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Handling Characteristics

After a few minutes heading to the north east Mark asked if I would like to fly it. The stick was a "fly by wire"... that is there is no actual linkage from the stick to the control surfaces but rather it is like a computer joystick. However unlike my flightstick at home there is a fair amount of pressure needed to deflect the stick. I would estimate about the weight of two quarts of milk to move the stick 2 inches.

At first I just slowly rolled the wing side to side to 30 degree banks and after a couple of rolls I increased the rate to 45 to 45 banks in about 1.5 seconds. I guess Mark was amused by my being so timid and suggested a full 360 degree roll. After my 3 seconds of silence he said he'd demonstrate. First a slight climb of 1.25 g's for a second then he rolled the wing the full 360 in about 1 second. My first attempt was pretty much right on but I stopped the roll about 10 degrees of roll too far after the 360. Basically I held the roll about 3/100ths of a second too long. After a couple more reversing rolls Mark suggested a four point roll. From my airshow experiences I knew he meant to stop the roll at 90 degree intervals for a split second each during the roll, so... I looked out the front and essentially detached myself from being in an aircraft and watched the horizon line and did a press release, press release action and did (if I must say so myself) great 4 pointer being only a few degrees off in each position. I reversed the maneuver a couple of times and got sloppy a bit on the last one with a slighty jerky roll oscillation as my hand inadvertently reversed the stick position a bit while upside down.

The roll response was unlike anything I had flown before. (Duhhh). I had anticipated it to be about twice the response of a 126 sailplane which is one of the nicest rolling sailplanes but not only was it more like 5 to 10 times the rate, it was the wing's feeling of zero inertia and desire to stay EXACTLY where you let the stick go that was impressive. Imagine being in a chair that holds you in like glue, that is capable of instantly going from no roll velocity to rolling at about 2 360's per second or faster and when you let go of the stick, it instantly stops it's roll and stays EXACTLY where you left it. You could go from level , press the stick about 3 inches left for .4 seconds and let go of it and you are smoothly flying along upside down. WAY COOL!