Dear Greg and Lindsay
I am back on Cyber Space for today only will be back again after a
few days !!! Thanks for the photo, it certainly gives our
correspondence a familiar and personal touch. Your letter was very
detailed indeed and answered all my possible queries. I would be more
than happy to get the fuel consumption anything close to yours. I get
approx 14 lits at 72 kts( with 430 kg wt ). I agree with your
assessment of the problem with the arplast prop. I had gotten mine
from Jerry Davis of Lyndhurst Down in the UK who had told me that he
cuts them to size. Strange that I had almost ordered the same prop
from Niren Chotoki in SA, mainly because of the excellent response I
get from him, small world !! Infact I had also been in touch with Mike
Blythe & Oliver Aubert right after their Pacific Adventure and it was
their advice which helped me decide on the Rotax912S engine. About
the cowl ,1 have yet to try it.1 am waiting to get the performance right
first with the prop than put the cowl. As you may have noticed its not
a full cowl like yours rather only till the cylinder heads, I have lots of
hope for extra performance with it ! !
I am pleased to know that your friend George Killey has agreed to
discuss the prop problem with me. I xll be sending him and Flynn an e-
In the mean time a common friend between myself & David in Uk has
been in touch with Mr Nigel Beale the rotax & GSC prop dealer in Uk
and who has suggested replacing the existing 3 blade hub with a 5
blade hub and will also supply 2 more wooden blades. I wish CFM had
this option available earlier. BTW CFM went bankrupt in July and the
new management i.e admin(S)aerodesiQn. co.uk has taken over. I will
decide after my discussion with George. I certainly going ahead with
the mods you've done on your Streak, they make sense to me. But
first I have to get some leave, away from these mountains. Please do
send the article you mentioned, I xll look forward to reading it
.Fortunately in the star streak the prop is already outside the center
section and the gear box keeps the hub cool so I won't be needing the
extension incase george agrees to build a prop for me. 1 would prefer
the adjustable composite in view of the requirement of our peculiar
requirement. We are pushing David's brain child a bit too far ( 450 kg
Greg, since you too do long distance xcountry flying, I thought I Ml
share some experiences which could be useful! I wonder if you have
heard of Tempur Foam ? They were developed for the Space Shuttle, I
ordered these cushions from Aircraft Spruce and they are worth every
penny for the comfort they provide in the cramped shadow. They come
in various thickness, if you are 6' or over then 2" is the max I would
recommend, in 4 hours nonstop flying I did'nt even need to shift my
butt ! Besides comfort they claim to provide excellent crash protection
to the spine !! Since the Streak is a noisy machine, To save money I
ordered a pair of ANR kits from Head Sets Inc in the USA for my
Avcomm headsets. Cost me $169 a piece and took 1/> hour to fit and
now I enjoy very acceptable stereo sound from a small walkman.
I appreciate your concern over the situation here, lets hope sense
prevails on the opposite side . I envy the flying environment you have
in Africa.I was for a year in Somalia on peace keeping, so had the
opportunity to travel extensively in Kenya,Uganda a bit in Tanzania
(just in Serengeti with my wife & boy) and a visit to Ethiopia. I just
missed visiting South Africa due to some pressing commitments back
home. It must be a lovely feeling flying over the beautiful landscape
? Who knows, if we cant go on our round the world trip like Mike
Blythe we may end up planning something similar ? Thanks once
again for your mail.
With kindest regards to you and Lindsay
3 October 2002
Sorry about the delay in replying to your email. Lindsay and I have both been very
busy. I have been busy renovating the inside of my house and painting and Lindsay
has been putting together her quarterly business directory so there has been little
chance for me to send any messages up until this point. Funnily enough we had
decided to sit down tonight to reply to your last email when your reply came today.
I did see George briefly about two weeks back and he said he had received your
email. He didn't elaborate further and 1 didn't want to push it.
Did you ever hear from Flynn? I know that he intended sending you quite a bit of
information and it would be interesting to see if you gained anything from that. I
haven't had a chance to talk to him for the last couple of weeks.
