View Full Version : Little Wing question
03-04-2011, 12:26 PM
Can someone let me know which models of Ron Herons Little Wing autogyros are 2 place and are they tandem or side by side. If tandem, do you fly solo from the front or rear.
03-04-2011, 01:22 PM
03-04-2011, 04:02 PM
Please refer to the attached PDF. The two seat versions are tandem and yes, you fly as PIC from the back seat.
Currently there are 3 versions, LW-2, LW-2+2, LW-3. Ron has plan sets for all of these. His construction book is very detailed and easy to read.
I hope this helps. FYI, the tube bundel to buy down here in NZ is $4000.00, which for what you get is very reasonable.
Any other info you need please let me know.
03-04-2011, 04:18 PM
The LW 2+2 is the long version two place, the LW-5 is the short version of the two place. Both are tandem, solo piloted from the rear seat as previously stated.
Have a look at this thread to get an idea of how much cockpit room the two places have. (the short versions are just shortened aft of the cockpit so the size will be the same, and keep in mind that there is a fuel tank between the legs of the front passenger)
The plans include information for all the versions.
03-04-2011, 11:52 PM
Someone correct me if iam wrong, but am sure I read somewhere on this forum that Ron/ someone had built a Little Wing two place that could be flown one up from the front!
03-05-2011, 08:37 AM
There was some discussion along those lines.
You can solo a LW from the front seat by simply carrying a dead load strapped into the rear seat, or if you adjust the mast angle to put the rotor into the proper position for front seat solo but this becomes impractical when going from solo to two up unless changes are made to the mast supports to allow easy resetting of the mast.
One option might be to use a removable ballast load in the tail for solo flight, at least the dead load would be reduced compared to carrying the load in the rear seat. Not surprisingly, I have run across references to some Cierva autogiros that had a water ballast tank in the tail to adjust for CG change.
03-05-2011, 09:39 AM
Ron said he had some drawings to address front seat solo.I never had him forward those to me but it seems to me there was talk of a slider of some sort. Instead of just raking the mast back which would likely change head tilt (AOA) It seemed to me we were talking about moving the head. I could be wrong about it though, just an impression.
I felt it left other problems that still needed to be addressed.
I asked him if a movable front seat 4-5 inches back would work for front solo. He said yes. I wanted seat travel for egress and can't see how I could ever reach anything up on the dash from rear seat. I don't want to put dual fuel transfer, starting, radios in there just to solo. It makes sense to me to move the seat and enjoy the front and to use the front or rear however you choose. Yes the seat will be smaller but it can be made comfy with memory foam.
Think about all the pluses. Better view, no reach instrument panel, easier to read instrument panel, and more leg room. All you have to do is pull some pins on the rear cyclic so the seat can come back more. Spend the time making the seat slide and it fixes a lot of issues. It saves money, time and effort and lets you SEE what you would have been missing.
03-05-2011, 04:19 PM
At Mentone last year, Ron Herron was telling me he was building a specific two place Little Wing for an Italian customer in Italy where as the mast could be tilted fore or aft (to change the CG position) all the while keeping the rotor head in the optimum position for flight. This was being done because the Italian customer wanted to solo his two place from the front seat.
03-06-2011, 10:01 AM
Yep thats is the bit I read somewhere. Do you know how it all worked out for the Italian Little Wing?
03-07-2011, 02:01 AM
No I don't know how it turned out. I certainly would like to see pictures of that specific Little Wing though. Perhaps Ron could download some photos on this forum.
03-07-2011, 06:29 AM
I still say a side x side would work best. both fat bodies or one on the CG no need to nove the head or the seat.
Once up on a time, long long ago in a galaxie far far away,I vaguely remember seeing a picture in a magazine article of tha Piper Tri-Pacer converted to a gyro , the picture was a inflight shot, never heard any more about it.
03-07-2011, 08:22 PM
Did it look anything like this?
03-07-2011, 10:32 PM
Is that the Piper Cub that Ron first converted and flew to prove the concept of a tractor gyro, and is that Ron himself walking behind the prop?????
03-07-2011, 11:19 PM
I don't think Ron ever flew the converted Cub due to weight & balance issues and/or lack of a suitable rotor. That was the point of the "Little" Wing - it's a scaled-down Cub-style fuselage.
03-08-2011, 12:33 AM
Yes, have checked and it was the piper that Ron used to prove the concept of a tractor gyro.. It did fly but as you suspected due to weight and the size of the rotors performance was not great.
This led to Ron to develop the "Little Wing"
Yes, Ron flew the Cub but only in crow hops mainly because he had just that one rotor to experiment and it was not sufficient for the size of the Cub airframe, he also felt the engine (0-200 ??) was not enough power ( plenty for a fixed wing but as always takes more for a gyro)
03-08-2011, 04:11 AM
Ron Heron summarizes the history of Little Wing development, including his experiments with a rotor on a Piper fuselage here:
03-08-2011, 07:30 AM
I have the Littlewing video and in it Ron states that while the "Piperwing?" was under rotored he could have left the airport where he was doing crow hops but didn't because his only fuel source was a can of gas he had strapped to the cabin roof (which is visible in the picture). Still, not a practical machine because of weight, drag, and power issues.
On the subject of side X side, proper streamlining is a must in order to maintain smooth airflow aft of the wider cabin and this will require either compound curves and/or a longer tail (which reduces rotor to tail clearances and one reason Ron was converting his designs to short models).
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