First flight of new CAP

Today I finally got my Genesis CAP 232 in the air. Been real busy the last couple of years with life and all, plus my other CAP been flying fine. But, you can only have a plane lying around so long before it's got to be finished.

So, I start it up, range test it on and off, GAS ZDZ 40, then do slow speed taxi tests. So far so good. I decide to do a high speed taxi test and it's here that I accidentally take off.

I'll have to double check my CG as the plane is very tail heavy, but I thought I had it fine prior to flight. So at around 1/4 - 1/2 throttle the she takes off very nose high, not enough field left to bring it down, plus I'm already holding a lot of nose down. So I power up and get it up high to try and trim this beast. It takes almost all the nosedown trim I can put in, but finally I get it level, but it's very sensitive in regards to the elevator. The good thing is that I've been flying a CAP for many years now and so I fly it around for about 10 minutes to let my fingers steady. I am curious as to what happens when I fly inverted so I try it, it climbs rather well so I roll back level.

Landing was fun, when you reduce power it let the nose come up, so you had to work with it, but I landed just fine. When I looked at my elevator position you could see I had a large amount of trim in it to fly level, so I moved my battery pack forward and tried again, but I couldn't move it much, but I flew again. Better but still climbs inverted, so tonight I'll remove the pack and remount it elsewhere to move the CG forwards. I wouldn't have flown again if I didn't feel it was controllable, it was just very touchy and required a light hand. The second takeoff was smooth and behaved as expected, very pretty.

What amazed me though was how well this CAP flew, very clean and precise in what little I tried. I didn't want to do anything involving stalls with the CG so far back due to fears of unrecoverable attitudes. From how it behaved I bet once I get the CG forward a bit more this will be one sweet flying plane. It flew like it was on rails except for how it behave to throttle and elevator, I was most impressed.

This reminded me the time when I tossed my Duraplane together after many years of neglect to test a video cam system, didn't bother to check the CG since it used to be right. When I pulled the power the nose went to a 45 degree angle, but man, that plane actually did some respectable aerobatics that it couldn't do before. Contrary to some, I found the high wing loading fun, put another 2 lbs of camera equipment on it and it flies like a real brick. It was fun for the challenge though. In retrospect, the new battery pack I used was heavier than the original and I didn't think about that until after.

I don't know how I mis-measured the CAP's CG yet, I'll look into it tomorrow and see what I goofed up on. I did it like the manual said with string, and then I put the scales under each wheel after making sure the plane was level, did the math and it seemed close. The only mistake I could have made was when I measured my main wheel position. Tomorrow I'll reference it to the tip of the spinner against a wall so that I remove any error of maybe the plane having moved and me not noticing it.

The scales bit is from full scale aviation, not the manual. It just gave a position for the CG point. It come out to 12 lbs 7 oz. It could have been lighter but I used lead to balance the tabs.

It's too bad Dani quit making this CAP, it's a very nice flying plane, even with the CG so far back it responded well.

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Matthew P. Cummings
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I used lead to balance the tabs on a Giles 202 once and had a tail heavy problem. Moving the battery pack fixed it. When you calculate the location for the CG, remember the LE has a taper to it. That can make a big difference on your checking with string. Don't use the full scale trick with the math and weights at each wheel as the percentage of error in the distance might be enough to kill a Cap. Remember you don't have a perfect location for the center point of the wheel WHERE IT MEETS THE GROUND! That is probably the root of most of your problems. Rather calculate the distance back on Mean Aerodynamic Chord for the CG to be AND calculate the MAC. Measure the wing until you find the MAC and go from there.

Good luck

-- Jim Branaum AMA 1428

Six_O'clock_High Target

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