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First flights after new engine installation


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I just did one Friday evening. I had made two ground runs. Warmed it up, checked for leaks, balanced the carbs and set idle speed. Made a second run for assurance, cowled it up and made a 25 minute flight. Our airport is very open and flat terrain all around. On takeoff I made a quick check to make sure my numbers were where I thought they should be then I continued my takeoff and climb. At a comfortable altitude I made a turn back towards the airport. The turn should not be made to soon that you would overshoot the runway on a down wind landing if the engine quit, but not so late that you have no chance of making it back to the airport. Once back to the mid downwind continue to climb. From here you should keep yourself in a position to land on the runway you took off from. I climbed to around 2000 feet above the ground and orbited the airport. After landing I removed the cowling and made a thorough inspection of the engine for leaks, and made sure everything was secure and in place. I made one final idle adjustment, and released the airplane to my customer.

For the OP, if you are at your home airport that first turn and position of you orbit will be your critical factors. 

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Tom, how long were your ground runs?  The engine in the RANS S-20 I build was new (as was the entire fuel system, of course) the first time I flew it.  I had almost an hour of time on the engine before taking off for the first time.  That time consisted of several ground runs including some to full power, always followed by checks for leaks.  First take off was for a 10 minute flight to a local airport where I landed, took the cowl off and inspected for leaks.  After each of the next few flights of an hour or more, I would remove the cowl and check for leaks.

Very flat terrain here in Iowa, as well.

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The EAA has some resources for testing newly built experimental aircraft (My hangar-mate did it after building his RV). https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/builderresources/next-steps-after-your-airplane-is-built/testing-articles/stage-one-making-preparations-for-flight-testing A lot of this is not going to apply to the CT, for example I don't think Rotax's require any break in, they are already broken in and run at the factory. 

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