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  • Do people build anymore?

    Have folks quit building gyros in the last 10 years? I think in general, societally, we've moved away from being garage tinkerers. I don't know of any neighbors with even modest workshops anymore. I had an interesting phone discussion with a well respected member here a few months ago where this topic came up. The 'Builders Corner' on this forum used to be frequented and updated quite often. I post occasionally, as do 1 or 2 others, but activity there has diminished to a trickle. I'm wondering if other builders just don't post here anymore or if this is the trend as we move further into a culture of Facebook "life-hacks" rather than learning new skills.

  • #2
    gyrojake (Forum,Bless Him) is still " at full throttle" in his shop.

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    • #3
      If I'm not building on my gyro, I'm building an old car or motorcycle. Sometimes all three at the same time.
      Bobby Munroe
      Private Pilot (SEL)
      PRA Chapter 62 #42748
      EAA #1160523

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      • #4
        I saw this as a problem when they came out with the eurotubs. Just go buy yourself a nice new shinny machine and not have to know how it works. It was taken the gyro culture in the wrong direction I think, but you cant stop progress. I am still building, but one of the few. My 2 cents.
        David Bacon

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        • #5
          I'm building.....on and on....and on!! :)
          BarryK

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          • #6
            I finished my fourth gyro around the end of September and am flying it now. I'm helping Jeff Halash build his Hornet in our hangar, and I stop by and talk to Curtis Scholl on his Bee from time to time. I used to post my builds on the Pile o' parts thread but switched to posting progress on my Facebook page for the last build.
            "Nothing screams poor workmanship like wrinkles in the duct tape!"
            All opinions are my own, I've been wrong before and I'll be wrong again. Feel free to correct me if I am.
            PRA# 40294

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            • #7
              I'm still waiting on a hardware set from StarBee. Whenever I get hold of Dana, he promptly disappears again. It takes years...

              For my Gyrobee build I have:

              NOS 503 SCSI engine (I just gave it new wrist pin bearings, gaskets etc.)
              NOS 23' Skywheels rotor
              Used rotor head
              New Calumetair seat tank
              New Warp Drive 3 blade 60" propeller
              Almost all aluminum for the frame
              Instruments - even a radio

              But I can't get that hardware set nor anything else from StarBee....

              I would rather buy parts i know will fit, but it seems impossible.

              Cheers
              Erik
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Well this is encouraging :-) Glad to know there is activity, and the infrequency of build threads on RWF isn't necessarily an accurate reflection of the state of affairs. Haven't Facebooked in many years so I'm bound to have missed a lot.

                I do like the daring and romanticism of building a ship from skill and know-how, I think that may have been part of the attraction for me, poring over antique issues of Sport Aviation in my youth, and marveling at these wonderful creations given life by sheer determination. Though my build is entering year 3 of the allotted 18 months max., I have to step back from time to time and see the bigger picture. There's perhaps 2,000 photos documenting each step of construction though I've only posted a miniscule fraction here. Have gotten some very good guidance by Jake, Doug and others here as a result.

                I would expect the proliferation of kits and certified AC to steal a large chunk of the scratch-builder population, and perhaps that partly explains why the Builder's Corner here on RWF has been relatively quiet. Though I am guilty of infrequent posting of progress photos (will do better from now on), I do miss the days when there were almost daily updates on people's builds. I will start by posting more of my own and maybe encouraging others to as well.

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                • #9
                  Most of the gyroplanes flying in the USA are amateur built.

                  Building from a kit is still no small task and lots of skills are learned.

                  I find the care and skill that goes into many of the builds an inspiration.

                  Most I see have significant builder additions.

                  There is perhaps less repetitive basic fabrication with a kit than scratch building.

                  I feel there is no less thought and energy to building a gyroplane from a kit compared to scratch built.

                  I have a lot of respect for anyone who builds and flies their own gyroplane scratch built or kit.
                  Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

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                  • #10
                    I still have a couple of projects in the works, an ultralight and a 2 place, Since I have finished the dominator. I have not been posting any build pics since my time has been so sporadic over the last couple of years, maybe as I get closer to finishing I will post a build thread, that way people can read it without having to wait 6 months for something new to happen. :)
                    The government cannot give anything to anybody that the Government does not first take from somebody else.

                    “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
                    - Thomas Jefferson


                    Scott Essex....Flying H Ranch

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                    • #11
                      Scottie, I went to my first Oshkosh last year and was just blown away by the amount of building activity in the FW world. Granted many are from kits, but even then the kits required much more actual basic building skills then what is required to assemble most Eurogyro kits.

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                      • #12
                        Just curious: how many people willing to build a gyro “from scratch” have already built a car or motorcycle “from scratch”, especially one that’s street-legal (i.e. equivalent to an EAB aircraft)? I don’t mean RE-build - I mean the same level of metal work, etc as one would do for a gyro strictly from plans. I don’t see a lot of people making even off-road vehicles “from scratch” yet the number of people willing to do so for an aircraft, although still a small number, still surprises me. The cost of being wrong is a lot higher for the latter, it seems.

                        Personally, I love to tinker and I love to fly but I have a healthy respect for the risks of flying so I personally choose to satisfy the urge to tinker in any big way on things outside of aviation.

                        So I don’t mind the barbs tossed here about building one of the eurotubs. In fact, I’d contend that having done it in the factory surrounded by guys who build them every day gave me a level of understanding about the craft a solo plans-builder would have a hard time equaling. I asked a lot about design, maintenance, what else has been tried, failure modes, etc.

                        Regardless of how you get into a gyro, GET GOOD TRAINING before you fly alone!!!

                        Just me...

                        /Ed

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                        • #13
                          I used to build motorcycles, I have a couple custom One off chopped bikes. I have restored cars swapped engines all that stuff since way back in the 1980's.
                          Aircraft are a little bit different animal for sure. YES training is paramount, it is worth 10 times the cost when something goes wrong and you have been trained to deal with it.
                          The government cannot give anything to anybody that the Government does not first take from somebody else.

                          “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
                          - Thomas Jefferson


                          Scott Essex....Flying H Ranch

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I used to build motorcycles, I have a couple custom One off chopped bikes. I have restored cars swapped engines all that stuff since way back in the 1980's.
                            Aircraft are a little bit different animal for sure. YES training is paramount, it is worth 10 times the cost when something goes wrong and you have been trained to deal with it.
                            The government cannot give anything to anybody that the Government does not first take from somebody else.

                            “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
                            - Thomas Jefferson


                            Scott Essex....Flying H Ranch

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm building a single seat EA81 powered gyro. It should be on its wheels next week. Tinkering is half the fun. Plenty of locals here that build vehicles, mainly hot cars and jet boats.

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