Subject: Very satisfied with Flightcraft's work on my Raisbeck Epic installation.
This is to let you know that I am extremely pleased with the work that Flightcraft recently did, installing a complete Raisbeck Epic modification on my King Air C90GT.
First, I am very happy with the increase in T/O and landing performance of my airplane. I flew it for over nine years with the factory props and single ventral fin, and I am astonished and delighted with how much better the airplane flies with the Raisbeck swept-blade props and the dual aft-body strakes. The takeoff acceleration is much greater, the takeoff distance is appreciably shorter, and I notice about a ten percent increase in rate of climb through the mid teens. In addition, the airplane's characteristic tail-waggle in cruise and descent is much less noticeable now.
Moreover, the landing distances are now about 15% shorter, without my even using short field landing techniques, or even reverse! There is no doubt whatsoever that the larger props provide very impressive braking in beta mode. And, surprisingly, I have not yet seen leading edge erosion on the new prop blades despite having made over twenty landings with them. As you know, this was one of my concerns about going from ninety to ninety-six inch diameter props.
Raisbeck's main selling point with these new swept-blade props, is how quiet they are in flight if you operate them at 1750RPM. I will say that this claim is true: the cabin is very quiet, indeed, with this prop setting.
However, having experimented with the Raisbeck Recommended Power Settings, I will return to the original factory setting of 1900 RPM for all my operations. This is because I find the props sufficiently quiet at 1900 RPM, and I strongly dislike the increase in engine ITT that comes with reducing the prop RPM. Moreover, this ITT increase yields no benefit in cruise speed, nor fuel economy, that I can see. If I rode in my airplane as a passenger, I would insist that the pilot use 1750 RPM for cruise. But as an owner-pilot, I do not think this is a beneficial power setting.
As you know, I was very concerned that the Raisbeck mods be installed correctly; in particular, I was worried about the dual-aft body strakes, which have quite frequently been improperly installed on other King Airs by very reputable maintenance organizations, and even by the Beechcraft factory itself!
I want to congratulate the Flightcraft maintenance team, especially Carl, for their very painstaking approach to the installation. It was absolutely first-rate! The strakes were perfectly installed according to Raisbeck's specs. And, I am also delighted with the excellent job of rigging the new propellers: they were perfectly rigged per the Tom Clements book checklist! I would like to thank you personally, Bryan, for coordinating with Raisbeck, so that their representative could personally verify that the installation was according to their specifications. You should be justly proud of their praise. It is well deserved!
I would unhesitatingly recommend Flightcraft to any King Air owner who was considering installing a Raisbeck kit on their King Air. I have very much fallen in love with my airplane again, thanks to your very good work installing Raisbeck's outstanding Epic mods.
With Best Regards,