After several weeks of missed connections, bad weather and general annoyances, I finally got to fly a bit in the CCSS demo. Keep in mind that I pretty much bought the CCSS "sight unseen". The only time I actually looked at one was this year in the Sebring LSA Expo while I was seriously thinking about another airplane. Walked by the CCSS display, was impressed with the fit and finish, and continued on to the airplane I thought I REALLY wanted. Or so I thought. After some time and considerations, I decided to go with the Carbon Cub. Like I said, more-or-less sight unseen. So yesterday I got to really examine the airplane and then fly it. It was set up with 26 inch Tundra tires and the "3200" tailwheel. Which is pretty much what mine is going to have...I did get the AOSS suspension (and this one had the traditional bungee suspension). Mine will have the "3200B baby bushwheel" for a little more floatation. The airplane was provided kindly by Chip Allen of SWT (and he asked me to cross post this from another forum) and I was instructed/coached by Clay Hammond. Who was terrific. And courageous...hell, he didn't even scream when I sort of accidently pulled the mixture instead of the carb heat on one approach. Hey, I have been flying a fuel injected F33A...whoops.

Just a brief rundown of why I went CCSS from my Bonanza. It is all about the mission. We are retiring in New Mexico...on a hundred acres...and I wanted to fly off of a 1400 foot grass strip there (at 7200 feet above sea level). Instead of traveling, I wanted to more or less explore, fly camp, and play. Ok, on to the airplane.

First impressions on walk around: Damn, this thing is really pretty darn big and burly. Ya know, you think LSA, you think Clown Plane. And certainly some of the LSA's I looked at were plastic and pretty much toys...running the Rotax engines and so on. Didn't even SOUND like a real airplane, ya know? This airplane is big and of course the engine is a modified O 360, so it sounds like a real airplane. I was kinda of thinking I was shortselling myself by not just getting a Super Cub...but this is all the airplane that the Super Cub is, and, well, more! Wingspan is only a couple of feet shorter and ortherwise the same in every dimension...except in the pilot area where it is big...and comfortable for me. Oh, and the door is bigger, so it is easier to get in. Hey, I'm not as young as I used to be.

And then we flew it. I loved my F33A...honest, straight forward, very light controls...this makes the Bo feel like a darn truck. Lined up on the runway, run the throttle forward and the CC 340 responds, a second or so, tail up, then pull the stick back and up it goes. We were heavy...the CFI weighs just a bit north of 200 and i weigh a bit north of 250 and we had full tanks...He said fly 60 mph...and I tried, honest, but at 60, the sight picture My eyes told me I was nibbling at a catastrophic stall...and the airplane said, no, we are gonna go up at 1500 fpm. Amazing. Airwork, steep turns, stalls, power on stalls, hurt yourself in this airplane you would have to ignore what it tells you. Stalls are straight, honest and announce themselves nicely. Power on, you can set up a flight condition where it is full power, nose darn near vertical and all it does is mush along. Won't break. Won't drop. Just flys. Power off, you can set up a descent rate in the stall where the only way you can tell it is stalled is the burbling/grumbling on the wings. Oh, yeah, and you are dropping a thousand feet a minute...Nose down a smidge, and it flys right out.

Aside: I have been annoying everyone, Lervold, Chip, asking about getting an AOA indicator. The general consensus from them is that it is not useful in that the airplane will tell you what's going on. I am NOW absolutely convinced. I have no idea how someone can get into a base-to-final stall-spin in this unless they really try to.

Back to the mainline...very honest controls, sweet balance (I tended to overrudder...I'll get past that) and just...nice.

Landings? Those big mushy tires make it kind of stupid easy. As I got used to the airplane we played some at fast taxis and Tennesee waltzing (run down the runway on the left tire, then the right, then the left...which I was kind of pathetic at, but hey, first time...). The biggest problem was figuring out if I was taxiing or flying. A couple of times I wound up doing it 2-3 inches in the air instead of on the ground. Giggle stuff. Wander toward the edge of the runway? Power...and bang, yer at 1000 feet coming back to do it again. Huge confidence builder.

This is gonna be a lot of fun Now, only have to wait for August.