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  #1  
Old 09-23-2004, 06:27 PM
DBerke DBerke is offline
Dennis
 
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Default Pitbull

I am new to Gyro flying, only about five hours of training . I am about 95% of the way done with a Gyrobee and plan to use it to get some hours in once I am ready to solo.

I am starting to think about a second machine and kind of like the look of the Pitbull. Maybe this can help me get past the WI winter. Well, my question. Are there any flying Pitbulls in the WI, MN area that I could look at or others that I could get some input from?

Thanks

Last edited by DBerke; 09-23-2004 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Wrong name sorry
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2004, 08:18 PM
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Udi Udi is offline
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The Pitbull sure looks nice, but I have yet to see a satisfied owner...

Udi
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2004, 09:24 PM
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
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Hi Dennis,

I don't know much about those who have flown the PB. The video John VanVoorhees puts out is quite good. The machine looks quite maneuverable. Don't let rumor and inuendo decide for you. Give John a call. He's a super guy and has sold this machine all over the world. You'll find more of these machines left of the Rockies.

Construction is relatively simple - one long 2x3 keel ending with an engine mount and a 2x3 mast surrounded by the pod. Engines range from a 503 to a Subaru. A friend of mine near Tucson is building one with a BMW 1150R motorcycle with redrive (built in England). Nice 4 banger, good horses and apparently very popular in Europe with the sport plane crowd.

A fairly nice web site might give you a reasonable idea of the construction - a member of the Colorado Chapter 7 of the PRA. The address is:

http://www.milehighgyroplanes.com

Why isn't it more popular? I'm not sure. The taildragger configuration scares some people. Some don't like the landing gear wire bracing which stiffens the gear in lieu of drag and compression struts - but it's lighter. Some don't like the rudder bar instead of rudder pedals. Others are not fond the gas tank by your feet. The web site will show this.

I'm 6' and 220# and was not sure how I'd fit. There is plenty of room inside the fiberglass shell. I found it quite comfortable.

I'll try to attach the PB here with the BMW engine. I haven't been too successful with getting pics on this site but I am digitally challenged.

Hope this helps. BTW, if the pic does not come thru I can send it to your personal email.

Well horse s@*t, I get a "page cannot be found" and Unknown Error -1 on the upload attempt. I found it, but the computer can't - imagine that.

Send me your email address.

Cheers,

Mike
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2004, 10:03 PM
flyawayhome flyawayhome is offline
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Default Pitbull

I tried to get more info on the Pitbull but was a little dissapointed. Called twice, got answering machine & never returned my calls. Tried e-mailing and the address was no good. The website appears to be totally outdated w/ the information listed on the PRA mfg. section. The PRA site lists an "ultralight" a single place, and a two place. North American Rotorwerks (Pitbull) website shows only the single place with completely different prices and performance specs. than the PRA. Until I talk to more than one Pitbull owner/builder/flyer I'm stayin real clear. They may have a great product, but their Marketing needs help, bigtime. Thom
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2004, 03:08 AM
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
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Hi Thom,

By his own admission, John VanVoorhees, is not a great marketeer. He is more of a hands on builder and is "a force of one". Unfortunately, not unlike a lot of "manufacturers" today.

His first website is very outdated. I stumbled across a more up to date one:

http://www.pitbullgyroplanes.com

I've found I can get him on the phone 1 out of 4 trys, typically. Very friendly and loves to talk gyroplanes.

Cheers,

Mike
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2004, 04:31 AM
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chuter chuter is offline
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DBerke,

Be sure you talk to some of the satisfied owners, they sure don't post here.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2004, 07:09 AM
flyawayhome flyawayhome is offline
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Default Pitbull

Mike, You mentioned your friend bulding a PB in Tuscon. I'd like to see it. Tucson is about 2 hrs. south. Thanks, Thom
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2004, 07:57 AM
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Udi Udi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jackson
... Don't let rumor and innuendo decide for you. Give John a call. He's a super guy and has sold this machine all over the world. You'll find more of these machines left of the Rockies...
All we need is ONE person who knows someone who likes their Pitbull. There are no rumors and innuendo - rather, there is lack of information regarding successfully flying Pitbulls.

