Off to Nitra in a couple of weeks to cover YGC’s second EuroFox. Did some towing with the 912 iS demonstrator in far from ideal conditions at Sutton Bank – G-TTUG is a ‘nose dragger’ with skinny tyres, but her performance and engine handling are slightly better than G-MOYR’s. The injected engine installation is a lot neater, and will save at least some build time. Working towards delivery to Sutton Bank at the end of May/early June.
I think this was a first at YGC. The T21 is ‘a bit’ draggy and quite heavy with 2 pilots. With the air temp a pleasant 26 degrees, we towed at 55-60 knots IAS in the tug with 1/2 flaperon. Engine T’s and P’s stabilised at the top of the oil T green arc, and coolant/CHT 100 degrees C.
Take off distance off the short runway 24 was the same as a K21, but at the lower tow speed the rate of climb was noticeably lower, and the thermals were a big help. The lower RPM (at lower climb speed) means that power output is down on that pushed out at between the 5350-5400, and this was particularly noticeable with the T21 on the back.
The experience made a change from towing slippery competition ‘loads’, and we’re still learning.
The YGC EuroFox is coming up to her next 50 hour check after a thorough 150 hour check up last month by Inspector Mark. The 50 hour ‘cycle’ of checks means that the Rotax servicing requirements are easily fitted into the LAA system. Mark carried out compression checks and arranged gearbox torque checks in addition to cutting open the oil filter to check for nasties; G-MOYR got a clean bill of health and will get a new set of spark plugs when we do the 50 hour check this week (different plugs to the 80 hp 912 noted!).
We are achieving monthly hours of nearly 50 on our EuroFox, and are delighted with our (not so) new tug. She is a delight to fly and operate, and straight forward to work on and maintain in pristine condition. G-MOYR has now topped the 900 aerotow mark, and will probably account for over half the tows at Sutton Bank this year. Climb rates with the big 2-seaters are slower (30 secs to 1 minute to 2000 feet) but the retract winch and the fast descents made possible by the Rotax 912 make for noticeably quicker turn round times. 1000 foot training tows (glider circuit training) give launch rates quicker than winch launching! Next year’s cost review may well result in further reductions in launch fees.
…..and we have ordered another!
G-MOYR is living up to expectations, and “doing everything it says on the tin”. Integrating the EuroFox into our Pawnee/Super Cub tug fleet has worked out nicely. By chance, our Cub suffered an undercarriage collapse as we were completing the Permit flying, so EuroFox slotted straight into the gap! The new tug’s towing performance is better overall than the Super Cub – 30secs to 1 min slower to 2000′ but much quicker getting back on to the ground, leading to noticeably quicker turn round times between tows. Average fuel consumption for aerotowing a mix of 2-seat and single seat gliders is working out at 2.7 litres of UL91 to 2000 feet. YGC towing charges reduce on 1st April, and we are introducing EuroFox training tows to 1000 feet for 2-seat training and early solo flying. Towing pictures to follow when my camera comes back from the menders, it never recovered from being dropped on the workshop floor during the build!