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Dear Friends of SOAR

Engine Run #16 & Ground testing

On August 28th, 2001, weather V.F.R. OAT 78 deg.

Purpose of Test
1. Determine if the changes to the Cockpit seat was helpful in ground handling of the aircraft.
2. Changed the seals in the canopy glass and installed stop springs.
3. Handling of aircraft at medium taxing speed.
4. Maneuverability of the pilot while secured in shoulder and seat belt harness.

Ground personal
Chase vehicle operator Gotfried Dulais. Radio operator, Emil Cassanello. Ground fire safety personal, Ron Spencer, Phil Deluca, Charles Geier, photographer. Pilot Al Rubenbauer. Chase fire truck supplied and operated by Brookhaven Airport.

At 09:47 pilot was secured into the seat, little uncomfortable reaching toward the starter, we feel it's something the pilot must get used to.
At 09:52, engine start at 600 RPM, one minute later increased to 1200 RPM, which caused the wind-stream to again cause the canopy to break and lay to the side of the fuselage. After emergency shut down and removal of the canopy and a conference with ground personnel we decided to run the aircraft without the canopy.
At 10:05 restarting the engine at 1200 RPM, she sounded good. All gauges were working, and the throttle was responsive. (The noise and wind without the canopy was almost impossible to handle).
After a few bumps, the radio became loose and was not transmitting. I could only receive. The radio was working fine the day before and had no problems. We believe that the seat for the radio was not making contact. Also some type of stop should be made to hold the radio in place.
After removing the tire chucks I began slow speed taxi on the grass to the end of the field. Within a few minutes the aircraft was traveling at medium speed, making S turns and I felt confident in handling the aircraft. I feel that the changes that were made to the seat worked well.
Each time I made a 180 degree turn, I stopped, holding the brakes while increasing the RPM to 2500, I could feel the aircraft wanting to break loose. ( I was tempted)
At 10:56 the engine was shut down.

June 27, 2001 15th Ground Testing Run. The weather was VFR and had six support people for assistance. This test was done to determine whether we had any leaks in our fuel idle control arm. Also, for the modifications made to the interior of the cockpit. These modifications included the reduction of the mixture control arm that was protruding more than was needed for operations. We also extended the cockpit by removing 2 inches of the rear horizontal shelf. This created additional leg room for the pilot. At 10:30 A.M., June 27th, the engine was started using the electric fuel pump and immediately checked for any fuel leaks on the idle control arm. The pilot was given a "thumbs up" and continued the run. Within a few seconds we had oil pressure and the fuel pump system was turned from electric to manual. The engine sounded good. The pilot was in raido communication with the ground personnel. All instruments checked out, the cockpit seemed more comfortable than usual because of the cockpit enlargement and was given a "thumbs up" to do a two mile medium speed taxi run on the grass. The ground personnel were advising the pilot by radio where any obstacles were and the pilot, in order to avoid them, had to make S-turns. This is normal for a tail wheel aircraft. The pilot was given the green light for a medium speed taxi which is approximately 40 MPH. At this speed, small maneuvered S-turns are required. Unknowingly, the canopy locking handle had worked itself free and during one of the S-turns the prop wash ripped the canopy off the aircraft. No damage was done to the aircraft but the canopy had excessive damage. This has all been repaired and some newer modifications have been made to the plexiglass, similar to the original Messerschmitt design. We anticipate our final ground testing within the next week and will be ready for a final FAA inspection before flight testing.

On June 19th, we commenced taxi testing the 109. The aircraft handled well
and we felt confident for a successful high-speed taxi run. The pilot
inadvertantly left the locking handle for the canopy open, resulting in
damage to the structure of the canopy. We have made repairs and expect to
commence testing within a week. We will endeavor to keep you informed as we
progress into our maiden flight.

Just a little update on our progress. After weeks of repairing the fuel leaks
and making modifications to the 109's fuel system we also made a few cockpit
alterations which included extending the cockpit's length, changing the
mixture controls and various other cockpit items.

Al Rubenbauer