I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum credits the Laser 200 for bringing about a new generation of aerobatic aircraft
Saber 25
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I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by Saber 25 » 22 Aug 2019 11:39

I completed my RV4 30 years ago and have been in love with that little plane and admired all she could do. Then five years ago I bought a Pitts S1S which required quite a bit of work to make her mine and get her ready for contests. She also won my heart and while in the previous ten years she had only logged four hours, I turned that around with with three hundred hours in five years. With a spot left in my hangar, a low time Laser came to my attention and since I read so much about this iconic model I purchased it. It's a beautifully built aircraft and the workmanship is well above average. But as usual, despite having had a so called shop annual completed before I purchased her, much remained to be rectified and consequently the time flown in the past year was exploratory acro and maintenance test flights.

The final item was changing the locking Haigh to an API steerable. Am I glad I made that change ! While my Pitts has the Haigh and it works well on that short little chasis, the Laser was difficult to "S" turn sufficiently without her wanting to weathervane into the wind with the gear unlocked. Upon completion of the installation, it was too hot to fly with a downslope wind here in our valley but it provided the perfect environment to taxi test the new tailwheel. The transition to taxi before and after was remarkable and my flight test this morning confirmed a successful and satisfying installation.

This Laser has a little over 400 hours on engine and airframe with an AEIO-360 Lyc and brand new WW200. I would post some pictures but have not been able to figure out how it's done on this forum. Perhaps someone can give me progressive taxi instructions.

Cheers, Hans
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by MonoPlaneForum » 25 Aug 2019 10:59

Saber 25 wrote:
23 Aug 2019 00:05


Picture posting test

Cheers, Hans
Sweet ride!

Feel free to upload the pics here. Sometimes when these image hosting sites decide to close or suspend an account, we won't be able to see your beautiful airplane.
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One Winged Junkie
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by One Winged Junkie » 25 Aug 2019 17:19

Looks really nice. :ugeek: :ugeek: Welcome to the message board! :ugeek: :ugeek: Do you have any pictures of the inside? Would love to see your seat setup.
Saber 25
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by Saber 25 » 26 Aug 2019 11:52

I will get a picture of the cockpit tomorrow and post. Very minimally equipped instrument panel since I fly it only in VFR conditions. The view outside is outstanding.

Cheers, Hans
Saber 25
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by Saber 25 » 27 Aug 2019 06:49

By jove I think I've got it.
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Saber 25
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by Saber 25 » 27 Aug 2019 07:06

With a WW200 prop that has less than 8 hours, this plane gains altitude in the Intermediate despite us having to fly at nose bleed altitudes out here in Colorado. I love my Pitts but the Laser has measurably better performance.

Cheers, Hans
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One Winged Junkie
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by One Winged Junkie » 28 Aug 2019 08:38

Hans,

Thanks for the pictures. It seems you are still confused how to post the pictures here so I edited your post and made a quick picture to help you.

1. After you make a new topic, scroll to the bottom of the page and click 'attachments' and then 'add files'. Find the files on your computer and then upload the files. That's it.

Enjoy
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Saber 25
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by Saber 25 » 31 Aug 2019 06:16

Thanks "Junkie". I'll post this as a test picture of my RV4. This is at Smiley Creek Idaho camping last month.

Cheers, Hans
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davevon
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by davevon » 18 Nov 2019 02:10

Hi Hans,

Nice looking Laser (and RV-4). I had been receiving notifications on new posts, but evidently not lately. Just happen to stumble onto yours...

I try to keep track of the Lasers that are out there, but this is the first time I think I've seen yours!

Could you post some larger pictures?

From what I can see in the pictures, it appears that you have the larger tail control surfaces with servo tabs on the elevators. Your wing looks to have the 23012 airfoil, but I can't tell much about your ailerons other than it looks like you have rectangular spades. I'm surprised that your battery is that far aft, the original CG setup with an FP prop?

How's the transition from the Pitts to the Laser going? I've spent a fair amount of time working on the black magic of spades :-) A Pitts is straight forward and fairly easy, I originally thought the Laser was going to be similar, not...

My Laser journey: https://monoplaneforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=21

If you haven't seen this there's some good info: https://www.biplaneforum.com/threads/th ... tion.5273/

Regards,

Dave
Saber 25
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Re: I acquired a Laser 200 a year ago

Post by Saber 25 » 19 Nov 2019 12:55

Hi Dave,

I returned from a dive trip last night and was just getting caught up on the Biplane, RV and Monoplane forums when I caught your note.

I've only had the Laser since a year ago in July. Although it had an annual, I went through it thoroughly and made some adjustments, additions and tweaked systems for improvement of the 1989 airframe and engine. It was built by Bill Curry of Northern California and I was drawn to the excellent workmanship of this airframe and engine combination.

The Pitts I've owned for almost six years and logged over 600 landings and 300 hours while only about 20 hours on the Laser. As with the Laser, the Pitts S1S is a single pilot check out and I found the Laser to be far easier on TO and Landing. While the Pitts initially had poor landing gear alignment issues that made it a handful, once the shims were added to correct the toe-in, she became far more tractable and predictable. The Laser on the other hand never gave me the dry mouth syndrome as the Pitts initially did when turning base.

At our Colorado high DA's, the Laser has demonstrably more vertical performance and does not require a break to continue a sequence while the little Pitts may run out of steam on a hot day. The Pitts at idle descends quickly with my Catto three blade at idle while the Laser at idle and fine pitch drops like a manhole cover. Alternatively, the Laser at idle with the WW200 full course feels more like the sedate glide of my RV4.

The elevator servo tabs made the pitch far more sensitive and less balanced than the other two axis so I reduced the travel via linkage adjustment and all three controls are now harmonized and balanced. I've had up to +9-6G's on the airframe and she tracks well albeit the control pressures are a bit more than my Pitts. The only dislike I found on handling was the Haigh tailwheel which I replaced with an API fully steerable. On the Pitts the Haigh works fine for S turn taxiing but on the much longer Laser wheelbase it was problematic.

Inspections on the Laser are simple affairs and not much knuckle busting there. The turtle back opens completely up for full view of the fuselage aft from the seat to empennage. Wings are wood covered and very tight with great fabric work on remaining surfaces. Working on the Pitts is what I call a screw job since that's what keeps all the panels in place. Removing a mag on the Pitts is a pain. But the little Pitts fits in any corner, easy to move and nimble in the air as well. I wish I would have had both airplanes when I was 42 and had them up to now at 72.

Cheers, Hans
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