AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 52

"How about a full-deflection aileron
roll?" I ask Doug Vayda, a highly experienced Extra pilot and sales rep at Southeast
Aircraft in St. Augustine, Florida, who's
guiding me through this introductory flight.
"Sure," Vayda says, nodding in the front
seat. "But let me tighten my [five-point]
harness first....OK, go for it."
That pause and belt tightening were
cues that something extraordinary was
about to happen, yet I was oblivious. After
all, an aileron roll is a no-brainer in an
unlimited aerobatic airplane. A mindless
flick of the wrist.
Charging along in level flight at 165
KIAS, I push the floor-mounted control
stick hard left, and the contrasting colors
of sky, cloud, and ground instantly swirl as
though they'd been dumped in a blender.
Blue, white, and green are suddenly an
indistinct blur-and the ailerons haven't
even reached full travel yet.
I neutralize the controls at what I guess
is level flight but I'm not even close.
Not only does the NG roll at a blindingly fast rate of about 400 degrees per
second, the start and stop are incredibly
abrupt. The jarring quickness was surprising because, until then, the NG had felt so
civilized and mannerly.
My control inputs during takeoff, climb,
steep turns, and initial aerobatic maneuvers had been relatively mild. Decisively
applying full aileron deflection had

52 | AOPA PILOT December 2020

It's all Dr. Jekyll and no
Mr. Hyde. The letters
NG might as well stand
for Nice Guy.
triggered the NG's beast mode. Breakout
forces are light and linear-but the rate of
change is amplified. And the same is true
for elevator and rudder, too.
Pull firmly and the G onset is instantaneous as the airplane squats around the
lateral axis and its broad nose rises. Step
on a rudder and yaw pushes you sideways. Roll and the horizon rotates like a
pinwheel.
Thick, symmetrical wings with no
dihedral mean there's no coupling between
any of the controls, so stepping on a rudder
pedal in level flight doesn't raise a wing.
Elevator trim doesn't change from stall
speed to VNE. And a combination of counterweights, horns, and aileron spades keeps
control forces the same, even as the airplane's speed changes.
"The airplane will be as mild or as wild
as you tell it to be," Vayda said. "It's rated
to plus or minus 10 Gs, so it's stronger
than any human. You and I are the limiting factors."
From level flight at 165 KIAS, I start a
4-G pull to vertical for a hammerhead. The
MT propeller digs into the humid coastal

air and its three blades shift to low gear
while the Lycoming IO-580 engine churns
at 2,500 rpm.
It takes 12 seconds and 1,500 feet of
altitude gain to reach the turnaround point.
That's a little more than the height of the
Empire State Building, and that comparison seems oddly apt because the stout,
muscular NG makes me think of King Kong
scaling the skyscraper.
"This thing climbs like it's going handover-hand up a rope," Vayda says. "When
you think it's done, wait a little longer
before kicking the rudder-and even then
you're likely to kick too soon."
I leave the throttle full forward on the
downline and the needle on the analog airspeed indicator jumps toward the redline.
In about five seconds the airspeed leaps
from near zero to nearly 200 KIAS even
though the airplane finishes the maneuver about 200 feet higher than it started.

TAKING OFF FROM RUNWAY 25 at Beaufort
County Airport in coastal South Carolina
(right). Electrical switches are color coded
and easy to reach on the center console
(below). Circuit breakers are hidden by
a thin cover that opens if any of them
pop. The floor-mounted control stick has
a handle wrapped in leather. The cockpit
feels roomy inside and a carbon fiber seat
holds the pilot in place, supporting their
back and legs during strenuous aerobatic
maneuvers. The angle of the seat back can
be adjusted with an air piston (below left).



AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 82
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 91
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 94
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 101
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 103
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover4
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