Bits and Pieces
First Flight of the Silver Dart Replica 5
Story by Ed Lubitz; photo by Kathy Lubitz
Found hidden away on page 10 of this month’s Light Flight (The Ultra Light Pilot’s Association’s) Newsletter, was this newsworthy item. – Jack Dueck
With pilot Ed Lubitz at the controls, the Silver Dart Replica 5 flew under its own power for the first time early this morning June 13, 2009 at 07:46 from the grass runway at Lubitz field near Kitchener, Ontario.
Ed writes: We were conducting taxi test with a run at 15 mph followed by a second run. During the second run, with the power at approximately half-throttle, the air speed was increased to 20 mph. The elevator was deflected down to see if there was enough control authority to lift the nose wheel clear of the runway. The nose wheel lifted clear of the ground and the increased angle of attack allowed the mains to follow. The aircraft rose into the air about 3 feet and was airborne for approximately 500 ft.
The elevator controls were very light and difficulty was experienced selecting an appropriate elevator position as the dew spraying off the nose wheel limited my sight. The neutral position of the elevator was impossible to ascertain by feel. I reduced power and the aircraft landed without incident.
In this very short flight, the aircraft appeared to be stable with no unexpected excursions. However; a fender will have to be fitted to the nose wheel so that on those early morning flights, my vision isn’t impaired by the spray from the nose wheel.
Editor’s Note: When asked about any post first flight celebration, Ed had this to say: “We retired to the club house and celebrated with a Raspberry Vinegar just as Dr. Bell did in 1909”
In a visit to Ed and Kathy Lubitz’s residence last fall, Ed informed Jean and I that he would build a full scale replica of the Silver Dart in celebration of Canada’s Centennial of Flight. Since then we have followed his efforts with great interest.
During the Baddeck days in February, Kathy was seen spying on the Welland replica and its flight successes. Then around early May, we received this picture of the finished Dart in taxi tests.
The Dart was transported and displayed at the CBAA Convention in Montreal in later May, and then brought back to the Lubitz’s field.
Arrangements have been made to bring and display this wonderful replica of early flight in Canada to Oshkosh, where literally hundreds of thousands will be able to see it. If you get their early, you will even be able to get a special T-shirt displaying Canada’s First Ultra light.
See it all at Oshkosh!