View Full Version : Hornet Update?
11-08-2003, 02:51 AM
Don,<br><br>When I talked to you at ROC you were getting started making parts for the first Hornet. How's it coming? How about an update?<br><br>Todd
11-08-2003, 12:59 PM
Sure thing Todd. I'd be happy to.<br><br>The Composite Seat design is finished. All I need to make now are the drawings for the seat. I have some of the foam that I need for the seat and tail feathers now (not that it's all that hard to get). I think I'm going to hold off on posting the complete details of the tail feathers until I've had a chance to fly them. I may pass on the drawings for the tail to a few other daring people that would like to try them out on their own gyro. But I'm holding back a little on the 2 most critical items - the head and the tail.<br><br>As for the building progress, your posting here reminded me that I had to call my machinist/aviation buddy in Michigan. I just got off the phone with him before writing this. With him being the company owner, he's a bit gun shy about making parts for someone elseís aircraft. He's really worried that he's going to be sued. To be honest, so am I! That's one of the reason that I'm holding off on releasing the tail and head drawings. As for him making my parts, he is going to make them, but he's been so busy the past couple of weeks, he hasn't started any of them. I should see something from him by next weekend. We'll see.<br><br>There is one guy that is building a Hornet that lives in Washington (state). He has several parts already made. All of his flat plate parts have been cut (waterjet). He's working on getting the machined parts made now. So far that's all I know about his Hornet.<br><br>Several other people have expressed a strong interest in the Hornet. Most people want a kit, not just drawings. I can understand that. Being on the tight budget that I am, I'm not sure how I'm going to pull this whole thing off. I use to get quarterly bonus checks that were like getting 4 healthy tax return checks. Great for paying off the bills and buying toys. But this past March, my employer informed us that we (including myself) were being placed on a different bonus program and that we wouldn't see anything for a year! Not only that but now the amount of the bonus is based solely on the discretion of my supervisor. So I may never see another bonus while I work for this company, which pushes the build process even farther out. But if I do get a bonus, and it's the size of 4 previous bonus checks, I could be flying my Hornet by late spring! Iím hoping for the best. I don't feel like looking for another job.<br><br>That's about it for the progress. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.<br><br>Don
11-10-2003, 11:45 AM
Hornet Documentation Package 6.0 has been posted on my webpage and is ready for downloading! There were some small changes throughout the document, but the biggest addition is the seat design. The fuel tank will be next.<br><br>Todd,<br><br>Thanks for adding the Hornet to the list of GyroBee variants! Maybe once I get a flying example of Hornet you can give me my own area. I'll talk to you about it next Spring.<br>
11-10-2003, 04:50 PM
Don,<br><br>Do you expect the Hornet will be able to stay an ultralight? It seems like if you try to go with the 503, there's no way you can add a pre-rotator and stay below 254. <br><br>After seeing a couple flights, my brother is getting pretty excited about gyros. I think a scratch project would be alot of fun. I'll really be looking forward to the first flights of the hornets. <br><br>I might try to make Mentone next year. If I remember right you said that you live very close, so hopefully we might see a finished product. Also since I live in Washington, I might actually see the real thing complete before you....now that doesn't really seem fair does it? ;D<br><br>Keep plugging away!<br><br>Todd
11-10-2003, 04:52 PM
Don,<br><br>At ROC did Dana and Laura Linn from starbee gyros express any interest in making parts for the Hornet? It sound like there might be a market for kits.
11-12-2003, 10:13 PM
Todd,<br><br>I did talk to both of them and they informed me that there were/are a LOT of people contacting them about buying Hornet parts. Obviously, they had to turn them away because they have no parts for the Hornet, but explained to these people that "...when Don get's a flying example of the Hornet, we'll talk to him about producing parts." I'd love to kit the Hornet, and I'm hopeful that I can.<br><br>As for the ultralight question... I have no doubts that I can stay well under the 254 weight limit with a 447. With the 503 it'll be a bit closer to max, but still under. With the 503 and a prerotator, I'm going to be over (I think). But that also depends on which prerotator is installed. I'm playing with a couple of ideas at the moment that may be just the ticket!<br><br>I'm going to use my Hornet as a test bed for different "stuff". One of which is my prerotator design. I'm going to use the 447 at first and refine the design to a point where I have enough head room to have a 503 with a common prerotator. I don't know if there's that much fat to squeeze out or not, but we'll see.<br><br>Don
11-14-2003, 05:54 AM
I was being shown through a hangar last weekend where several older gyros have been parked for some time. One was a 20-plus-year-old Vancraft Rotor Lightning, which weighs right at 250 pounds with a 503, a pre-rotator, and a partial enclosure! The frame is a hybrid of welded chrome moly and bolted aluminum, not very robust-looking by today's standards, and the prerotator is Chuck Vanek's hand-crank design from the 60s, but it was interesting to see what could be done if you were out to stay under 254 pounds and able to weld.