Ajab, looking at the rest of your email, maybe I am out of line here but I don't think
you should go for a five-bladed propeller. You could land up with far more drag than
what you want and maybe a five-blader will actually kill your engine. I still feel a
four-blader would be a far better application especially for the smoothness. Here
again, I am speaking from experience with one of our other Streak Shadows which
has the Rotex engine with an original four-blader Arplast which produces tremendous
performance and is also very smooth running.
I have never heard of Tempur Foam. What is its composition? At the moment, my
cushions are of a fairly dense foam and do give pretty good support and with anything
up to four hours of flying, 1 don't have a problem. 1 think the day that Jas and I flew
down to the Cape, because of the heat, both of us were pretty hot in the cockpits and
that was probably the result of our feeling uncomfortable and wanting to move around
all the time. However, it is certainly worth knowing about. Hopefully I will never
have to prove whether my seats are 'crash proof or not!
I really need to get into the scene of connecting music up to the headsets. I do have a
facility on the flightcom intercom system which I must consider doing.
You did mention in your email that the Streak is noisy. I must admit that compared to
the early days with the original Arplast propeller to the present wooden one, of which
you have a picture, the noise reduction has been quite dramatic. I have noticed that
there is a definite change in volume of sound at certain temperatures and with certain
moisture contents in the air. Colder air produces less cavatation and far less noise than
There is something new that I am about to try which may interest you. I am going to
be closing the gaps between the tail and the back elevator which, as you know, is
quite considerable. Apparently it affords better manoeuvrability especially on takeoff.
Jas tried this during the 1997 World Microlight Championships held at our field
and it apparently gave him better control. I don't think there is much drag there but
who knows, closing any gap which produces drag has to make a difference. Hopefully
I will be doing this within the next two to three weeks and 1 will let you know the
I also found that at altitude I was landing up with elevator flutter probably due to
thinner air and turbulence going through this gap, so, if nothing else, I hope that this
eliminates this problem. So, we'll see.
At the moment the weather is not too nice here. We are coming into our Spring/early
Summer and we are experiencing a lot of rain and wind so flying has not been the best
over the last month. I flew last weekend and I had to use my GPS as it was so hazy.
It would be nice one day if we could see the Spirit of Pakistan in South Africa. Who
knows, instead of flying around the world you could fly down the east coast of Africa!
Just three more photographs for your interest -
The first one is taken at our third Cato Ridge Air Show in May 2001 by Lindsay and
was a real coup. We managed to pursuade Nationwide Airlines, one of our domestic
carriers, en route to Johannesburg to fly over our airfield. What we didn't anticipate
was the height that he came over - approximately 150 ft off the ground at an airspeed
of 190 knots. Needless to say, when they landed at Johannesburg, one of the
passengers reported them to their Head Office because he was 'delayed' and the poor
guys got into deep trouble for it. It was absolutely spectacular to witness the BAC 1-
I1 with a full complement of passengers flying past that low. Normally these planes
are approx. 20 000 ft above the airfield at this stage, so it will give you some idea of
the commitment of some of our pilots to join in any air show, no matter how small it
is. We had a running commentary over the public address system from the pilots as to
how they were bringing the plane past. If you look closely you will see Jas' plane
(blue) and then mine just in front of his. We were waiting to take off after the
Second photograph is of our dear friend, David - the only one that I ever took - and
he is sitting in my aircraft prior to its completion. I think the picture was taken in
about July/August 1997.
The last photograph is yours truly fitting out the Streak in its very early stages. Notice
the blue stripes up the side when I was still thinking about what sort of colours I was
going to use. The red Streak in the background was apparently destroyed by a very
inexperienced pilot but, unbelievably, he walked away with only minor bruising to his
legs. Once again, a testament to the strength and dexterity of these aircraft.
Finally, Ajab, I am glad you enjoyed the article. I have recently sent an article on the
trip Jas and I did to the Cape to our South African Microflight magazine which goes
to about 4000 microlight pilots countrywide. I will send you a copy later.
Take care and we will talk to you shortly.
Greg and Lindsay
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