Apr 25, 2015 Build Report

Another day, more done. Saturday was another interesting Hawk build day. I had a new high school student that was really interested in the project and took to it Like a duck to water. Elijah is his name. Both he and his dad helped out Saturday and we managed to get the belly edge paint removed for the pinked reinforcing tapes and most of the tape installed. I am sure he will be back, his goal in life is to be a professional pilot. Very sharp young man. I also had both Silas’s working again this weekend plus Silas’s (guess Which one’s?) Dad who is a CFI and an A/P and works at WestStar. The word just keeps getting out. So far the list of young people regularly working on the project is expanding. They are Josiah, Jake, Haley, Sterling, Parker, Anthony, Silas, and another Silas, and now Elijah plus the Mentors. Things so far are working well as they do not all show up at the same time and there is plenty to do. Next build session should be interesting in that we will need to build a temporary paint booth as we are about ready to start spraying the silver and the paint. I plan on Making a paint booth out of PVC and plastic to keep the over-spray off everything in the hanger- another project!

The engine is proceeding nicely. John C, Anthony and Pat W managed to get Ken P’s lapped valves re-installed in the cylinders, and they do not leak, they held solvent. I took the valve springs to Auto Machine Services and they let me play with their spring tester at no charge. THANKS. The springs tested to new standards and I think they were new. this allowed the springs and keepers to be installed. The case is currently being tested for clearances and alignment and hopefully it will check out. After that I am going to take the steel parts to WestStar for Magnaflux. Then we can begin final assembly. Brian took the rods to Skyways and had them reconditioned. They now have the piston pin bushing replaced, the twist and convergence checked, and the rod bearing journals honed, and they are Magnafluxed. They are certified and we have paperwork, but we are $200.00 poorer. (Cheap for all that was done, normally $100.00 per Rod. Thanks SKYWAYS.) We have paperwork on the cam and lifters, and when WestStar is finished with the Magnaflux on the metal parts, crankshaft and gears etc, we will have paperwork on them also. This engine will be basically new and could go into a certified airplane as an overhaul. We do not have an original log book for this engine, so the time will start from 0 even though some parts are not new. Times unknown. The crank, the case, the pistons, the valves, and all normal replacement parts are new. The only thing old are the cylinders and some of the gears. The cylinders are .015 oversize. The total cost so far is not bad for basically a new 0-200 engine about $3000.00.

The only other things needed are an 0-200 carburetor, mags, plugs and an alternator. Brian brought back an alternator core from Skyways,, but it is a 70 amp Prestolite (off a Cessna 150) and I do not think it will fit between the firewall and the engine. (Plus it is very heavy.) Ladd gave us an 8 amp B&C alternator, but is driven by the vacuum pump drive which is located on the front of the engine, and we do not have the vacuum pump drive gears and drive pad . Cheaper to get a new alternator. Jerry talked to the President of Champion Aerospace at Sun and Fun about a Slick mag kit and he told Jerry that Champion normally does donations at the end of the year and since this is not year end he will take it under advisement. (Keep your fingers crossed). If this does not fly, then I am going to push for an electronic ignition again to save weight. Jay Scheevel thinks this is the way to go and is looking into it. So do I, but that green stuff keeps getting in the way of rational decisions. This would definitely mean we need a reliable alternator, or E-mags which do not need anything. Again we could throw lots of money at it, if we had it. (An airplane is a large hole in the sky that sucks up money.) Some of the things we need ASAP are the correct color paint, some intake hoses and a few engine gaskets, The engine mount spacers for conical mounts (Ercoupe C-85 to 0-200 to clear cowling) and new rubber mounts, $120.00 for the spacers, and lots of time. Once the belly is painted, then it will be time for final assembly of the airframe. Things should go fairly quickly at this point, as most of the large hard parts are finished, except for the new gear bungees (my project). As to paint, I could spend money with Poly fiber or I can have Pat Trim of Hightower Suppy color match and mix some Polyurethane paint that is flexible and can be put on fabric. It would be cheaper (probably nearly free).  Pat is an old time modeler (part president of the Grand Junction Modelers) and uses it on his models, He said it would work good. ANY THOUGHTS on THIS WOULD BE APPRECIATED! I am in the hanger every Wednesday afternoon if anyone has time to work on the Hawk or I can fit to daily schedules that work – Oshkosh is coming fast!. ANYWAY THE BUILD CONTINUES!

