Steve Thompson's Patrol

Patrol number 017

I completed this scratch built Patrol in about 3 years, (work time). The plans were very good, however, I have already built a four place Bearhawk. So, I have an idea of the method Bob uses when drawing prints.

On the Bearhawk, I was worried about getting everything ‘perfect’ and close. But,on the Patrol, I found out just getting it close will work, it will fly. I made a few changes in the prints: thicker spar cap strips, and .025 wing skins. This was covered Polybrush covering system and paints. I painted it in the pre-Korean War training colors. Really looks neat. Wherever I land, all of the old military pilots love it. Many pictures have been taken of my nose art in particular. I have one of Bob’s 0360 angle valve engines. I had a couple of problems with it, but now it is running great and it is really making awesome horse power.

First flight was over 2 hours long, uneventful. I had a tick heavy right wing. Take off roll was a little longer than the Bearhawk due to the fixed pitch prop. Slowing the airplane down and landing seemed to be a lot easier than the Bearhawk. You can see over the nose a lot better than the Bearhawk. I kind of like the large trims on both sides of the elevator. Movement of the trim lever inside cockpit is about ¼” both ways off center.

When you strap in the plane, it feels like it becomes a part of you. The controls are very good, roll and pitch. You think it and it’s already done it. I have adjusted the heavy right wing to where it is hands off flying.

In May, 2010, Scott Weinberg from Ohio was here and had a chance to fly with Lynn Gardner, (she is well know in aviation in our area). She flies Lears corporate for a living. She has been flying a Highlander and sold it to raise money for her new hangar. She flew the Patrol first by herself and when she landed she got out with a big smile and said “this is the plane for me”. Then she took Scott up. Later that afternoon, Scott and I had a one hour leisurely flight down the Suwannee out to the Gulf of Mexico, flew the coast down to Cedar Key. He did most of the flying from the rear seat. He did an excellent job because it is hard to see over a big person like me.

I currently have 61 hours on it now. I haven’t flown the Bearhawk since the Patrol started flying. Just crank it up, keep oil on the cam and internal parts. I am working with leaning to conserve fuel and working with pitch right now. It is burning approximately 7.8 gallons per hour on the average right now.

I had the prop repitched from 56 to 58, I saw no change in take off or climb performance, BUT it sure did help the cruise!

Hurry up guys, you are going to love your Patrol!

Steve Thompson

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