Ken Knevel asked if I would be willing to fly over his father-in-law's house (Ken had come to visit a couple of times when I was building, and brought his father-in-law once - he was impressed by the plane and really wanted to see it again, but wasn't able to make the trip) up in Manchester-by-the-Sea (no joke - that's really the name of the town - it used to be just "Manchester", but apparently some LSD got loose in the water supply, and they changed it to "Manchester-by-the-Sea").
At any rate, I figured that I could get the street address of the house, plug that into Mapquest, and get the LAT-LONG coordinates. Ken beat me to it and sent them, so I created a waypoint in my Garmin 195. I figured I'd fly from FIT to his house (about 15 - 20 minutes) and do a few rings around the house at about 700 ft.
Right before I took off, Richard Hughes called my cell phone (Richard just bought a nice COZY III that had originally been built by Jeff Russell a LONG time ago, and got a really good deal on it). He was going for a flight, and I agreed to fly down to visit him in Islip, NY (on Long Island) after my fly-over.
I also figured that this would be a good temperature experiment, since the OAT was about 20 F, and since the sky was pretty clear, I wanted to climb to 6500 ft and do a full throttle speed run.
So I pre-heated the plane (didn't have any ice to scrape off this time) and the engine started right up. 15 minutes later I was spinning circles around Ken's father-in-law's house (well, the first 3 circles were around someone else's house, until I saw Ken and crew waving what looked like a large red sheet at me and I shifted west about 300 ft). After a few more circles, I headed west, around the Boston Class B, and then southwest to ISP.
I climbed to 6500 ft (I know that's not very high for you folks out west) in about 3 minutes - in the cold air I was seeing 1500 ft/min climb rates at 140 - 150 mph, and well over 2000 ft/min at 120 mph. Letting the Navaid follow the GPS, I only had to worry about traffic and altitude. With the throttle wide open and leaned out, I was indicating 182 mph, with a TAS of 200 mph. This is with no spinner, no wheel pants, and no gear fairings. After landing at ISP, it turned out that Richard was stuck in Pittsfield, MA with a flat nose tire. He got a tube installed, and I waited around, warming up in his car (remember, it's 20 F out) for about 45 minutes until he showed up. We ogled each other's airplanes for a while, and then I left, wanting to get most of the way home before dark.
On the way back at 5500 ft., full throttle and leaned out was indicating 192 mph, with a TAS of 202 mph. (Still no pants, spinner, or fairing -) ).
The cabin stayed about 25 - 30 degrees above OAT, so it was cold but not terrible inside - I had lots of layers on. I know that there are a few areas where I can seal the canopy better, and I think I can seal the carb heat flapper valve better as well. I'm also thinking that an aux. electrical heater for these real cold days wouldn't be so stupid, either. I have a severe buzz from the rear of the canopy where it touches the turtledeck that shows up above 2500 RPM - I'll have to put some foam up there, because it's unbearably loud and annoying.
All in all, a wonderful day. 2.4 more hours on the hobbs, learn some things about the plane, and visit people. What could be better?
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