First flight on 6 July 2002!
Sivert Björk (Karlskoga, Sweden) started his project in the mid 1990s. He enlarged Brian Taylor's drawings and used A. L. Bentley's plans as reference. He made a plug for the fuselage and the centre of the wing and moulded the fuselage/wing in fiberglass. The landing gear is home-made by and works as the full-size prototype and is electrical driven. The two Huskvarna engines drive a 32/14 prop via a reduction unit, also made by Sivert!
The weekend July 6/7 was set as a possible date for the maiden-flight. On 6 July the weather forecast said rain, but clear up during the afternoon. There was a "GO" from Sivert.
It was raining almost the whole way from Stockholm to Bällefors airfield.... (320 km). But at the airfield the weather cleared up and Sivert started to assemble the Tempest. It´s HUGE! After some engine-running, minor adjustments and taxing, he made two flights with his "Shark 45" just to warm up. Time for action!
- 4:18 p.m. the Tempest takes-off nicely.
- Sivert makes some fly-bys with the landing gear down. Needs no trimming! Impressive, what a sound!
- Landing gear up, a distinct pitch-up and the speed increases.
- Slows down to stall speed, no attempts to snap, just loosing altitude.
- Tries some flaps, pitches up.
- A low and fast strafing run!
- Sivert makes two rolls, beautiful.
- The engine starts to sound different, overheating?
- Landing gear dow.... NO! The retracts wont lock in the down position properly. After some high-G ups and downs it finally locks, phew.
- Time for landing. A perfect landing with no flaps, but the left landing gear leg folds. The breaker-strut, made in aluminium, is broken. No other damage. To sum up: An almost perfect first flight, the Tempest is a great performer with power to spare. The only drawbacks are the broken strut and the possible overheating of the engine. But this are problems Sivert will solve. Sivert was talking about replacing the aluminium struts with two made in titanium. He will also do more engine-running to sort out that problem too.
Afterwards I was invited to a "banquet" at the Tjålle residence to celebrate this succesful day, but I guess it´s another story...!
Second and third flights done
On 31 July and 1 August 2003 Sivert flew his Tempest again, one flight each day and now in complete camouflage and markings as Pierre Clostermann's JF-E (NV724) "Le Grand Charles". The most impressing Tempest model in the world? In my opinion: YES!!
Sivert's Tempest in now sold to Norway. So hopefully we will see it in the air again!