View Full Version : Pictures from my hard drive
03-21-2004, 03:49 PM
Since I enjoy the pictures others have posted I thought I'd add a few of my favorites from my hard drive. :)
This is former club member Lenny Schneider making a low pass for the camera in his vintage 532 Air Command.
03-21-2004, 03:53 PM
This is George Smundin flying his SnoBird Exciter 503. George now has a SnoBird Adventurer two place with the Honda CAM100 engine (and it's for sale, reasonable)
03-21-2004, 04:00 PM
And the last one for today. A Hafner autogyro. A picture you don't see every day.
03-21-2004, 04:51 PM
Tom: Keep posting those interesting pictures.
03-21-2004, 05:14 PM
Tom, email me the price on the two placer ASAP!
03-21-2004, 06:08 PM
Keep cleaning the hard drive, good stuff!
03-21-2004, 08:48 PM
Here's another couple before I go to bed.
Frequent denizen of this conference, Chuck Roberg, myself and another member of out PRA Chapter recently bought this R-22. It fulfills a dream I've had since I was a kid watching "The Whirlybirds".
Robinson came out with an Emergency blade AD yesterday. With crating and shipping the blades cost $30,000 for a set. I hope our's pass the test and we can fly off the last thousand hours on them.
Oh, and by-the-way if you know me, I'm what might be labelled a plus sized individual. I can't even think about flying my new toy due to my size. I just bought it as an investment (leaseback).
Over the years I've managed to accumulate some 12 hours of dual in a Bell Jet Ranger. It is a magical way to fly, but I still appreciate the simplicity of gyroflight. Now I have to get to work on my Barnett project.
03-21-2004, 08:53 PM
Here's where all of my troubles started. I have a great picture of a Bell 47 doing a quick stop. I just have to reduce it's size for here.... maybe later.
03-21-2004, 08:57 PM
I don't know why the previous picture didn't post. It links "OK". It's a scene from the "Whirlybirds" I have some other "behind the scenes stuff but it needs reduction.
I couldn't wait to share the "Quickstop" picture with everyone. Notice the dust being blown by the tail rotor. (I hope it shows up after the reduction)
03-21-2004, 09:06 PM
I assume the chopper did not touch the trotor to the ground..
Does anyone know if the show was ever sold on VHS or DVD?
03-21-2004, 09:16 PM
I found what might be a complete set on eBay.
Auction ends in only 7 hours. I don't have the spare cash right now or I would grab them.
here is the link:
03-22-2004, 02:30 AM
Tom: Awesome pictures. Love that Robinson. Chuck.....way to go flying that....
I must be getting cabin fever.......I cant get enough of these pictures.
03-22-2004, 02:48 PM
Hey guys, I too was a big fan of Whirlybirds as a kid.
The copters were actually owned and flown by
National Helicopter in California. They were a new
company at the time and they consider that tv show
a big part of their company history. Their company
insignia is even similar to the one on Whirlybirds.
Look up National Helicopter. You can buy most of the
tv series of Whirlybirds on their web site.
03-22-2004, 02:50 PM
Another piece of trivia...
National helicopter bought the very first Jet Ranger
ever made. They still own and fly it. It is used
for movie photography.
03-27-2004, 11:15 AM
I heard an aircraft approaching. I looked out my office door and this flew over. I grabbed my camera and snapped this on its second pattern.
I know what it is, do you?
Can you guess who is flying it?
03-27-2004, 11:17 AM
Here's a picture of a picture. It's a friendly greeting to you from a friend of your's.
03-27-2004, 11:29 AM
In my day job I'm forced to play with fixed wings too. Here is my "baby" coming after a freight trip. This was the first Mitsubishi long body. It was the prototype MU-2 longbody. It's not uncommon to see 285 kts. on the GPS.
03-27-2004, 11:34 AM
Last year we had hot section and gearbox overhauls done down in Florida at a well known turbine shop. When the MU-2 came back I was looking over their installation and found this.
It's not a gravity defying bolt, it's actually a stud like thing that clamps to an adjustment serration on the bottom arm and sticks up through the linkage that goes to the fuel control. The only thing keeping the fuel control "linked" was gravity holding the linkage on.
Who said aviation is an exact science?
