BILL ELLIOTT

 

I was delighted to get the call from Leo telling me that he was indeed interested in having me fly the JS1 in the upcoming US 18m Nationals to be held at Mifflin County Airport near Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

I had flown there last year in the 15m Nationals and was eager to fly there again and especially excited to be going with the JS1.

The JS1 arrived in Tullahoma, TN where Leo promptly handled the Airworthiness Certificate using the FAA FSDO folks from Nashville.

I had already received polar data and was ready to load software and apply key settings. Leo and I spent a couple of days preparing the new JS1 for flying by installing instruments, loading and testing the flight computers, going over paper work and the operating manual, and checking to make sure the CG was correct for my weight.

During this time I had plenty of time to take a careful look at the ship’s interior details and found the finish to be remarkably professional with extensive attention to detail in everyway.

The cockpit is one of the nicest I have seen - nicely laid out controls and a well thought out panel. The seating was roomy and proved to be very comfortable.

The glider was positioned for take-off after Dick Butler arrived to give us a tow with his Cessna 180. The first take-off roll was begun for the first JS1 in the US and all was smooth. The JS1 was absolutely rock steady on the tow and we steadily climbed to 2,000 feet (which was close to cloudbase) and I released.

I cruised under the nearest cloud and rolled into a nice 45 degree bank as the vario began to sing. The roll rate was excellent and responsive and the JS1 coordinated easily. Moving the flaps to the first thermalling setting, the JS1 settled in nicely for a short climb with a steady airspeed at about 50 kts - I was impressed!

Cloudbase was low so I cruised along under several closely spaced Cu and noticed first how quiet and well sealed she was as I bumped along accelerating to higher speeds with the push of the flap handle. A couple of more short climbs - one to the left and one to the right -and it was time to try some stalls. A gentle stall was extremely benign with a slight mushing of the controls.

A more abrupt nose up induced a slight shudder providing some noticeable warning and then the expected straight ahead nose drop. I tried a turning stall but it was difficult to induce.

I set up for a normal pattern, checked the air brakes and started down. All was normal and I ended up with a slight slip as I worked to drop in over some low trees and touch down and stop where Leo was waiting. Keeping the speed up for the wind and thinking of the trees, I was a little hot. The glider set down nicely and the disc brake was quite effective allowing me to stop just past my take-off point.

Leo and Bob Epp centered the glider on the runway and I did another quick pattern tow as DB was eager to get back to the shop (or lunch, not sure which). A third tow and I was off to fly the rest of the afternoon with a perma-grin on my face. Cloudbase slowly rose to around 3,500 feet AGL and I was cruising around the country-side enjoying the Middle-Tennessee horse paddocks, the Jack Daniels distillery, DB’s beautiful home and airfield. DB called on the radio after an hour or so (I guess it was after lunch) and came up with the 180 to shoot a few air-to-air photos with Bob Epp.

Four hours later and numerous weak thermals under my belt, I was very pleased with the JS1 and quite comfortable flying her. I really look forward to flying this new glider in the 18m Nationals which begin in just a few days.

Bill Elliott [May 2008]

 
 
 

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