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Using Hughes helicopter rotorblades for gyro flight

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  • Using Hughes helicopter rotorblades for gyro flight

    Anyone aware of pilots currently (or in the past) using the Hughes rotorblades in autogyro mode, that made their own hub bars that incorporated the Hughes drag link into said hub bar?
    Anyone either made their own or contracted w/ a machine shop to have them made?

    I've learned from Glenn Bundy that the usual Bensen hub bar works, as long as an adjustable connection is included for attaching the drag link to enable each blade to be straight opposite of the other.

    Asking in behalf of a Kiwi helicopter and gyroplane pilot who doesn't frequent this forum.

  • #2
    Someone here used Schweitzer 300 blades think they fitted upside down it was a fair time ago though.
    Expect they will be along soon


    • #3
      Chuck Beaty is the expert on this. Maybe he'll chime in; if not, PM him.

      You do have to mount them upside down relative to helo practice, in order for the twist to be appropriate for autorotation (we want more incidence outboard; helos want less). The blades have tip weights; some people like them, while others don't. The weights can be removed by simply cutting off a few inches at the tips. The root mountings of various Hughes/Schweitzer models vary, and the hub design must vary accordingly.

      Chuck will have the details.


      • #4
        Doug seem to remember 2 screw in weights in the end of the blade 1 \ top weight second smaller chord balance weight or am I mixing up with the 500
        Last edited by yettie; 09-10-2018, 02:46 AM.


        • #5
          Si Smith has a Bensen with Hughes blades. Seems to fly pretty well too.


          • #6
            Most of my experience was with Hughes-500/OH-6 rotor blades. I bought a truckload of runouts for scrap prices from Ft. Rucker, the US Army helicopter pilot school. These blades came with bonded on root attachment pads that could be machined flat and attached to the hub bar in conventional fashion.

            Both 269 and OH-6 used NACA 0015 airfoils with ~7 chord and ~8 degrees of twist. They had to be inverted and run in reverse from convention. Root ends were set at -1.5 degrees.

            The 0015 has an abrupt stall, pretty much eliminating hand starting and requiring a good prerotator.

            The 5 lb. tip weights and resulting high inertia made handling somewhat sluggish and required a different landing technique than contemporary blades. Six inches could be sawed off the tips to remove tip weights without affecting chordwise balance.

            Performance was better than contemporary rotor blades at the time.


            • #7
              Thanks yettie, Doug, Outer Marker, & Chuck for adding your info!
              I learned a few things from your posts.
              I'm sure the Kiwi heli/gyro pilot will appreciate your time spent sharing.


              • #8
                I still have a set of J-2 blades which, as many know, flew on a Hughes 269 rotor head but are built to auto-rotate better.
                Brock Steiner


                • #9
                  Perhaps they never had any issues with light loads on gyros, but there's still something about using a red-tagged timed-out part upside-down that makes me uneasy.