Mike, the gyroplane fraternity is fairly small. Don't you think that if there were a nice flying Pitbull someone would have seen it? Buying a kit gyroplane without a first hand knowledge of other happy customers is a foolish thing to do. Next time you talk with the Pitbull manufacturer, why don't you ask for a list of refernces?

The link you have posted above for the guy in Colorado is a perfect example of the fate Pitbull builders. They build them and then they sell them – un-flown! What's the deal with that?

Udi
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2004, 08:30 AM
DBerke DBerke is offline
Dennis
 
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Mike

Looks like you have emails blocked from the forum so I can not send you my email. I do not have my email blocked. You can send me an email by just clicking on my name in my post. Like to get any information I can.


Dennis




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jackson
Hi Dennis,

I don't know much about those who have flown the PB. The video John VanVoorhees puts out is quite good. The machine looks quite maneuverable. Don't let rumor and inuendo decide for you. Give John a call. He's a super guy and has sold this machine all over the world. You'll find more of these machines left of the Rockies.

Construction is relatively simple - one long 2x3 keel ending with an engine mount and a 2x3 mast surrounded by the pod. Engines range from a 503 to a Subaru. A friend of mine near Tucson is building one with a BMW 1150R motorcycle with redrive (built in England). Nice 4 banger, good horses and apparently very popular in Europe with the sport plane crowd.

A fairly nice web site might give you a reasonable idea of the construction - a member of the Colorado Chapter 7 of the PRA. The address is:

http://www.milehighgyroplanes.com

Why isn't it more popular? I'm not sure. The taildragger configuration scares some people. Some don't like the landing gear wire bracing which stiffens the gear in lieu of drag and compression struts - but it's lighter. Some don't like the rudder bar instead of rudder pedals. Others are not fond the gas tank by your feet. The web site will show this.

I'm 6' and 220# and was not sure how I'd fit. There is plenty of room inside the fiberglass shell. I found it quite comfortable.

I'll try to attach the PB here with the BMW engine. I haven't been too successful with getting pics on this site but I am digitally challenged.

Hope this helps. BTW, if the pic does not come thru I can send it to your personal email.

Well horse s@*t, I get a "page cannot be found" and Unknown Error -1 on the upload attempt. I found it, but the computer can't - imagine that.

Send me your email address.

Cheers,

Mike
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2004, 09:11 AM
Mike Jackson Mike Jackson is offline
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Udi,

You're absolutely correct regarding references. I am also seeking info myself. I wasn't aware the builder in CO sold his? Do you know why?

There was an individual, Tim Wells, I believe, who built a beautiful machine. He won one or more static awards for workmanship only to sell it before he flew it. The reason I heard from John V. was he couldn't find adequate tng. I'm not sure who bought his machine.

Sorry I can't give more names, but over the years I have seen pics in the PRA rag of PBs at ElMirage. I'm anxious to see how Charlie Mara's (AZ) PB with the BMW engine turns out. Charlie is a well respected gyro instructor originally from IL and part of the STL Chapter of the PRA. I'll try to get him to post a flight report in the Forum or maybe an article for the PRA magazine.

I understand a builder/buyers concerns regarding safety and quality of a project. Not too many want to "go where no human has gone before"i.e., not the first in line. References are important. I might suggest archiving pilot reports in the forum. Maybe a seperate topic heading for each design type or possibly a subheading for each design type already having a Forum topic.

Qualitative pilot report inputs should try to include semi structured guidelines for topics of interest rather than just "it flew real good". The more reports for any given model the better. I just believe there are large untapped sources for inputs, both contractor and consumer, which might be solicited. A good example of a limited flight report was by Rusty Nance regarding the ELT conversion on the SS Air Command. Succinct, to the point discussing high and low speed handling and maneuverability. It was on AC's old website. Their current one looks incomplete to me as yet.

