N437T is now an airplane!!! Whoohoo!!!
This turned out to be a much larger, frustrating, rewarding, and educational experience than I ever anticipated. I put a ton of my blood (literally), sweat, and many curse words into this project. Yesterday culminated two+ years of effort with the first flight. The collection of parts and hardware that became N437T earlier this month left the ground and officially became an airplane!
The -7 flew great! Van's designed a absolutely phenomenal aircraft. And, the IO-360-M1B / Hartzell BA CS prop is a sweet sweet combo. The plane has tons of power and felt perfectly balanced in all axis.
Although I spent quite a bit of time planning contingencies. Ie: what I was going to do in X situation at X altitude, everything pretty much went out the window when I pushed up the throttle. It doesn't look like it from the video, but my hair was on fire.
However, the flight was pretty much uneventful. Engine ran smooth and cool. The max CHT I saw was just over 400'.
Man, it feels good.
Like many awesome things in life, there were many people involved in making this happen... So, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to everyone here and say thanks for sharing your hard earned wisdom. This wouldn't have happened without the direct and indirect help from this community.