July 2013

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Progress continues to be a bit stop start with work and other commitments getting in the way for most of the build team.
We did however achieve another major project milestone in getting approval to fly the Hornet from Darren Barnfield, SAAA Approved Person and CASA Delegate.
It has always been our plan to have Ole (Hornet designer) to do the first flight but unfortunately for us he is overseas til the first week of August.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Darren before he headed overseas also.
Our thanks go again to Brian Ham, our SAAA Technical Counsellor for guiding us through these last few paperwork steps and organising the last few meetings with Darren.
The flight testing will be broken up into 2 phases. First we will just fly the Hornet and see how it performs.
Upon successful completion of the first phase we will request permission from Darren to begin the Glider Towing Test Phase.
It is anticipated that completing both phases will take approx 40 hours.
There are some restrictions that will be required to be adhered to during the test phases but in reality they are not an issue for us and the intended role for the Hornet.
Flight testing to be completed within 50nm of Bacchus Marsh and the carriage of passengers is forbidden.
5 other tug pilots from Bacchus Marsh have agreed to assist in the flight testing program and their input is very much appreciated.
Once the flight testing program is completed we will be able to take to the Hornet to any country gliding club that we would normally visit.
Flight over built up areas will not be allowed until such time that we can make a case of proven performance (150 to 200 hours in service).
Again I don't see this as a big restriction for a glider tug.
The last few months has seen the completion of some finishing touches like a bit of colour for the fuselage and the rego sprayed on as well.
Another club member Rachael Richards did some great work on making some cool shadow effect rego stencils and Chris Trewern and myself were able to spray paint these on over 5 days.
Each step took one day of effort and weather played a big part because we did all painting outside in light or no wind days.
So in the end we were quite lucky with the weather. If ever you want to start an argument in club, try using what colour scheme we should paint the Hornet.
It seemed everyone had their own ideas. In the end we went for a safe colour that everyone would be happy with, Beaufort Yellow with a couple of fine highlighting black stripes.
Rachael also was able to produce some really cool nose art Hornets which we applied to both sides of the fuselage for a bit of bling.
Ole will send us a HORNET stencil for the Vertical Stabiliser.
Most recently we were able to carry out a full power static thrust test and the results were impressive.
The Hornet developed 600 lbs of thrust (or 270 kgs) which was a good result. This is comparable to a Super Cub which can have anything in the region of 510 lbs to 560 lbs.
The engine ran very smooth and all temperature or pressure indications were normal.
Using the Tost CRG cable pulled out to its full length simulating a glider tow I found no creaks or groans from the fuselage, it was rock solid as expected.
Later I had a good look over the fuselage and everything appeared in good order. The guys on ground were impressed at the amount dust thrown up.
So we are still working on a couple teething issues but I am hopeful the next blog should detail how the bloody thing fliesÂ….
Starting to run out of excuses.
All for now, regards Jack
Man hours to date:
1450 hrs
Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT Hornet GT


Below are a list of names of people who have assisted us during the Hornet build project by with assistance during transport, providing tooling or their time:
  • Lou Carlini
  • Roger Druce
  • Dave Robbins
  • Gordon Pope
  • Alex Kreti
  • Rob Benton
  • Chris Trewern
  • Peter Champness
  • Malcolm Crampton
  • Steve Jinks
  • Jim Henkel
  • Christopher Thorpe
Build Team:
  • Gordon Pope
  • Peter Buskens
  • Jack Hart

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