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N1918Q Completes Phase One




N1918Q has completed Phase One (40 hrs) and is now free to move about the country! Here is video shot during the flight in which the Hobbs hit 40.0:

For the benefit of D.VII builders who are still looking ahead to this milestone, below are some observations gathered during Phase One.

The D.VII is an easy aircraft to fly but one that requires proficiency to fly precisely. This is common with high drag, low mass aircraft where small changes in pitch and power result in large changes in airspeed.

There is no inherent lateral stability because of the absence of significant vertical tail surface. Rudder must be flown at all times because the D.VII is very happy flying sideways if allowed by an inattentive pilot. After the pilot learns his feet are to be in the control loop at all times the plane flies in a conventional manner.

Ground handling is good with no surprises *IF* the plane is not allowed to get very far off-line. I've never ground-looped N1918Q but can tell it would do so in a heartbeat if the tail is allowed to get very far off the center line.

Aileron and elevator authority is nicely harmonized, no surprises there. If well-rigged, the plane can be comfortably flown in smooth air with minimal control input IF feet are kept on the rudder pedals. The ride gets much more active in turbulence with the undamped tail yawing with each roll upset. Chasing the ball can become a full-time job if the plane is to be kept coordinated in rough air.

The above paragraph is one reason the D.VII won't be making long trips. Limited range due to the small fuel tank seals the deal along with zero baggage capacity.

The Continental O-200 is a sweetheart of an engine for this plane even though it interrupts the D.VII cowling shape. It has been totally trouble-free with no cooling issues during Phase One burning ~6 gal/hr of 90 octane non-contaminated car gas.

The D.VII is best suited for local flights but gets a ton of ramp attention wherever it lands. I also get satisfaction from just seeing it parked in my is a cool aircraft to have in the fleet.




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