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Topic-icon Flying an Apache

  • Eric Parks
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28 May 2021 02:30 #2996

Finally! We got to fly the Apache with a family member on board :)
My younger daughter wanted to experience flying in the much talked about Apache. Of course for a long time it was being "re-habbed" but finally it got out of rehab long enough to be flown a bit. My daughter can be a little up tight about flying although she is also very interested in it. So I wanted her to just have a quick, short (and hopefully positive!) experience. This was VERY short! Non-stop from Shelby, NC to Spartanburg, SC. A complete 27 nm distance! But she had an old college friend she wanted to meet. So off we went. The drive was way longer than the flight. It went well and she enjoyed the trip and I think she'll be ready for more soon. Next to get Mom and the older daughter up so they can get used to it before a long trip.
BTW, daughters can take LOTS of pictures. This is just 3 of 106 pics and videos!

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Last edit: 28 May 2021 02:46 by Eric Parks.

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27 May 2021 01:20 #2995

Had to go to work and then had a family vacay (courtesy the younger daughter!) to the beach. So finally got a little flying in the Apache. We had the left engine start running rich. Also, had to bleed the right brake down as it was not braking. So wanted to check all that and expand my "comfort zone" with the plane. Everything ran well except battery was low after all the engine runs lately. So I am trying to put a trickle charge on the battery. Filled the mains and put 5 gallons in the tips (I keep them pretty much dry). I was by myself and partial fuel load so fairly light weight.

Climbed to to 5,500' with 24x2400 and got 156 mph.

Then at 9.500 ' with full throttle (20.25") I got:
2300 rpm - 164
2200 rpm - 160

Up at 10,500' and full throttle (19.5"):
2500 rpm - 157
2400 rpm - 155
2300 rpm - 154

These are all as good or better than I expected. I am really pleased with how little speed is lost with lower rpm. These are newer Hartzell props and they seem to really work well with the lower cruise revs. I also used the tip tanks for the first time in the air and that went just fine. No issues. It was a little hard to descend and leave my smooth cool air at 10,500 for the bumpy lower air!
Door interior is now re-installed. Door has been working great.


GDL-50 has a clip to hold it to the glareshield. This is the first time I used it.

GPS attaches nicely to the control wheel.

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Jen D

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09 May 2021 01:17 #2977

We took the Apache out after having to miss flying a few days (work and windy days). I had two things in mind. One, to test the door some more before we close it up. It did great and I think we have finally gotten past the door issues so now we will put the interior back into it.

Second, I wanted to do some speed checks as we have done a lot of work on the plane (especially the engines) and initially I thought it was a little down on speed. The air at the lower altitudes was a bit bumpy. We went to 8500' on the last check to avoid bumps and to stay out of clouds. Each run was made to the West and then to the East. We then averaged the GPS ground speeds. Quick and dirty but it should give me a good idea of what the plane can do. This is with a fairly light weight plane, mains 3/4 full, no tip fuel and just two pax, no luggage. One of my "hangar buddies" flew with me and wrote everything down and that was a nice help. Notice it is all in MPH!
Results:
3500' - 24" x 2400 rpm, 151.5 mph
5500' - 24" x 2400 rpm, 156.5 mph
8500' - 21" x 2400 rpm, 155 mph
8500' - 21" x 2100 rpm, 152.5 mph
Obviously we aren't accurate enough to be measuring in half mile an hour increments but we divided by two and that's what we got! At any rate I am pretty happy with this as an initial set of numbers to start planning with. I'm really happy with the lower power setting at 8500' as that should be about 58% power and that is about 15 gph when leaned out. I figure I can plan on around 130 kts (150 mph) pretty much any time at the normal cruising altitudes. I will try to get better figures as I fly more but this was a great start. It looks like the engines are doing pretty well and I'm really happy with the work my mechanic has done.
Pic is of the finished door with interior stripped out. You can see the reinforcements added as well as extra springs to make the latching mechanism work.

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Last edit: 09 May 2021 01:35 by Eric Parks.

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28 Apr 2021 01:24 #2966

Today was slow and frustrating but eventually we got her done. We had to trouble shoot the loss of brakes on the right wheel. After checking lots of possibilities we narrowed it down to a caliper not sealing. We replace the O-ring and finally got brake pressure. After that we worked on a fuel drip from the right gascolator. That was tracked down to an elbow that was added but was not the right type of material. So we removed it and got that taken care of as well.

SO... we finally got to take the plane up for a couple quick trips around the pattern and were able to test the door... and it worked! It looks like we finally have the door issues beaten. So we will finish up the cosmetic work on the door and move on. We found the engines were idling a little low so we will bump them up a little higher RPM but otherwise everything seems to run well. Here are pics of the "offending door"!

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Last edit: 28 Apr 2021 01:53 by Eric Parks.

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27 Apr 2021 02:25 #2962

I started a topic named "Buying an Apache" and I *think* we have finally left the rehab stage and are more in the fly and enjoy stage. I decided to start a new topic named "Flying an Apache" since I hope we are now out of the buying stage!

Just a quick re-cap, I bought an Apache in SEP of 2019. I had hoped it would be a few months of quick fixes to make it a great little fun plane for myself and the family to enjoy. You can go read the other topic to get the details but we found plenty more to fix than we were first aware of. Then my father passed away, followed by me getting sick, followed by me losing my medical (which meant being on sick leave from my flying job) and finally COVID. After 11 and 1/2 months I finally got my medical back and now we are wrapping up the work to get my 1955 Apache reliably in the air.

The worst part was getting the passenger door working properly. That has been kicking us and taking our lunch. But it looks like today we finished the final work on the upper door latch. After *finally* getting the door done we put in the new Rosen sun visors, put in new rubber boots for the rudder pedal torque tubes, sealed up the cloth bag to reduce air flow in the nose gear bay and did a little cosmetic work with paint.

The picture was taken after we got the second visor installed. We need to bleed the right brake tomorrow and we will try out the door in flight.

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Last edit: 28 Apr 2021 01:35 by Eric Parks.

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