View Full Version : Bensen questions
09-13-2004, 09:23 PM
Hi, becha cant tell I'm new here, can ya?
I am a low hour fixed wing PP. I just purchased a Bensen B-8 ?, glider that was flown 3 times tied to a stake, then stored for 26 years. books and all. No engine. I plan to disassemble completely (not rotor-head pkg), clean, inspect and measure each/every part to be sure plans were followed and replace all screws, nuts, washers, steel parts, springs, tires, cables and whatever else that looks like it is old.
A few questions.
Since Bensen is out of business I have lately seen pictures of non-wood rudder/h-stabilizer components. The builder used plywood for this one which of course is totally trashed.
Would it be safe to replace it with say 1/8" alum sheet? (thicker/thinner?) Would the shape change or could I just pattern it after the existing ones or as the drawing shows?
Is there any reason I could/should not change it from a single seat to a 2 seater? From what I can tell on the drawings, the only difference is the actual width of the seat and mounting brackets.
Upon completion on the above I think (following the manuals advice) I should be about ready for the first "staked out" ride or at least training session.
Does anybody see any problems/issues in this plan so far? I'm too new to know if I'm heading into trouble or not yet...all help greatly appreciated!
09-14-2004, 01:25 PM
LJ or JT:
I highly recommend you seek out the nearest PRA chapter for guidance and answers to your questions.
As regards your specific questions above; you don't even need a vertical tail on a glider, you should have a good rotor head, good head controls and a good rotor. So please...
Contact the closest Chapter and get started on the proper path. :)
09-14-2004, 02:13 PM
Harry, I just checked to see where Big Springs, TX. was and he isn't going to find a PRA chapter close. I was going to invite him to check in with Chapter 62 in Houston but Big Spring is a half a country away. Yes I said country, this is Texas after all! Chapters 78 and 007 are up toward Dallas but they still probably too far away.
Eljay, to answer one of your questions, yes, you can make your glider a two seater. In fact I got my first gyro ride in Ken Brock's two seat glider at the 1980 PRA Convention in Fredrick OK.
I have suggestion for you to think about. Turn the glider into a boomtrainer. Dr. Bensen did this with his glider. It is much easier to find places to tow it and somewhat less prone to having an incident. I say that when in fact Chap 62 managed to roll theirs! You will be limited in flight height but you will gain the same experience in rotor management and control inputs.
A Boomtrainer substitutes a 'boom' that is an extension of the keel and is auto towed thru a trailer hitch. The towing operation DOES require team work, a knowledgeable driver and an observer is valuable. Chapter 62 installed a intercom between the tow vehicle and the boomtrainer. They also installed a simple roll bar that runs from one side of the axle over the passengers and down to the axle on the other side. It prevented serious injury when it rolled.
The picture I have attached shows a 'third' wheel that is Craig Wall's innovation. He starts off teaching students to fly it by just balancing on the 'third' wheel. When he feels they have developed automatic input responses, he takes the 'third' wheel off and they go flying. Chapter 62 built theirs the same way but added castoring wheels, after the roll over, like those that Dr. Bensen used on his. The castoring wheels can be locked in the normal position once the pilot gains flying experience. Landing in a crab is what caused the roll over.
I wouldn't use the overhead stick like on Craigs Boomtrainer, if that is what is on your glider now. Craig would tell you the same thing.
09-14-2004, 02:59 PM
It takes a mighty wind to fly a gyroglider tethered. I tried it several times without success. You need a 25-30 mph wind that's steady and does not shift direction more than a few degrees. Strong winter sea breezes (such as the ones the Wright Bros. sought in N.C.) or trade winds might do it. The more typical gusty, shifty winds that accompany weather fronts won't do at all.
Please do get with a PRA chapter. The art has progressed tremendously since the Bensen era.
09-14-2004, 03:03 PM
ElJay welcome to your forum. If you are using as a glider or engine power you need a rudder anyway The only glider that do not need a rudder is the TRAINNIG TRAILER, because the car that is going to pull you and the solid front tube, force the frame to be always straight(pulling action) . The rudder on a glider is use to keep the frame in straight course, like the airplane or a glider airplane. The only difference is that on the gyro glider you don't need a moving (regular rudder)for now. If you are going to change it from wood to aluminum you shod use 1/8 sheet and reinforcement to the aluminum rudder is a most, like the picture of my rudder that I post. The reinforcement stabs is the ones that goes from the non-moving rudder top to the frame.
I got a use gyro, and I did the same thing that you are going to do .I did my rebuilding with the help of the guys from this forum and my instructor. The main things to check on the frame are cracks, any cracks is a most to replace.
The glider for one person is for people that already know to fly the glider alone. You need to get the plans to make it for 2 people.(You and your instructor). But first you need like Doug Riley says you need to take trainning on a Trannig trailer then you go to a glider.The trainnig trailer can forget alote of mistake . But the glider don't.later,when the instructor see that you are ready to fly the glider alone, you can change it to a single seat or live it like that.
About the screws you shod check that they are aircraft graded. Don't use regular screws. And please like Harry says seek out the nearest PRA chapter for guidance and instruction. Remember anything that you do wrong, on your rebuilding or trying to learn for yourself. CAN COST YOU YOUR LIFE!!!. :eek: .
Because it look simple is NOT simple so PLEASE!! Take training with a qualify CFI. I learn to fly my machine the bensen way, and I think that
is the fastes way to learn, and you will enjoy it alote. Good luck! :D
09-15-2004, 09:44 PM
Ok, thats the way I will go. I do have the plans for the "trailer"/platform. I have promised my wife (and myself) that I will follow all directions to a "t" to be safe as possible and I know we crawl before we walk. The 3rd wheel looks interesting. Can you tell me more? What are the pros/cons of the overhead control, yes I do have it. I would like to get the joystick but don't have the plans. Any info greatly appreciated.
Yes, Texas is indeed a whole other country, but I'm usually free most weekends and am not opposed to driving (am used to it) to get some training. I've still got lots of work to do so am learning ALOT as I go, and am just tickled to find this site! Much to my detrement, I've been up till 4am for the last 2 days....gotta quit that!
Look forward to more posting...reminds me of the old bulletin board days....before the net....
09-26-2004, 01:42 PM
I will use Dean picture to ilustrade the trainnig trailer that we use here. Is the same as any gyro. We use the normal cyclic like the any gyro comes whit. We use a rudder stab.
The only thing is that when we move to glider we change the front keel to one that has a front wheel. Fron that time on you use the front wheel to turn. The rudder still a stab, you can't use the rudder yet, only the front wheel.
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