'I am very pleased to say that we have successfully flown
G-JPIT for the first time', says Pilot Richard Goodwin.
The first flight was relatively uneventful and not ambitious in terms of testing it's aerobatic capability. It was long enough to establish that every hour spent building the new Blade wings was worth all the time consuming effort. The new SAW Blade wings were designed by Eddie Saurenman and I am very thankful to him, not only for his brilliance as an innovative aircraft designer, but also his long term invaluable support, helping me get the structural analysis approved by the LAA.
Eddie has been very generous in sharing his vast knowledge of aircraft design and development. He has always been on the end of the phone with positive words of encouragement during the long build process. As far as I have tested, the new wings deliver a greatly improved roll rate, reduced stall speed, excellent low speed handling at high alpha and they fly like they look. The SAW Blade wing is just amazing. I'm sure there will be an S1 version soon!
One of the other major differences with this aircraft is that it is powered by a modified Lycoming 0540 with AX50 cylinders driving the MT prop. Designed by Andrew Higgs, built by Neil Andrews, this brings the standard aero engine into the 21st century with formula one technology giving greatly improved performance.
The engine is 25 lbs lighter and produces more power. It is also capable of running on unleaded fuel in the future. http://www.ac-aero.com
I am very grateful to the list of people that have helped me get the aircraft flying, including the LAA who have been very patient with the endless list of modification applications and their practical approach to approving everything to be test flown.
We still have a way to go before we can fly with Jets and the first flight of the new Pitts marks a new chapter in this process. When the flight testing is complete we hope we will be displaying the aircraft at a few airshows this season.
With the support of Anana Ltd and other partners we will now continue to develop the aircraft with the addition of 2x AMT jet turbines to deliver with a a new and innovative display to the UK airshow circuit.
The short video clips on our Facebook page are a few examples of some of the flight testing that is now taking place. So far no aileron spades fitted. I appreciate the support of everyone at Gloucestershire Airport where the flight testing is taking place.
We will keep you updated with further developments soon!
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