11-14-2003, 10:11 PM
Paul,<br><br>With the effort that I've been making over the past 2 years to finish the Hornet, I've found that I could make many of the Hornet's sub-assemblies from welded 4130. The nose wheel assembly, the rudder pedals, the tubes for the main gear, and the joystick and push/pull tubes are all 4130. Now I did actually gain a little weight by using 4130 for the joystick and mains, but I think because of the nature of the parts in question, it was warranted.<br><br>I'm playing with an idea for the future where I can replace most of the 2x2 aluminum with a 2-piece composite airframe. With the research that I've been doing over the past few months, I think it would result in a lighter, stronger gyro design. But I don't want to give out too many details about it right now. I need some time to investigate this further.<br><br>Don
11-18-2003, 12:44 PM
All,<br><br>Hornet documentation package release 6.1 is now up! The only major change is with the seat mounting hole locations. They were off a little and would not have matched up with the diagonal braces.<br><br>Don
11-19-2003, 07:46 AM
Don,<br><br>We are thinking along the same lines with the composite frame tubes. I have designed a tail dragger-tractor gyro and am presently assembling the frame.<br>I will post pics when the machine is on it's wheels and can be ground tested fro frame strength.<br><br>Tim<br>
11-19-2003, 08:02 AM
Tim,<br><br>If you don't mind, I'd like to share a few ideas between us, specifically the airframe idea.<br><br>Don
11-20-2003, 07:22 AM
Don,<br><br>I would enjoy such a discussion. You can get most of my info from this site. My phone is 574-269-1754<br><br>I am home on tue. and thur. after 7pm, the rest of the time I am working out in the shop.<br><br>Tim<br><br>email@example.com<br><br>Warsaw, IN.<br>
11-20-2003, 09:53 PM
Tim,<br><br>It was good to finally talk to someone from the local area. Well, kinda local. About an hours drive or so. I'll see what I can do about getting to the meeting in Dec.<br><br>Don<br>
01-23-2004, 04:01 AM
I have all of my 4130 tube cut to length, all of my 2 x 2 aluminum cut to length, and all of my aluminum angles cut as well. Final trimming and holes are next on those pieces. Then it's the flat plate. I have the steel sheets in hand. I just need the aluminum plate. No problem! I'm going to try and get the steel cut this weekend. If I can't, then next weekend. We'll see.
I'm going to try and include the build process of my Hornet into the documentation package. It should make building one a Hornet clear as mud. :)
01-23-2004, 11:44 AM
Sounds like its coming along Don... Mentone is rapidly approaching any chance she'll be done by then? You mentioned at ROC that a guy in Seattle was working on one also. Any word on his progress?
01-24-2004, 01:26 PM
The builder of 03-002 (Bryan Porter) is really excited abut seeing the finished tail feathers. Since he had his flat plate water jet cut, I haven't heard too much on his progress.
As for mine, I hoping to have 03-001 completed by Mentone. We just had a bunch of snow last night and are expecting a few more inches tonight and maybe again on Monday. High temps around 18F tend to put a dampener on your non-climate controled activities. I don't think I'm going to get the remainder of my bulk cutting done till next weekend, unless I do it during the week at work.
02-19-2004, 03:39 AM
Flat steel plate parts are cut. Anyone here have experience with field-expedient sheet metal forming tools? I have several schackles that need forming, but I don't have any tooling (specifically a channel die) at home or work that I can use. I can get one side formed up in a hand break, but I can't get to the other bend line. Any ideas?
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