My DLE 55 was still new, having only been run once before. I decided to run a tank of fuel through the engine on the ground. When the tank was empty, I checked the Pawnee over for loose screws, etc. (I didn't find any) and then re-fueled.
Since I am able to fly at an abandoned airport, I have the ability to take off into the wind from any direction. The day of the maiden, we had a decent breeze blowing at around 10-12 MPH.
I taxied out to the runway, and noticed immediately that the rudder and steerable tail wheel did a great job of directing the plane.
With the nose pointed into the wind, I advanced the throttle gently. The tail came up within just a few feet, and the main gear left the pavement in less than 30 feet! The throttle was only half open! Gaining altitude was no issue - the DLE 55 and Falcon 22x8 prop had more than enough power to pull this big plane around.
Half a lap around the sky, I felt so comfortable with her that I pulled into a loop - again, the DLE 55 pulled through with no problem! Rolls were a bit sluggish and required 'down' elevator input while inverted, though I'm thinking that had a great deal to do with the 9 foot wingspan.
With the 22x8 prop, flying too fast was not a problem - even at full throttle, I had no concerns with the Pawnee. Flying slow did require a little back pressure on the elevator stick, but was easy to do. With the flaps down, this plane really slows to a crawl without ballooning at all!
After a 10 minute flight, I lined her up for a landing. Flaps down, with a just a touch of throttle, seemed to be perfect for controlling the decent - and a gentle touch down. Bringing in the Pawnee was easy!
After shutting down the engine, I drained the fuel from the tank. The 800cc tank took 90 cranks on my pump to fill, and after 10 minutes of flying, I pulled almost 60 cranks of fuel out! The Pawnee, DLE 55 and Falcon 22x8 prop were a great combination of performance and fuel economy! At this rate, the plane could comfortably stay in the air for 20 -25 minutes without running out of fuel - though I recommend you check your own flight times and adjust accordingly.
Check out the video to see her in action!