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Old 05-12-2009, 09:32 PM
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Question Air & Space 18A Re-born?

Looks like the Air & Space 18A is coming back as the Heliplane 18A - http://www.heliplaneaircraft.com/news/news.htm

I had wondered if it, or parts of it would survive. If you look at their site they tout how stable and safe it is, yet from what I've learned on this forum, it did (and probably still does) have some issues. Still, nice to see someone trying to keep it alive.

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Old 05-12-2009, 10:38 PM
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This is some of the best footage I've seen of the machine in operation. Those are some nice looking jumps and short landings.

The video seems quite dated. I'm skeptical that there are utility companies currently using the type for powerline or pipeline inspection.

At the end of the video, there's what appears to be a rendering of an updated fuselage.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:04 AM
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Interesting, I called the number and a nice fellow answered the phone and said that he would do training if someone scheduled it although his pilot is in Tennessee at the moment.

He believes he purchased all the parts for the 18A and is working on a diesel powered one. He has 9 people working with him.

He is no longer at the La Belle airport because the 18A doesn’t need an airport.

The 18A in the video is registered to KD Helicopters in New Jersey the red one in the photo gallery is registered to JP Harrison who participates here on the forum.

Thank you, Vance
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PW_Plack View Post
This is some of the best footage I've seen of the machine in operation. Those are some nice looking jumps and short landings.

The video seems quite dated. I'm skeptical that there are utility companies currently using the type for powerline or pipeline inspection.

At the end of the video, there's what appears to be a rendering of an updated fuselage.

I think your right Paul. I've admired that machine for awhile, it's very well thought out.

Jon

Last edited by Master Roda; 05-13-2009 at 01:27 PM. Reason: sp error
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Old 05-13-2009, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance View Post
He believes he purchased all the parts for the 18A and is working on a diesel powered one. He has 9 people working with him.
Vance,
By diesel, Could this be both jet fuel or road diesel? ( I wonder if this qualifies for off road as it does not use roads.) Great idea, high btu fuel, good fuel economy, lower cost fuel, safer, can be used with dry filters, more fuel flexibility to work remote areas.

I had never seen the 18a jump take-off until this video.
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Old 05-13-2009, 08:35 AM
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Call him Larry, I suspect he would be pleased to speak to someone with aligned enthusiasm.

I am a Lycoming enthusiast so I did not pursue a diesel line of questioning.

I am not a viable customer so I did not want to take too much of his time.

Thank you, Vance
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PW_Plack View Post
The video seems quite dated.
Yes, that's very old stuff. Most of the shots are in and around the old Farrington airport, KY29, in Paducah, Kentucky, and if you look closely, you'll see the late John Potter at the controls (all the solo shots, and back seat in the dual shots). I wouldn't hold my breath for a return to production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry_Smith View Post
If you look at their site they tout how stable and safe it is, yet from what I've learned on this forum, it did (and probably still does) have some issues.
I fly one regularly, and there aren't any real issues for the 18A, beyond the usual gyro problems of shorter range, lower speed, lower payload, and more noise when compared to fixed wing aircraft with comparable power. The only issue I've seen mentioned on this forum is adverse roll with yaw. It's a different behavior than found on many other aircraft, but very, very easy to manage for anyone with functioning feet. Some time ago I reported on another thread that I had done a search and found zero fatal accidents attributable to that characteristic. C. Beaty then voiced the opinion that Don Farrington's death was due to that problem, but given that Don held the type certificate and developed several STCs for the design, had many thousands of hours in type, was an FAA designated examiner in that aircraft, and knew it better than anybody else, I (and others) approach that conclusion with extreme skepticism.

Like all fully articulated three-blade rotor aircraft, it has the possibility of ground resonance, but care in maintenance and common sense operation minimizes that risk, and in my view it's a fine trade for avoiding the vices of a teetering system, such as rotor management and "flap" problems, for example.
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Old 05-13-2009, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vance View Post
The 18A in the video is registered to KD Helicopters in New Jersey the red one in the photo gallery is registered to JP Harrison who participates here on the forum.
I took that photo of the red one [the "Red Menace"] and put it up on the Wikipedia commons; the Heliplane folks must have downloaded it from there. JP is in the cockpit. The photo is at Ellington Field in Houston in August of 2007 right after a major rebuild. The aircraft is now in Stockton, CA, about to get new rotor blades mounted. It's for sale.

The blue one lower on the same page [the "Drag Queen"] is the one that Chuck Roberg is planning to take a ride in with me on Sunday. It lives at South County Airport, San Martin, California.
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Old 05-14-2009, 01:27 PM
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I saw a few 18A in Oshkosh or Sun and Fun(I don't remember) around 8-10 years ago. Somebody was trying to resurrect the type. They had the few three or four models that remained and were being refurbished. It did not work. I saw an advertisement a few years later selling them as a lot. What really attracted my attention was the massive rotors made of layered wood. They were a piece of art.

The new Sportcopter II has the same gross weight and a little more powerful engine, the Lyn 200hp vs. 180hp of the 18A and is made with XXI Century Technology. Jim is saying that a jump version with three blades is in his future plans, similar also to the 18A.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:57 PM
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More information on the 18A, including one for sale:

http://www.gyroplane.aero/index.html
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:36 PM
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Don Farrington was a great friend to me as was John Potter. I made quite a few pilgrimages to Paducah and spent lots of time in the 18A, nice machine. I flew all of Don's hardware and he trained me in my J2 after I purchased it and trailered it down there. What a great pilot and pioneer. John as well. I don't think I ever heard of anyone ever rattling John when he was training. I made some pretty big screw ups in the R-22 and he never even flinched. I treasure the time I got to spend with both of them. Don told many stories of his time at Pan Am and the Air National Guard. I still have my bright shiny silk jacket with the Farrington Airpark logo on it. I only wear it when i'm around gyro folks, I don't think others would understand...
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:03 AM
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This was taken at the 1989 PRA Convention. John Potter standing, Pat Thomas back seat, and yours truly in the front. I had just completed my CFI with John. I am still connected to the 18A on a project.

Second photo - September 2008 at Heliplane, Labelle FL. Time does fly when you FLY.
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Last edited by Chris Burgess; 05-17-2009 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:59 PM
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I have some time in that ship Chris. I got to fly the blue one that they produced as a "new 18A". Really loved flying that machine. You got your CFI in 89? I guess it doesn't seem that long ago does it? I got mine in 91 and I can still remember the check ride very vividly.

How are you connected with an 18A now Chris? How often do you get to fly it?
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Old 05-17-2009, 03:43 PM
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Don, I sent you a PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:50 AM
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