September 30, 2008
I flew 1472 sm round trip from home (Mid Valley AirPark - E98) to Beatrice, NE (BIE) for the Quickie/Dragonfly Tandem Wing Fly-in. Total time for the trip was 12.3 hours. Route going to was E98 (Mid Valley) - LVS (Los Vegas, NM) - LHX (La Junta, CO - fuel) - GGF (Grant, NE - visit friends) - IML (Imperial, NE - visit friends) - MCK (McCook, NE - fuel) - BIE (Beatrice, NE). Return was BIE - HQG (Hogaton, KS - fuel) - E98. I didn't get much help from tailwinds during the entire trip - a little on the out leg, small headwind on the return leg. The longest legs were about 2.5 hours which I've found to be my personal maximum range (small bladder capacity...). This "out" trip and flying whilst there was 7 hours and 33 gals (which was 4.7 gph, 25 mpg) and 8 takeoffs/landings which included giving a couple of rides and a little "demonstration" flying.
Return trip was total fuel used was 29 gallons. The first leg I did some testing and did not lean at all and was showing about stoichiometric on the oxygen sensor/gauge - fuel burn was just a hair over 6.6 gph. On the second leg, I went to 10,500' and leaned as normal - fuel burn was 4.8 gph (27.5 mpg). These fuel burn numbers are a bit higher than I previously thought (4.4 gph at 10k feet) and I think this is due to a combination of running at lower altitudes over the mid-west and no advantage due to tailwinds. I need to do some research on is how to fly efficiently at low altitude. I generally follow the principals presented in the book "The Logic of Flight, The Thinking Man's Way to Fly" which (basically) recommends flying at an altitude where full throttle yields the desired cruise RPM, then lean. For my plane, this is in the 10,500' to 12,500' range. When flying low (i.e. 6,000' MSL), I need to throttle back and lean. Based on higher fuel flow, I was not doing a real good job of this.
No oil used/lost, no coolant lost, ZERO maintenance anywhere along the trip.