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Sport Copter Vortex--Range Extension

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  • Sport Copter Vortex--Range Extension

    Anybody have info on aux fuel tank for Sport Copter Vortex. The Rotax 582 can guzzle all the 8 gallons in less than 1.5 hours and that's just a little short of the fuel needed to fly from home base to my parents home. I would like to be able to take an afternoon flight and visit my folks without a fuel stop. Any ideas or recomendations?
    Mosquito XE almost XET!

  • #2
    plan a fuel stop. it is the easiest way.
    Thats what she said.

    Comment


    • #3
      You can extend your range significantly if you limit your airspeed to 55 mph. Can probably fly more than 2 hours on 8 gals at this airspeed.

      You can try to fit the Air Command aux. tanks to your SC. That would add another 7 gal (?).

      Udi

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GyroRon
        plan a fuel stop. it is the easiest way.
        Please see the part that says, "would like to make the trip without a fuel stop"

        Ron, this looks like another post to make yourself the highest number of posts, poster of year award. Say that five times real fast.

        Thanks Udi, good info.
        55 mph in two hours range could make trip with some reserve fuel. Its about a 100 nm trip.
        Mosquito XE almost XET!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RazorBlake
          Please see the part that says, "would like to make the trip without a fuel stop"

          Ron, this looks like another post to make yourself the highest number of posts, poster of year award. Say that five times real fast.

          Thanks Udi, good info.
          55 mph in two hours range could make trip with some reserve fuel. Its about a 100 nm trip.
          Blake, you can do a number of things to extend your range if you do not want to stop for fuel. You can plan your flights only on days where you have a nice strong tailwind.... You can carry a spare 3 gallon fuel tank in your lap and run a hose with small 12 volt fuel pump to pump that gas into the main tank as needed..... You can try to rig up Aircommand tanks, or some other aux tank system.... You can take off the sportcopters seat and tank and replace with a larger one like the one I have on my gyro.... if you limit your speed and fly at 5500-5700 engine rpms you can get fuel burn rates under 4 gallons a hour ( I have seen burn rates on my 582 as low as the high 2 gallons per hour range )....... You could trailer the gyro part way to where your going and then takeoff when you know you got the range to make it.... Or trailer the gyro the whole way and then fly it there where range is not a issue at all. OR.......


          You plan for a quick stop for fuel. A place to grab a smoke or snack and to take a piss, to stretch the legs etc... If you PLAN the stop with some care, you can plan to only stop at airports with self serve pumps where you can land, fill up and get back in the gyro and in the air in as little as 10 minutes. You should have oil injection on your Sportcopter so you do not need to worry about bringing extra oil with you, and Av-Gas is not going to hurt your Rotax on the occasional basis you would be using it while on long cross country flights.

          So maybe my short post earlier in this thread did not go into enough detail for you to appreciate my opinion. But in the end it is the best option. Sportcopter gyroplanes are the Gold Standard for fit and finish, they are like works of art. If I owned one the last thing I would be wanting to do is to jeery rig up some ugly aux tank set up so I could avoid a 10 minute fuel stop on a occasional long flight. Not to mention I get sore and would absolutely want to get out and stretch my legs after about a hour in the saddle. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
          Thats what she said.

          Comment


          • #6
            Agreed

            Hey Ron,

            Thanks for the additional insight on range ext. I agree that the Vortex is a fine looking machine and that adding ugly aux tanks would deminish the curb appeal. The aux tank idea would be an "as needed" install. Use 'em for longer rides but not everyday flights around the patch. I like the idea of a 3 gallon tank in my lap, I'll apply for an STC for that, I'm sure the FAA will love it.

            I think the economy cruise idea will work best since high speed is not a priority for me. 50-60 mph is just right.
            Mosquito XE almost XET!

            Comment


            • #7
              Could the standard seat be replaced with a seat tank with the Sportcopter standard fuel tank left on? This would give you 2 fuel tanks without the external tank look.
              Tim Chick
              My youtube channel --------------- http://www.youtube.com/user/tchick
              Watch videos of Bensen Days 2007 - http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...B8C1F17B074D3F
              Watch videos of Bensen Days 2008 - http://www.youtube.com/view_play_lis...DCDDF78B4169D3
              My Sport Copter Build -------------- http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25142

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              • #8
                Blake,

                Your comment about 55mph cruise making it ok to fly 100 nm in two hours concerns me. Remember that your airspeed is not your groundspeed. You must monitor your remaining fuel by time, not by distance.

