View Full Version : Gyro Training SE of Seattle
11-19-2004, 05:24 PM
Here is a picture of my view while training in Ruby (an AAI modified RAF 2000). After doing a set of S-turns along a farming road at an altitude of 2000 feet, my instructor, David Overman, took the controls so I take the picture. I really like the panoramic view provided my gyroplanes: no wings, propellers, or engine to block the view for 270 degrees. If flying in a Cessna 172 is like stereophonic sound, flying a gyro is like surround sound. I hope to start training in the Seattle Sparrowhawk later this year.
Hi, I live in the Tri-Cities ,WA..I am hoping to build a sparrow hawk/ modified R.A.F. is it as good as it looks , ? or am I just dreaming? If I have to go over your way for the training, what can I expect it to cost? Thanks for the help...and what a beautiful view. Rob :rolleyes:
11-19-2004, 07:20 PM
Contact my flight instructor, David Overman, at 253-224-9577, for information about training in the Sparrowhawk or a modified RAF 2000. I have watched one of the first Sparrowhawks being built by Randy Coplen of GBA Gyroplanes of Seattle. It is currently being test flown by David for the required 40 hours before I can train in it. In my opinion as an engineer, the fit, finish, and design of the Sparrowhawk is far superior to the RAF 2000. I wish I had my camera a few days earlier at the same view, you could see Mount Rainier much more clearly.
11-20-2004, 01:38 AM
Heather, you're not the lady engineer also named Heather that used to keep a tail-dragger, if I recall, at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, CA, are you?
11-20-2004, 09:29 AM
Heather, maybe that smacks of a biased evaluation!!?? ;)
11-20-2004, 10:37 AM
Ken, I don't think I have ever been in El Cajon, CA, and I am new to aviation.
Harry, yes, as a consumer I have my own biases on the quality of mechanical design and construction. For example, I have observed cracking of the greenhouse window in many RAF 2000 gyros. I wonder why the RAF 2000 has a tall front window, but covers up a significant part of the window bottom with the instrument panel. I sometimes smell gas vapor from the connection between the gas tank and the fuel nozzle, since the tank compresses when people sit down in the machine. I find it difficult to inspect the termination of the trim cables during preflight, due to the design of the housing. Also, being taller than average, I am ever-so-much more comfortable sitting in the Sparrowhawk because I can stretch out my legs.
11-21-2004, 11:18 AM
AAhh, Heather...I really do like that name. ;)
As you can see by my signature, I own and operate an RAF. With the Ken J stab installed, I have never flown a sweeter flying gyro. I'm not knocking the SH...I've not flown one yet.
To get to your previous post...you said you have seen many RAF's with cracked rear windscreens. How many and cracked how? I'm assuming you may have reference to cracks at the installed rivets? Maybe the SH will show like cracking after they accumulate as many hours as the RAF's. I have 400 hrs. on my machine and no cracks, so far.
The unique window and cabin design on the RAF is original. I agree SH has improved on the design of the cabin, window and instrument panel/pod. Who knows, RAF may improve on the improvements. :)
The smell of gas could be due to several reasons but I can't go along with your assessment of the tank being compressed by someone sitting on it. Have you ever seen one of these tanks before installation? Rather sturdy, I'd say. I weigh 225 and I don't compress it...I don't think I do.
Why would you want to check the trim cable terminations in the cabin at every pre-flight? You can't see these terminations in a fixed wing. Any problems with the trim cables would most likely be at the other end and these are readily visible and I eyeball them at every preflight. I had mine come loose one time and now they're safetied.
Hey, I can appreciate being more in the comfort zone too, as I stretch up to 6 foot 3. I want to try on a SH someday, I'm sure I would like the added space.
As a closer...I truly like my RAF...the way it flies...the way it smells ;) ...the performance...and it's all mine. I would like to get rid of the slight cabin hop and if Stan convinces me the SC blades did it for him...I may go that route.
PS I won't hazard a guess as to your avatar, but what is it or what does it signify? Thank you.
11-21-2004, 12:19 PM
I have seen almost a half dozen RAF 2000s, all with cracked rear windscreens at the rivets. I am glad to here that your window has not cracked, perhaps due to superior workmanship on your part.
I have flown in an RAF 2000 for over an hour, and then immediately sat in the Sparrowhawk, and found a big difference in comfort for my body shape. I do think that the RAF 2000 is more attractive, sort of like a cute Mazda Miata convertible, small but sexy. I think of the Sparrowhawk as more functional for cross-country flight, sort of like a roomy Dodge Caravan. I have traveled in both a Caravan and a sports car between Seattle and Los Angeles, and I usually prefer the comfort. Like the two gyroplanes, each type of car is successful in the marketplace and has many happy customers. I think it is natural for a customer of either vehicle to be biased toward the one of their choice, and I can't fault anyone in their own personal choice.
I have not seen a RAF 2000 fuel tank before installation. However, I am reporting my observation and a possible analysis. After looking at the construction of the front side of the tank, I would be very surprised if 300 to 500 pounds of passengers do not compress the plastic tank to some degree.
I try to observe what I can during a preflight, including the condition of all visible cables. From my bicycle-riding days, I know that cables and their terminations can fail. I agree that these are usually hidden in a fixed wing, but if I can check something, I try to.
My avatar is a rare tri-lobed Big Leaf Maple seed that my husband found. Most are two-lobed. It spins as it glides downward. I think of them as nature's gyroglider, and they have been on earth many thousands of years before human-built gyrogliders. I have read that Leonardo di Vinci was inspired to investigate flight after seeing these maple-seed gliders.
11-21-2004, 01:16 PM
I see now that you may have referenced, maybe, the newer seat tank. Mine is the original type. It's very thick, very sturdy.
I would have never guessed your avatar was a maple seed. Yes, I would think it's one of natures anomalies. My backyard neighbor has a Red Maple that gives me fits every spring. It's one lobed seeds spin on down and spin on up (wind) all over my house; messy!
I appreciate your candor and wish you well in your training. Your critique of your training will be of benefit to other newbies, I'm sure.
Have fun. Keep us posted.
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