View Full Version : Lengthening the keel for a tall guy
06-05-2005, 06:00 PM
OK... I'm a newbie here, and this is my first post. First of all, my user name got screwed up when I was registering. It is supposed to be "martylunsford", but somehow the "@h" got added. Just ignore the "@h". If one of the moderators reads this and wants to change it to "martylunsford", I would be very pleased. (I was going to use my online poker user name, "ILuvBoobs", but I thought some people might get offended. ;) )
Anyway... I'm a tall guy, 6'4" (but I'm skinny, only 180lbs), and I don't want to be all scrunched up when sitting in the Gyrobee I started building this weekend. (Did I say I started building it this weekend? I actually spent the weekend cleaning out the garage, building a workbench, buying a drill press, and adjusting the drill press to get the holes perpendicular to the work surface.) I have received all of the raw materials for phases 1, 2, and 3, but then I realized that I wanted to lengthen the keel to accomodate my long legs. I'm going to order another piece of 2x2 from Wicks to use for the longer keel.
I have a couple of questions: 1) How much longer should I make the keel? 2) should I lenghten the tail to counterbalance the longer nose on my bee? I figure my feet weigh 2 or 3 pounds a piece with shoes on. and with them being so far from the CG, a 5 or 6 inch extension will make a big difference in the balance of the finished product.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
06-05-2005, 07:11 PM
Don't have anything beneficial to tell you other than welcome to the party. We have everything here... information, catfights, name-calling, RAF bashing, RAF basher bashing, but the main thing is at the end of the day we never go to bed mad.
As for your long legs, I was thinking rather than alter the length of your craft and severely alter the CG, maybe you could just raise the rotor, and then sit on 4 or 5 phone books.
Alternately you might want to just widen the rudder pedals by about 3 feet.
Sorry everyone, but I just returned from a week of partying in Costa Rica and I'm going through severe withdrawal right now. I apologize and will now sign off and go to bed. This post never happened.
06-05-2005, 07:14 PM
Marty, just kidding. If anyone can give you good advice, #1 it's not me, and #2 there is a ton of experience here and somebody is going to either give you the info you need or steer you in a direction so you can get it.
06-05-2005, 07:50 PM
I like the idea about spreading the rudder pedals apart by 3 feet. I've been thinking about how fun it would be to fly naked, and with the rudder pedals in that position, I bet it would be very comfortable.
06-05-2005, 08:18 PM
Birdstrikes are very painful in that position...not that I would know :rolleyes:
06-06-2005, 05:24 AM
Hi, @h :D
There was a discussion about that very subject HERE (http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2983&highlight=pedal+short+reach). If I remember correctly, Ralph, whom designed the 'Bee is over 6' and around 220 lbs. You should have no trouble if built stock, and the weight/balance is also not an issue with your weight. Balancing is done via a hang test to determine the geometry of your rotorhead cheek plates.
06-06-2005, 06:01 AM
I'm 5'8 , and wish that I'd made it about an inch or so longer. Maybe the answer is to raise the seat an inch or so... Possibly helping the thrustline issue?
06-06-2005, 06:05 AM
Welcome to the Bee hive! I am going to take my Bee for checkout and hopefully a test flight next week.
Since you are going to do a hang test later to determine the head position needed to get the proper CG, I don't think lengthening the keel will be a balance problem. If you use a 503 for power, the CG may be a little aft anyway.
I am a little over 6' tall, and I wish my keel was a couple of inches longer. With my knees bent, the pedals seem a little too straight up and down.
Think ahead, and lengthen it in an increment that you can cut off later and drill new holes if it is too long, so you don't waste a whole stick of aluminum.
06-06-2005, 06:10 AM
I don't know how close Ralph stuck to or where he deviated from Martin Holmann's public domain released Bumble Bee design but Martin is very tall. I keep thinking 6'6" or better and there are pictures of him flying his design. However, it does look like his knees might be crunched up some.
06-06-2005, 07:02 AM
Instead of making the keel longer I would suggest raising the seat up 6 inches instead. It would help with the thrustline and would give you the room you need without changing much on the machine.
06-06-2005, 07:14 AM
I am 6' and I also feel that the rudder pedals on my bee are a little to vertical, I can still use them, but I don't use the heel rest. I may just need to change the cable lengths to make them a little flatter. Anyway, a gyro sage in out club once told me about a guy years ago who lengthened the keel on a Bensen, he said it really made it more comfortable and it even handled better on the ground. Maybe I can get him to post some details on this thread.
06-06-2005, 11:54 AM
I'm 6'7"... welcome to the board, Shorty :D
P.S. I hope you find your answers here. I know I have.
06-06-2005, 01:46 PM
I spent years flying gyros with my knees scrunched up. When I built my 'Bee, I was sick and tired and wasn't going to take it anymore. The pic shows the resulting mod -- highway pegs. The pedals are on a welded pedestal whose upper end is above and forward of the end of the stock keel tube. There's no link to the nosewheel, just a separate bar for ground steering. The rudder cables simply attach to the tops of the pedals as on most other gyros.
I have some close-up digital photos for anyone who's interested.
(OTOH, my Dominator was built for a guy who's about 6' 4". I can barely reach ITS pedals. Punishment for messing with Ralph's nice design, perhaps.)
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.