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  • photo comparative crash damage to various gyro rotor systems

    I'm currently looking into comparative mast/rotor system strengths of various gyros, as evinced by their post-crash condition.
    Consistent points of breakage from impact illustrates a system's weakest areas.

    In my opinion, to protect gyro occupants and the public, during a crash the mast should remain intact and not fold over.
    Although the rotors will naturally suffer crash damage, they should not tear off or fold up.
    (Rotors torn off are sometimes flung a great distance with much energy, which endangers others.)

    Most incidents were landing tip-overs, vs. high-speed impact with terrain.
    Most of these crashes were sourced from: https://gyroaccidents.blogspot.com/
    Tail numbers (when known) are embedded in the photos. (Foreign tails are C for Canada, D for Germany, and G for the U.K.)

    My first series here are AutoGyros with Rotor System 2, from crashes 2015-2018.
    Bending of the stainless steel mast was not uncommon.
    Breaking off a rotor from the end of the tension strap was very common, and if not broken off they were almost always bent in that area.
    Thus, thaat seems to be the weakest area of their rotor system.

    This area of breakage was also noticed in ELA crashes, which I'll post soon.

    The Trixy was most pronounced with a complete folding of its stainless steel mast.

    Regards,
    Kolibri


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    PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

    Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

    "
    When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

  • #2
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    I'll add to these as I find them.

    Regards,
    Kolibri
    PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

    Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

    "
    When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

    Comment


    • #3
      Is there any data showing frequency and severity of injury to the public, to bystanders, or to ground personnel from gyroplane rotor blades departing the aircraft?

      Off the top of my head, I can't recall such an instance, which makes me wonder if there is a practical public safety issue.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ultimately in these accidents, particularly the more severe ones, it's arguable whether bending or breakage of any components of the aircraft would contribute to safety or survival. It could even be argued that bending or breakage could act as a sort of a crumple zone, adding to safety. In these more severe accidents, I believe adding roll cages or other types of shock or impact absorbing devices would be much more important with regard to protecting the pilot and passenger. Recently at Oshkosh I was looking at a friend's brand new Glassair. What a sweet aircraft, and the welded roll cage was a real plus. Are there presently any gyros that have a welded roll cage designed to protect the occupants.?
        I think failures in flight of essential components such as mast or rotor are of much more significance. I'm not aware of any in flight failures in Autogyro aircraft, at least since I've been a gyro fan for the last 7-8 years. This would be the most important thing to make folks aware of.
        I think another point to be made is that just like in FW, we are starting to see some differentiation of gyros, depending on the use for which they were intended. Products like Brands like Arrowcopter and Autogyro seem to be aimed much more at the regular civil aviation pilot who is going to fly more from asphalt runway to asphalt runway as in Europe and much of the US. The Titanium for example is aimed more at the farm and backcountry flyer. Just as we see differentiation in products in the FW world. FW folks simply would never argue that any given aircraft is ideal for all customers. What we do need to see in the gyro market is more separation of the different gyros based in their intended use. Hopefully we will see more jump takeoff products aimed more at the real STOL folks.
        Last edited by loftus; 08-09-2018, 10:19 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Agreed - this exercise is already leaning toward a common flawed analysis that mixes correlation and causation. I will follow along with interest but I don't see anything useful coming out of this. There is simply not enough data to come to a meaningful conclusion. The separation of the rotors is hopeless. Infinite angles of impact coupled with infinite speeds of the rotors are at play. A set of photos can't possibly provide a clue to solve a problem that doesn't seem to exist with rotor attachment strength.

          Stiffening the rotor mast COULD cause the cockpit to fail, resulting in even more severe injuries to the occupants.

          I'd rather see the data that compares the experience of the pilot, the weather conditions, etc. Back when five Zenith 601 FW crashed worldwide in the span of a year, a lot of testing and time was wasted looking into flutter, weak spar, and touchy controls. Since then, I don't think one has crashed in the same way but it was more about training than anything else.

          Comment


          • #6
            Is there any data showing frequency and severity of injury to the public, to bystanders, or to ground personnel from gyroplane rotor blades departing the aircraft?