03-27-2004, 12:04 PM
Here's my answer to "Gyro Jenny". It's "Turboprop Mike" sitting on the wing of our company's MU-2. Many of you know my son Mike from Mentone and other gyro fly-ins. Mike has been attending them with me from birth. Mike graduated from Louis University last year with his A&P license and now works for me at both Northeast Aviation (www.northeastaviation.com) and Choppers Inc (our helicopter repair business) Mike recently completed Robinson school. I think Mike is getting ready to pull the starter/generator out. We had the unbelievable happen. Both starter / generators failed at the exact same time. The pilot scrambled for a trip and neither engine would spool up. This had me barking up the wrong tree for a while (there's not much they have in common). The accessory shop said they had never seen this before.
03-27-2004, 12:13 PM
"OK" enough off topic from me. I'll ease back into rotorcraft with a picture of Mike and another of our mechanics, Ryan installing a magneto on one of our Robbies.
Robinson just issued an Airworthiness Directive for R-22 rotorblades calling for a track & balance. If an unusual vibration occurs within the next 5 hours the blades are to be scrapped and replaced. The AD also changes the blades life from 12 yrs to 10 yrs. One of our ships suffered this fate as it is over 10 years old without an overhaul. R-22 blades are roughly $14,500. each, so with crating, shipping and installation it's around 30K.
Aren't you glad you fly an amateur-built aircraft!
03-27-2004, 01:03 PM
At the end of a nice, sunny, Sunday gyroday at the airport, we were saying our good bye's when one of our new club people lingered to talk a while longer with me. It was one of those beautiful days at the airport, the sun was setting and it was time to go home and prepare for the work week ahead... or so I thought. This "Newbie" was about to turn my world upside down.
He was saying how much he enjoyed watching gyros fly that day and was considering buying one now. He mentioned that he had just looked at a fixed wing ultralight at a little, old grass strip over in Indiana AND in one of the hangars was an old rundown Pitcairn autogiro. It can't be? Do you know what a Pitcairn gyro looks like? I asked. Sure, he said, and started to describe one. He said the rotor was off of it. I imagined an old biplane or biplane homebuilt with the top wing off, but he said, No, It was a gyro. According to the newbie the old guy that owned the strip, died years ago. He used to restore old airplanes for people. This gyro was a project that ended in a disagreement over ownership and the other guy kept the blades. Could it be, I thought? Could there be an old, forgotten Pitcairn in a hangar on a forgotten grass strip in Indiana?
The newbie offered to take me there "right now". He jumped in my car and we were off. during what would be a 3 hour ride, the plot thickened.
The widow was old and eccentric, She wouldn't allow anyone to use the overgrown strip anymore. The ultralight that remained belonged to an old family friend and the rest of the antique aircraft hangared there, including the "Pitcairn" weren't for sale, he said. She wanted to keep them in his memory.
I had no idea what I would do when we got there. It would be too late at night to approach this un-approachable lady so I figured to steathily creep around in the darkness just to verify this gyro existed and then I could devote the rest of my life to figuring out how to talk her out of it!
15 minutes into our journey, while repeating the whole story at my request, the newbie mentioned the ultralight owners name. I took my foot off the gas and as we slowed to something under 100 mph I commented that I knew this guy. I figured I could do with a phone call what would ahve taken all evening and maybe even get an inside into this "Giro".
The ultralight owner was a name from my distant past and was a pioneer gyro pilot as well. I hadn't talked to him in nearly 30 years and was surprised he was still flying. Ultralights brought a lot of the old timers out of retirement.
It took a while but I found his number and sure enough it was the same guy. Nope, no Pitcairn (you knew it couldn't be, didn't you?) But it still is of some interest. The ultralight guy had the same story. I was a gyro type aircraft, from the thirties. He never saw the "rotor" but heard the "other guy" had it. He described it as a 2 blade with a very wide chord in the root section. All I could think of was the Herrick Convertaplane that would stop the rotor in flight and carry on as a fixed wing.
I never made it out to Eastern Indiana to find out., but the other day I found the puzzle piece on ebay. I think it's a picture of the mystery ship. The caption says it is a gyroplane built by C.L.Stauffer of Elkhart, IN. and can out perform an Autogiro because it's top "wing" stops in flight. It goes on to say that it has "proven it'self in flight tests at over 145mph" Maybe when the days get longer I'll take the trip. It would look nice in the PRA Archimedes museum.
03-27-2004, 06:28 PM
Great pics....More, Encoure, Encoure!!!
