I got my new BPV (Bullet Proof Version) Wizard Compact 2 in the air for the first time at the Big M in Platteville on a really decent day. The wind was about 25 mph and there was also a good thermal kick.
The Big M is about 200 feet of 70 degree slope and then another 250 at the bottom of much more gentle slope. It has always produced good lift and the day of the Wizard’s maiden voyage was no exception.
I spent about an hour and a half at the hill finishing the radio install, mounting the servo covers, redoing the aileron linkage and setting the CG. BTW I needed about 7 ounces in this BPV version of the Wizard. Next BPV I do I will leave a little more room in the nose for shot and epoxy. (Actually this will be really soon as I have a cross-tail fuse to use with my existing BPV wings that I will start on ASAP). Anyway, my original plan was to set the CG at a nice, safe 95mm from the leading edge but I just could not get myself to add even more weight to the nose and ended up at 101mm. That is about where I planned to set it anyway. I usually like the comfort of a slightly forward CG on a first flight but this is my 4th Wizard so I am very familiar with them and I figured this would pose no problem.
Another note on this particular Wizard, besides being a BPV version it is also a conventional V-tail. There may be some DSing in this plane’s future and I wanted to be on the safe side. I also was curious if there would be any noticeable difference between the conventional tail and the full flying V version. I really like the full flying V for most front side stuff. I know there has been some issues with it at high speeds in DS but on the front side it works great for me. So, time will tell if I notice a difference. The third wrench in the works is the aforementioned cross-tail fuse that will be ready soon. Could be that will be the one I like most. I really like how it looks!
With the plane as ready as it would get, and weighing a healthy 84 ounces, I headed to the hill’s edge and gave it a toss. Oh, yeah, right before that I did a thorough preflight and a range check just to make sure. So, the plane left my hand and started a gentle climb. I cruised around a bit getting the feel for the responsiveness while climbing out. A couple of clicks of down trim and it was starting to move out really well.
With several hundred feet of altitude I put the Wiz in a dive and found the CG was nearly perfect in the dive test. Leveling off the plane tracked right where I pointed it. Time for a roll rate test. Frankly, I was prepared not to be too impressed because the combination of the big Multiplex servos I used and the way I did the control linkage seemed to give me less control throw than I thought I wanted but the plane rolls really well. I don’t think I’ll mess with a thing in the aileron department, however, I will do the control setup a bit different next time I build a Wizard just in case I want some really big throws for some reason.
Next I rolled her over on her back and was very happy with the inverted performance. Just a smidgen of up stick to put in an inverted climb but then I neutralized the stick and she kept right on climbing upside down. Very cool.
Over the next several minutes I tried the landing crow set up, perfect, did some four point rolls, very nice and then climbed for as much altitude as I could get on this day. 800 to 1000 feet I’d guess. I wanted to see how this puppy went. Whoo, hoo! Man that sucker moves. I love when a first flight goes like this one was going.
I tried some F3F turns and found the plane very responsive and quick. It was doing that cool tail rising thing a Wizard does when it really gets on step and some turns I felt like I was coming out faster than I went in. Very encouraging.
After about a half hour or so or test flying I decided to shoot a landing. The Big M doesn’t have an easy LZ but this was no problem for the Wiz. After bleeding off some speed down below the lip of the slope I steered towards the LZ, Hit the flaps and kicked the plane around into the wind. Fully deployed the flaps let me nose down at about a 60-degree angle with a little flare at the end. I landed my new BPV Wizard Compact softly and it never even touched the ground. It just sat on top of the tall grass. Again, very cool!