            Off the top of my head, I can't recall such an instance, which makes me wonder if there is a practical public safety issue.
            WaspAir, I can recall at least one: the N69EP Ortmayer trainer. And that wasn't even from any impact.
            Its overly long used RAF hub bar failed at a tensile bolthead, and that rotor fatally struck the cabin-seated student in the head.
            Here is a screenshot from my list of RAF fatalities in the USA:


            Click image for larger version  Name:	N69EP Ortmayer trainer.png Views:	1 Size:	30.0 KB ID:	1136451


            Also, while ZU-RHO in South Africa flung a blade, and then the remaining blade with rotorhead, they did not strike anyone,
            However, that did occur at an airport with people present. Each rotor was flung 90+ meters. That nobody was hurt by them was sheer luck/miracle.
            Seems prudent not to chance it.

            I'll still stick with my premise, that rotors should not be routinely flung off from impact, much less from mere tipovers.
            I cannot envision the benefit from easily departing rotors, but I'm open to ideas.



            ____________
            In these more severe accidents, I believe adding roll cages or other types of shock or impact absorbing devices would be much more important with regard to protecting the pilot and passenger.
            loftus, Sport Copters all have an impact absorbing suspension/frame/seat, with an intentionally progressive crumple.
            The suspension is not a bouncy leaf spring, but actual shock absorbers with dampening. This seems rare in gyros.


            Are there presently any gyros that have a welded roll cage designed to protect the occupants.?
            The Sport Copter SCII has significant rollover cabin protection, as well as the M2.
            It's a multi-layered pre-preg carbon-fiber longitudinal windshield spar, strong enough to walk on.


            What we do need to see in the gyro market is more separation of the different gyros based in their intended use.
            I agree, although what they all should have in common is a very high level of design safety.
            I.e., if there are metaphorical Pintos in our industry, they should be improved.


            __________

            Agreed - this exercise is already leaning toward a common flawed analysis that mixes correlation and causation.
            HighAltitude, I've made no claim of either.
            I posted merely the self-evident fact that "Consistent points of breakage from impact illustrates a system's weakest areas."


            The separation of the rotors is hopeless. Infinite angles of impact coupled with infinite speeds of the rotors are at play.
            A set of photos can't possibly provide a clue to solve a problem that doesn't seem to exist with rotor attachment strength.
            If the above photos had shown multiple positions of tearing, I might tend to agree with you.
            Also, if all gyro rotors, regardless of mfg., were teaing off from impacts, I'd probably have to agree with you.
            But they're not.

            Regards,
            Kolibri
            Last edited by Kolibri; 08-09-2018, 01:00 PM.
            PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

            Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

            "
            When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

            Comment


            • #7
              Here are three ELAs.

              The bottom photo is from a 2017 in-flight loss of rotor.
              Curious that nobody has mentioned this.



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              Last edited by Kolibri; 08-09-2018, 09:51 PM.
              PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

              Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

              "
              When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

              Comment


              • #8
                The problem here is that I think this is really just a discussion that essentially disparages AutoGyro, while simultaneously promoting Sportcopter whom you represent. I believe Sportcopter is a fabulous gyrocopter - pretty ugly in my opinion, but a great machine from everything I know. The discussions have gone on for years on this forum about problems with Autogyro, from the linked nose wheel to earlier rotor blade issues, some early frame cracking issues etc. I myself posted my unhappiness with a prerotator bracket. But having said all this where are we today.
                Are current Autogyros unsafe to fly due to structural weaknesses of their frame and/or rotor blades? Is somebody involved in an aircraft destroying accident in an Autogyro any more susceptible to severe injury or death than most gyros on the market? I simply don't see any evidence to support these implications. Probably the only way these issues will ever be settled is with monitored crash tests with dummies. Everything else is pure speculation and attempts by the competition etc to disparage Autogyro unless they can prove otherwise, particularly when one considers that Autogyro now has more than 2000 aircraft worldwide, including one of two companies with current certified aircraft (requiring far more stringent testing etc than other companies have subjected themselves to) etc -
                I think it's pretty clear that Magni and Autogyro are the dominant brands worldwide. Are other companies like Sportcopter and American Ranger able to make excellent gyrocopters to compete - of course. I just don't think there's any evidence that current Autogyros are structurally unsound or unable to safely fly their owners for the expected lifetime of most gyrocopters. What is that? A 1000 hours, 1500 hours, 2000 hours without major structural problems.
                Last edited by loftus; 08-10-2018, 01:12 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Loftus your right ,This appears to be an Autogyro bashing Info commercial for SportCopter,
                  Best Regards,
                  Eddie Sigman,Polvadera,nm
                  (575) 835-4921

