|Hastings At 5,200'|
Yesterday, the 16th, was an absolutely beautiful day in West Michigan! Clear as a bell, mid-50's and a South wind at 6 MPH.
My flying for the day began on a flight with Jerry from Elk Grove, CA while his delightful wife Ruth took pictures from the ground of two older guys flying by in a Yellow 2PT. An hour or so later Hugh, pilot extraordinaire, from Jenison, MI and I went out and ran the G2 2PT through its paces. Hugh flew most of the time, I just got to set back and enjoy the view and someone else enjoying the G2. An hour later, we were on our way back to Hastings doing the landings of several types. We had a great time for sure...no surprise!
Since Hugh was my last flight of the day it made sense to grab a quick lunch with him and then get back to the office to finish up some office work there. Here was the problem...there was lots of gas (and gas does go bad if not used right away!) in the 2PT, it was a beautiful day (more rare this time of year) and there was no good reason not to go back to the airport and just fly.
I did a quick pre-flight, buckled in and off I taxied. With a South wind at 6 MPH I could either use Runway 12 and manage the cross-wind from my right...or do a max pre-rotate to 175 RPM's and take-off from the North-South Taxi way that leads to Runways 12-30. Either way, it is all paved and the aircraft stays clean. If I do a taxiway departure I save myself 5-7 minutes of taxi time not to mention the tires and hassle of going to the West side of the airport for a departure to the South. Since the airport was quiet I exercised the benefits of being a rotorcraft.
When the tachometer hit 175, I turned onto the taxiway, eased to full power and 150' later I was off and climbing at 700 - 900' FPM to somewhere South of the airport. I really did not have a plan as to where I was going; I just knew that I wanted to climb. The 2.34 Drive does a great job of that for sure.....all the way to 5,200' in six minutes without really having to work at it. What a beautiful view from a mile up in the air; makes me want to go flying right now.
It is so much fun to fly an aircraft that has an ultimate, Minimum Forward Speed of 25, will loiter for hours at 35 and when you spool it up will fly at 85 MPH....as an open frame. I can not wait until the enclosure is done, fitted, painted and screaming along at....well, very, very fast speeds.
Got to love it!
...All 5,200' of it!