Our Velocity, N44VF, took her first flight on Friday 7 September 2007 - just over 5 years (and 7 weeks) after participating in the Head Start program and Elizabeth picking up our fast-build XL fixed gear fuselage and wing kits at the factory with a Ryder rental truck. Dave Bertram took her up, and we're indebted to him for taking such great care of our baby.
Our plane has a IO540 narrow deck motor with high compression pistons and a dual
Lightspeed Engineering Plasma III ignition system built by
Magnum Engine with a fixed-pitch
Catto 3 bladed prop and
Ken Miller "Hershey Kiss" spinner attached. We've also installed a straight-aft exhaust system with
augmenters formed into the lower cowling to improve cooling, but have yet to prove that effective.
We also installed several special features in the airplane, some of which were good ideas we stole from the factory and others (finger indentations on the lower strake nose for griping the door, aluminum headset hook in the overhead plenum, Ray Allen servo for roll trim with indication, fuel shut-off actuator in the pilot side keel, extra oil cooler in the nose with a bilge fan for recirculating cabin heater air in cold weather, Honeywell
enunciators, rear passenger windows in the strake bottoms, hidden tie-down points, and nose wheel lock) and some that we decided to do on our own (Xevision HID xenon landing light,
Strong pitch trim, Oregon Aero custom leather seats with
embossed Velocity logo, electric seat heaters, DVD entertainment system with wide-screen LCD's in front seat headrests, custom back-lighted overhead switch panel, and fade-to-black theater light style dimming of the overhead lights after the doors are closed).
Editor's Note: Brett sent me about a gigabyte worth of photos. This one is my favorite.
At the factory we call it the "Ferrell Modified Winglet Experiment." Will it fly?
The wing loading will be incredible! Check out the rest of the photos here. -KB