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Folks, I've not accused any gyro mfg. of anything. Haven't "bashed" anyone. Just showing post-crash photos.
                    What they may or may not mean is for another discussion, after lots of photographic data.

                    loftus just posted more of an "infomercial" for AG than I did for SC.
                    Last edited by Kolibri; 08-09-2018, 02:24 PM.
                    PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

                    Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

                    "
                    When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here are some downed Sport Copters:


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                      PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

                      Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

                      "
                      When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some other Sport Copters. I'm still looking for a broken off rotor, but haven't found one. Contributions welcome.


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                        PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

                        Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

                        "
                        When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ah, I didn't know Kolibri was a sportcopter rep. That clarifies this thread for me. Who cares what happens to the mast or the rotors unless they part the gyro in the air and become the cause of the crash. Let's focus on pilot safety and finding ways to minimize injuries.

                          I would really like to know some basics like:
                          Does a helmet really provide any protection other than a runway tip over?
                          Does a carbon fiber tub enclosure reduce injuries?
                          Does an small enclosed cockpit like the sport copter result in more head injuries?
                          Is a completely enclosed cockpit safer?

                          Where the rotors land is a one in a million type of potential threat to a bystander and not high on my list of worries.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Does an small enclosed cockpit like the sport copter result in more head injuries?
                            What's unique about Sport Copter's "small enclosed cockpit"?
                            Wouldn't many other gyros qualify, such as the Calidus, Cavalon, Xenon, etc.?



                            Ah, I didn't know Kolibri was a sportcopter rep. That clarifies this thread for me.
                            Public photos are . . . public photos, regardless of who posts them.
                            You're not accusing me of tampering with them, are you?

                            What should clarify matters is that many/most gyros can't seem to keep their rotors intact after impact.
                            Yet at least one brand's rotors don't seem to break off at all.



                            Who cares what happens to the mast or the rotors unless they part the gyro in the air and become the cause of the crash.
                            Uh, OK, anybody else want to post the obvious answer to this?

                            Regards,
                            Kolibri



                            PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders; checkride soon

                            Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

                            "
                            When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HighAltitude View Post
                              ...

                              Back when five Zenith 601 FW crashed worldwide in the span of a year, a lot of testing and time was wasted looking into flutter, weak spar, and touchy controls. Since then, I don't think one has crashed in the same way but it was more about training than anything else.
                              That is not correct at all about Zenith.
                              It was found that the wing load testing was done incorrectly and when the load testing was done correctly, the wings failed at high but potentially attainable G load. Thus FAA on NTSB's recommendation grounded the whole fleet in the US. UK CAA and Dutch CAA had also grounded the whole fleet. They forced the company to release a mandatory safety directive which added a lot more metal to the spars inside the wing to pass the load test (18.5 pounds worth to be exact) and since then there have been no failures. I personally know at least one FAA examiner who died in a 601 due to a wing coming off. I do not think he needed any further training to be safe. I know a second FAA examiner and friend who came back down from a check-ride to find that one wing was about to go and its leading edge was out partially at the root from the carry through structure.
                              It was also found in flight testing that the stick force versus G load was not positive and in fact went opposite at speeds close to VNe and that is not good at all and that caused many pilots t go past VNe because of reversed feedback feel.
                              https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...control-forces
                              Last edited by fara; 08-09-2018, 07:08 PM.

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