Cheers,

Mike
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2004, 12:16 PM
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Udi Udi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jackson
...I wasn't aware the builder in CO sold his? Do you know why?...
Click on the link to his web page. I don't think he sold it yet.

Udi-
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2004, 04:26 PM
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GyroRon GyroRon is offline
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I had a chance to fly one last year at ROC. It was powered by a subaru EA-81 with a Rotax C type gearbox and a three blade prop. It never could get enough power or speed or whatever to get airborne. The engine kept overheating stopping me from being more aggressive on my attempts. And it is fair to say I may not have done my takeoff attempts right for a Tractor gyro - I pre rotated and went to full back stick and slowly built up speed till the rotors were up to speed, then allowed the stick to go forwards some to allow even more speed to build up, but even at what seemed like enough speed to takeoff it never would. Maybe I should have given it even more forwards stick and got even more airspeed built up???..... Maybe if the owner still has it and has the engine troubles fixed and has it at ROC I will try to fly it again.
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2004, 05:14 PM
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jucie jucie is offline
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What? Did somebody manage to build something Ron Awad isn't able to fly? Quite an achievement!
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2004, 08:23 PM
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Rotorhead Rotorhead is offline
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Default They Do Fly

Hi everyone

I am also going to abandoned Guide wire cables, beefing up control stick
Assembly and upgrading to pedals, mine also has the glass laid up very thin
( lighter the better ) but I will add glass ribs to make it more kid ( adult )
proof

Flying Picture & thoughts below from a somewhat satisfied customer

Quote:
The 503 is an excellent power source for the Pitbull. With the reduction
gear you can use props of over 68" in length that translates into massive
torque and more then adequate power. But there are many other difficult
obstacles that must be over come with the Pitbull.. The greatest being the
support cables for the main gear.

There are very many positive things ot be said about the pitbull. The
tractor design has so very many advantages over the pusher. I do not feel
it is too short at all. The longitudinal stability is very good and
the surface area combined with the dihedral create a huge air dam in the
nose down configuration making a power push over almost impossible. The
lateral stability is another problem especially for a beginner pilot.

The biggest problem is that there are no tractor trainer gyros available
yet. So I was forced to Transition from a tricycle gear pusher, flight test
the pitbull and solo all at the same time. This was quite overwhelming.

What do you have for a tail wheel now? I had build a steerable tail wheel
with a locking indent for mine. The tail dragger configuration is very
prone to ground looping. I had ground looped on 3 occasions. The fixed
tail wheel helps prevent this. The down side is there is not enough rudder
authority or good ground control with a fixed tail wheel. So many people
have gone to steering brakes on the mains.

Do you plan on flying this as an ultralight?

I had used over sized cable and double crimped and even triple crimped many
of the cables. Yet the support cable still pulled through the eye. The
reason for this is where the support cable is mounted on the main gear
is 1/3 the distance from the pivot point on the main gear. This has created
an over shot lever. for every pound of back pressure placed on the main
gear there is 3 times that put on the support cable. The best fix I have
seen was done by a gentleman in Holland. He replaced his cables with solid
tubes. Still the ultimate fix would be to throw away the cable and main
gear and build the mains in an A-frame style similar to a piper cub.

.

Please take care,
Anyone know how to contact the guy in Holland ?
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2004, 04:29 PM
DBerke DBerke is offline
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This has me kind of concerned. I did talk to John and he does seem like a nice guy. Loves to talk about Gyro's for sure. I think he said over 30 are out in the field! But still no one has said they are flying and have no issues. Well I may just have to dust off my CAD and mechanical engineering books and put together a tractor design of my own. The rudder issues and wire on the landing gear do not sound too good.


Dennis
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