03-27-2004, 08:06 PM
I know it's a McCulloch J-2 but don't know who the pilot would be.
I hope to own one of those someday.
If I can help in any way to get that autogiro into a museum please let me know. I will help in anyway I can.
03-31-2004, 05:39 PM
Mac j-2,always loved those I had the last one the factory built,it came from hubbard or. I traded an adams wilson hobby copter for it.
never got to do anything with it as it had no data plate and F.A.A siad it was over the 51% rule. bummer.
last i heard a guy in Tenn. has it and made a home built helicopter with it,then sold it and it is sitting infront of some store somewhere in tenn.
04-02-2004, 02:27 AM
Tom: I love your posts......from day one when I first met you...back in 1985....I have held you in the highest respect. You are an icon in my book...and I have gotten this same feedback from MANY..I have talked to. Way to go..and thanks for all your advice in the past. Stan
04-02-2004, 06:50 PM
First of all, thanks Stan Foster, for the kind words. You are one-heck-of-a-guy yourself!
I haven't flown much of anything in the last three years but I relish going to any rotorcraft event to visit with the nicest bunch of people put on the planet. Someone once asked me if "Any of my friends fly gyros? I replied that MOST of my friends fly gyroplanes" and it's the truth. I'll bet it's true with almost anyone that has been flying these amazing little machines for length of time.
My airplane project made it's first flight yesterday (see photo) I had to use a "test pilot" because I haven't held a valid medical in three years (since a bout with cancer)
After a three year struggle with doctors and the FAA, believe it or not I got my current, valid medical today. It wasn't the second class I tested for, but a third class with a mandated one year life, but heck, it's better than nothing.
It's time to take to the air again, where I belong. (the Barnett project is my next one)
04-02-2004, 06:55 PM
Tom: Thats great news about your medical. Hey...I am looking forward to making the flight up to Lansing.:)
04-02-2004, 07:16 PM
Oh yeah, It's a Beechcraft Sundowner. I bought it from a salvage yard in Bill Ortmayer's back yard down in florida last October (an ebay find) and trailered it back to Illinois. Some cash, blood, sweat and tears and it's a viable mode of transportation. I haven't sold out, I've been a fixed winger since 1968 and would trade all of my fixed wing time (2K hrs) for my 600 or so in gyros and helicopters.
A follow-up to my gyro quiz from a few posts ago. Yes, it is a McCulloch J-2. A former member of our chapter, Si Smith has owned 6 or 7 over the last twenty years. This was one he recently sold to a fellow rotorcraft nut in Wichita, KS.
I had the honor and privilege to restore most of them to airworthy condition after years of storage in barns and hangars all over the USA. Si owned one of the first and last J-2s made. Another of our chapter members bought a brand new one at the closing liquidation auction at Aero Resources in California...... $5,500. brand new.
Several years ago, Si got the best deal i've ever heard of, (2) J-2s for $9000. A couple of farmer brothers saw them advertised as McCulloch helicopters at an auction in Michigan when a dealer went defunct. They won the bid and brought them home to the farm and tried to find a helicopter instructor to teach them. They finally got one out to the farm and he confided to them that what they had bought, were in fact, gyroplanes. With no instruction available, they just took off the blades and drove them around the farm's dirt roads like dune buggies.
I wasn't hard to get either of them airworthy again.
Si offered me one for $4500., I declined I was having more fun with my Bensen. To me the J-2 flew like a Cessna 182 with the flaps down. Sure it was maneuverable and kind of fun to fly, but also noisy, gas guzzlin' and too much like flying in an airplane. I kind of felt the same way about flying the Air & Space 18A.
Attached is a picture of the J-2 Si recently sold. I formerly belonged to the central Indiana gyro junkie, Bill Sanders
04-02-2004, 07:33 PM
Here's a builder's tip.
You need to incorporate a method of centering the nosewheel after takeoff or a springy link to allow the nosewheel to caster to centered position after touchdown should the rudder be in use to compensate for a cross wind.
The very first McCulloch J-2s had no such link and if landed with rudder in they had a tendency to veer. Being short coupled and having a fairly narrow track width they also had a tendency to topple. This was written up in the PRA's own rotorcraft magazine (then called Popular Rotorcraft)
The very first Air Commands repeated this omission but were just squirrely after touchdown. I don't think many toppled over.
I don't know where I found this picture. I hope it's not copyrighted.
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