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River flying
#1
I live on the prairies so flying over flat grain fields makes for great testing grounds but not exactly thrilling when it comes to just flying for fun. So my favorite spot to go is the Bow River valley about 10 miles south of my acreage. This year I've discovered a bald eagles nest in one of my favorite landing spots so its been great to head down there every few days to watch for the eventual family additions emerge from the nest (you can see both mom and dad at the edges of the top picture, eagles don't like to cuddle too much). I've noticed mom and dad haven't been around much over the last couple of weeks and I've been trying to see if I can make out any movement up there (its about 70 feet up so its hard to make out much against the bright sky background). I don't fly or land too close so as not to bother them but the last time out curiousity got the better of me so I figured I'd just do a quick swoop past on my climb out and lo and behold 3 babies that must have been nearly a foot tall were standing around the edge of the nest! Too cool! Last time down a couple of days ago I checked again and there they were but lying down this time and looking even bigger. They grow incredibly fast. Mom and dad must have wingspans of 5 to 7 feet so I'm sure it won't be long until these guys are the same.
The deer in the other picture are there on occasion as well (apologies for the grainy pictures taken late evening with my cell phone). Then down the valley there's a movie set (can't remember the show) of an entire old western town with a train running through it that is neat to check up on every now and then. Last year they burnt it almost in its entirety for the show but they've obviously rebuilt it again in the show becuase its back similar to what it was before. They also have a set of a gold mine for the show in one of the side valleys coming down into the river valley. I'll have to get some shots of that as well.
And its just a quick flight around to check it all out. It what flyings all about for me!



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#2
Awesome pics john and machine.  It looks a little different with the wheels instead of pads. 
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#3
Superbe!
Merci de partager ces photos.

Superb!
Thank you for sharing these pictures.
Jean-Rémy (XE 1077 - Sud Bretagne - France)
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#4
That is sooo good. I enjoy seeing where others are flying to.
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#5
Thanks for the post John. It's great to see the inventor sticking to the true inspiration of what motivated the design. It's all about the adventure! Always was and always will be. Thanks for setting the example not just in the design but how to enjoy it as well.
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#6
Fantastic John thanks for sharing. Wink
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#7
doug bryant - 6/10/2013 5:02 PM

Awesome pics john and machine.  It looks a little different with the wheels instead of pads. 

Was looking at that to ... the wheels ... and I have to ask, did you weigh the machine? With those wheels, does it still meet the FAA weight requirements? I ask this as I to prefer the wheels

tyc
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#8
Not sure how many of you have heard of the floods in Calgary and southern Alberta last month but we got hit pretty bad here and are still cleaning up in the city. Downtown got it the worst. I'm at a higher elevation so wasn't affected but did fly down to the river right after the peak to see how my eagles were faring. I have a couple of pictures from my flight down during the flood and then a few more after the river returned back to normal (volume apparently grew by 30X in a few hours). The amazing part is the rock piles that have been left behind. There are rocks over a foot in diameter that are now at the top of piles that are about 12 to 15 feet above the normal river level. The rocks you see in the pictures are in the stand of trees that my eagles are nesting in. You can see the grass there in the pictures in my earlier post with the deer running around. Now its all just rocks. There's also a picture of the top of a flooded back hoe that was caught in the gravel pit nearby before they could get it out. The picture of the rapids flowing over the ledge is where the water from the river was dumping into that lake. As for the eagles, I've only seen two of the three babies at once so hope they are all ok!

Also a couple of recent shots with the chopper sitting on an island in the river. During the flood the water would have been well over the top of the chopper. The cabin is from the mine entrace movie set that it appears has been left behind, at least for now. The movie set in the valley got wiped out by the flood as its on a plain only about 6 feet above the normal water level. Looks like they are rebuilding it though since the show must go on!


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#9
Well, the eagles are gone. Only the big nest they built has been left behind. But in a broken tree only about 100 feet away is a new family to watch. A pair of horned owls clearly have a nest in the top of a hollowed out section at the top of a broken off tree as I saw one of the pair leaving the tree as I was walking up to it recently. They hung around and watched me intensely as I walked around to check it out. On the next visit both were there. One of them, likely mama, was clearly not thrilled at my being in the area as in addition to the usual whoo sound there was some clicking and other odd sounds coming from her as both parents stared me down. I don't land anywhere near or stick around as I don't want to stress them too much but I'm looking forward to seeing some chicks venture out in the coming months.

The other really cool thing is how fast I can get there. With the new Inntec engine on my XE (so its now an XE285) I cruise at 90-95 mph wherever I go so I'm down there in a little over 6 minutes. No more 70-75 cruise with the 202 or 55 with the Air (unless I'm looking for the open air feeling!) Its amazing how quickly you can get places when you can fly in a straight line that fast! My dad has a plot of land on a lake about 50 miles away by air and I've made the trip in 35 minutes. It takes 75 minutes by car! And its good to know you're only using 60-70 hp at 6000 rpm in an engine that is designed to make 160 hp at 8300 rpm. And you know the engine is always getting the correct amount of fuel and oil since there are injection systems for both, and that it never gets much over 150 F since its water cooled.
Helicopters are great!

Anyone else with some stories?
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#10
John,

Merci pour ces informations, vous devriez nous poster quelques photos des aigles pour nous faire rêver.
Pour le XE, est-il possible de faire un rétrofit XE 202 -> 285?
Si oui quelles seraient les modifications à apporter, autres que celles liées directement au moteur lui même.(structure de la cellule..........) quelle est la différence de poids?
Quel serait le coût du kit rétrofit?
Vous pouvez me répondre par e.mail.

John,

Thank you for this information, you should we post some pictures of eagles to make us dream.
For XE, is it possible to retrofit an XE 202 -> 285?
If yes what are the modifications, other than those directly related to the engine itself. (Cell structure ..........) what is the weight difference?
What would be the cost of the retrofit kit?
You can respond by e.mail.

JR
Jean-Rémy (XE 1077 - Sud Bretagne - France)
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