied all the way across the lake to take off into the wind, so we got a pretty long boat ride and he demonstrated the effectiveness of the water rudders and how much more difficult it was to taxi with them retracted. It was pretty neat – first time I’ve flown behind a radial. Gross was near 6,000 lbs and he was off in 3,000 feet (his estimate) at 50 knots, which surprised me – I was expecting about 65. He had one notch of flaps out and was showing a tad over 30” MP on takeoff. I assume it was a normally aspirated engine, so that’s all there was. He went to 1200’ and cruised at about 29” and 1800 RPM (failed to note RPMs for takeoff but do remember it was the top of the green arc – may have been around 2400, but not sure). The engine has a 1,600 hour TBO – I asked. I’ll bet that doesn’t come cheap. Engine was a P&W radial and had 9 cylinders, not 7 - a Wasp, I think, but I failed to ask about displacement or horsepower. He never busted 100 knots and did about 85 most of the time with a little nose-up pitch attitude because of the weight. You could sense that the thing is powerful but draggy. There are interesting little trim knobs up in the overhead – like little rubber tires but only about 2-1/2” in diameter – just a thumb and forefinger kind of control. Prime was electric, which surprised me – I expected a manual pump, but in hindsight it would have had to be about the size of a bicycle pump, I suppose. Interestingly, there’s an oil filler cap in the cockpit, near the right seat occupant’s left ankle, coming out of the center console at an angle just a few inches above the floor. I suppose there’s an oil tank down there. I asked how much water the pontoons leaked in a day. He said there are 10 compartments in each and he gets about a quart a day total out of nineteen of them and about a gallon a day out of one about midway along the starboard one. He says it’s always done that and doesn’t seem to change, so he’s OK with it. By the way, the pontoons are quite large. It was a tour over the Harris chain of lakes and was interesting but I wouldn’t have cared if it was over desert or tundra or grassland. I asked for the right seat if no one else wanted it and everyone acceded to that. The pilot gave every indication of being highly competent and experienced. The AC was built in 1957 but was not ratty in any way. He had intercom headsets for everyone. He told me that the fuel burn is about 25 gph. He’s from Minnesota and this was his first season here. He will return there with the plane for the summer, departing here right after Easter. He does something similar there. He will return here in late October. He operates from a dock on the waterfront in Mt. Dora, which is a quaint little tourist-trap of a town with about five blocks of shops, restaurants and watering holes with a look and feel not unlike Key West, but smaller, quieter and not quite so far out on the “edge”. Your wives would love the shopping. John
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