                Just a thought, hopefully your instructor teaches you the difference between airspeed and groundspeed when calculating fuel required to reach a destination.

                Best of luck in your training.
                Mark Greene
                El Paso, IL
                A gyro landing is still the best landing you can have!

                Comment


                • #9
                  A friend here mentioned that he adjusts his prop pitch a bit for cross country trips.
                  Fortune cookie: Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

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                  • #10
                    I think I got the most comfortable shaped seat found on any gyro and I can't sit in the thing for more than a hour. A 100 mile trip non stop would be quite a showing of a Iron Butt. I think after he has flown some in the machine he may find that he is going to want to stop like it or not.
                    Thats what she said.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Cgmg,
                      Thanks for the input on GS vs. IAS. You are right and I will definately need to make computations based on windspeed at the proposed altitude.

                      Ron,
                      You might be right about the butt endurance vs. fuel consumption/range. I will say my butt doesn't have the conditioning that it used to. During my Air Force career I sat in the engineer jumpseat on the MH-53 for many sorties with avg. duration of 4 hours. Not sure if you've ever seen an MH-53 jumpseat, but its not comfortable to say the least. Anyway, that's been 5 years ago now and I'm sure the calices on my butt are gone.

                      MH-53 pic below.
                      Attached Files
                      Mosquito XE almost XET!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ron, have you ever sat in a Sport Copter seat? There's a reason they're expensive!

                        Monday night, (Labor Day,) I did a two-hour night cross-country in the Vortex II tandem trainer. With that tempurpedic-type foam, it's more comfortable for long-duration sitting than any car I've owned. No butt-ache, no numbness or stiffness. I could have gone much longer.

                        After two hours at 55 MPH at 3,000 feet in 50-degree air with a three-quarters helmet and no windscreen, my mouth was so cold and numb I could barely make the radio call approaching Scappoose at the end of it all. My butt, however, was comfy!
                        Paul W. Plack
                        Private ASEL, SP Gyroplane
                        Secretary, URA & PRA2
                        Editor, Western Rotorcraft

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ron,

                          I put some light foam carpet pad under our seat cover on our Air Command, and it's comfortable for up to 2 hours. It took a number of tries to get the amounts right for both the buns and the back, but it was worth it.

                          I think the seat cover cost me about $75, and the foam was something we had left over from one of our carpeting changes.

                          I've set in some other gyros with the same seat tank with no padding, and I can't imagine spending an hour sitting on that hard surface. But as you can tell from some of the pictures of me, there ain't any padding on my backside.
                          Mark Greene
                          El Paso, IL
                          A gyro landing is still the best landing you can have!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Paul, I have flown my SportCopter more than 6 hours on different days. I get sunburned, windblown, can't hear a damn thing, but never get a sore back or butt. Those seats are SOOOO nice! Another example of simple good thought out product development.

                            Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
                            You are only as good as your last flight

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Blake,

                              I have a 13-gallon seat tank on my Dominator. Not sure who it was made by. It is pretty well padded, but man... after making trip of 60 miles there and 60 miles back for lunch a few weeks ago... I was in pain. Mostly the back.

                              The reality is that for short trips like that - it is more efficient to drive than fly after you factor in all the other time involved. Flying is a lot more fun though.

                              If you add more capacity, make sure you have plenty of reserve. Assuming a 582, 100 miles at 55 or 60 mph ground speed will consume 10 or 11 gallons. 30 minute reserve needs another 2.5 - 3 gallons. Won't take much head wind for you to be screwed.

                              With the 8 you have now, you need another 5 or 6 to do this flight with good margins of safety. Sounds like removable pods on the side is the ticket. The moulded pods like the Chinook has might be a thought.
                              http://www.ultralight.ca/articles.htm

                              Leading Edge Airfoils also has the 5 gallon wing tanks - they could easily be adapted to a gyro.

                              http://www.leadingedgeairfoils.com
                              Last edited by jdalexa; 10-09-2005, 11:57 AM.
                              John Alexander
                              Woodland, CA
                              Woodland Sport Air
                              Authorized Rotax Repair Station
                              http://www.woodlandsportair.com

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