Flight Testing Homebuilt Aircraft, by Vaughan Askue

Flight Testing Homebuilt Aircraft

by Vaughan Askue

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"A very worthwhile publication, not only for the designer and builder of the aircraft, but for anyone flying the great variety of amateur built aircraft."
...Paul Poberezny; Experimental Aircraft Association

You’ve invested time, effort, and money in building your dream airplane. You’ve learned many new things such as riveting, welding, fabric, wiring, instruments, avionics and construction in composites. So now what?

It’s time to learn a whole new discipline: flight testing. The new Flight Testing Homebuilt Aircraft, an updated and improved version of the 1992 edition, is designed to give you the techniques and tools to help you flight test your creation.

Specifically it will help you:
• Develop a useable envelope as safely and efficiently as possible.
• Define your aircraft’s limitations.
• Identify and fix the problems that often crop up in even well proven designs.
• Learn the characteristics of your airplane so you can get the most out of it.
• Become a more precise and knowledgeable pilot.

Even if you bring in a more experienced pilot to make the first couple of flights, this book will help you to work with them to agree on the best way to develop your aircraft.

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How to begin
Systems tests
Final preparations
Taxi tests
First flight
Envelope expansion
Handling qualities - stability
Handling Qualities - control
Pitot static system
Stall-spin test
Engine cooling

reader reviews from 1st edition:

A very worthwhile publication, not only for the designer and builder of the aircraft, but for anyone flying the great variety of amateur built aircraft.
By: Paul Poberezny, EAA

I found this book an excellent introduction into flight testing a homebuilt aircraft. Not only does it go into the "how" of flight testing but "why". It is a good guide on how to prepare a proper test program. I thought it was worth the money.
By: A Customer

Several of us on KRNET who are building KR-2 aircraft refer to this book as a guide during the design and building phases of construction. I consider it a excellent treatment of the topic, and it is a valuable reference. I plan to use it during the flight testing phases of my project.
By: A Customer

I've really enjoyed this book. It lays out a method for developing a flight testing program for an experimental airplane. It seems that so many people just fly off the required 40 hours and don't really prove or evaluate the airplanes performance envelope. As the author points out, the flight testing phase is a great opportunity to have fun and really learn the boundaries of the airplane's performance, while also proving what you may think you already know. The testing program ideas in the book start even before the first taxi, which is a great approach. The testing involves a step-by-step approach to expanding the loading envelope and inspecting the airplane, and several other tests to help make sure that there aren't any problems with controlling the airplane. The book would be great to use for developing a flight test for proven designs as well as for new designs (though not enough information to create a new design of course). I would suggest that you read the book fairly early in your project, certainly before you have finished building. There are some great tips about how to set up the cockpit to create a safer and more comfortable space. Perhaps the only thing negative that I would say is that the book seems a bit dated. I wouldn't say that the content is out of date, but it could probably be due for a revision since the demographics of the homebuilt fleet have changed some since the last one.
By: Jared Yates

Concise and thorough. As applicable today as when it was first written. If you are even thinking of starting a homebuilt airplane, reading and studying this book is well worth the effort.
By: Lawrence Harris


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