Feb 16, 2015 Correspondence

Thank you for your response. we are busy with the build and have not been to concerned with the prop, as we have been busy with everything else. We are currently re-overhauling the engine. I have no real idea what to expect out of this airplane, but here is a letter from a Hawk owner that gives you an idea of performance with a C-90. We have a lot of bush strips around here and am sure our group will be landing on them. (That is why I had the landing gear stress analyzed and designed for this by a structual engineer who worked for scaled composites and now works for ZEE AERO, google- interesting read on the internet). The airport C07 manager, Ladd is one of the main promoters of bush flying and holds several poker fly outs a year. I would like to see a propeller that is halfway between a cruse prop and a climb prop. (This is why at one point, I was looking for a ground adjustable.) We have the funds and are getting close to a trial weigh so the prop would be handy. Since the EAA will not allow us to have a flying airplane in a chapter, we have formed a 501(C)3 called High Country Aviation Workshop for Kids- and go by- Hawk Society.  Now we can take donations, in fact we are in process of having a 601 Zenith kit donated to us with an engine. Hope this kind of answers your questions. This letter was to Tom Marson he is the Hawk guru and built hawk SN-3. The prop will be paid for by EAA chapter 800.

Reply-To: Bryan Swank

As you may recall I added two 12x12x24 inch baggage compartments behind the seat. It was designed to hold 50# but with two people this puts the center of gravity(CG) at the limit of about 19″ behind the leading edge after about an 1 1/2 hr as main fuel tank empties.  Also I am not sure anyone has ever flown a Hawk with the CG this far aft — maybe you did? Anyway I wanted to be careful so I did 8 flights and progressively added gallons of water to the baggage area until I got to 19″. Since I was flying alone to get to 19″ I had to add 75# of water to the baggage area. As the flights progressed, the plane became more pitch sensitive but never seemed or acted tail heavy. I stalled the plane during each flight and it simply dropped the nose. Overall I felt like the plane flew better with an aft CG. It is hard to quantify but it seemed more docile and was easier to land.

So now I am comfortable flying at these aft CG’s. However, with two people at 400#, full fuel, and 50# baggage I am about 32# over the 1320#  Light Sport limit. Although one needs to be cautious I feel the wings are good for that much if not more. I know the factory only says gross weight is 1150# but I think that is really conservative. Kermit had 1250# on his data plate. I don’t remember what you had. In the past I have flown a 300# passenger at a gross weight of 1375# and was comfortable and it didn’t seem overloaded.

I may have mentioned before that I designed door latches so I could fly with the doors open. The magnetic latches would hold.I have flown with both door and windows open. It slows the plane down a lot but is not as turbulent in the cabin as I expected. With only one door open it is really quite. On hot days this is nice

My furthest flight was to Jonesville Virginia. It was a 2 1/2 hour flight and got me into the foothills of the Smokeys. Really pretty but you sure don’t want to have engine problems! I fly the C-90 at 2200 rpm and about 95 mph. At this condition fuel consumption is 5.4 gph.  At  2350 – 2400 rpm it flys at 110-115 mph but fuel consumption goes over 6 gph. Maybe if I just wanted to get somewhere quick it would be worth it in terms of miles per hour but it seem a lot quieter and more pleasant at 2200.

The Hawk now has 400 hours on it. If I had to pick another two place side by side high wing plane to own instead of the Hawk I am not sure what it would be. For my type of flying it is hard to beat.

Anyway I hope you are surviving your northern winter. Or maybe you escaped to the south like Kermit!

Talk to you later.

Bryan Swank


Jake and Joshua in front of Dakota Hawk #28
Two of our build young eagles
Jake and Joshua
in front of Dakota Hawk #28
We have 6 full time kids

The rest of the kids were in Delta getting Glider rides from the Grand Mesa Soaring Society. They are also a non-profit. It is the way to go.


On Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 6:29 AM, [email protected] wrote:
Hope the project is going well. I sent an e-mail some time ago after the Chapter approved a propeller purchase from us. I need details about the Dakota performance.

Using your 0-200 at 100 hp at 2750 rpm what do you feel will be the full throttle level flight realistic airspeed? This value does not have to be what is capable but what you want the airspeed to be. Also what is the max diameter size? What name do we use for the Invoice?

After I determine the propeller size we will provide the invoice.

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