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Do people build anymore?

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  • #16
    My Bensen was the first object I built out of metal. Before that, I banged together shacks and treehouses out of scrap lumber and raw logs. I skipped the motorcycle thing and only gradually learned about car mechanicking.

    The post-WWII culture of "Dad smoking his pipe while tinkering in his hobby hut" has definitely gone the way of tailfins on cars. Heathkit is gone, Radio Shack is gone.

    You could write an interesting pop-sociology book about why - - the evaporation of good-paying blue-collar jobs, the passing of the hard-scrabble Great Depression ethic, the scarcity of people who grew up on farms, digital distractions, instant delivery from Amazon, 9/11 and the rise of unfocused fear, blah, blah. Great stuff for a late-night dorm room bull session.

    The FAA's amateur-built regs, a relic of that bygone era, have become a loophole through which uncertified, but factory-finished, aircraft can be sold as "kits." They're really complete aircraft, knocked down for shipping and reassembled by the user. As long ago as the original Air Command, you could put one together in paint-by-number fashion over a weekend, popping precut and pre-painted parts off a series of large blister cards and bolting them on.

    A person who completes one of these "kits" has a better understanding of his aircraft than someone who just writes a check and turns the key. In fact, you can argue that drilling the holes in the tubing yourself doesn't add much to the education you get with an assembly-only "kit." Still, it's not quite as immersive as Paul Poberezny sawing and welding salvaged 4130 into an original-design tube-and-rag biplane. That was the sort of project that the amateur-built regs were aimed at.

    There will always be some scratch-builders (some for the personal rewards and others to save a buck), but it's far more of a quaint curiosity than it once was.


    • #17
      I am finishing a Tandem, inspired by a dominator tandem,

      It is impossible to register a kit in france if the kit maker did not officially publish a kit resistance file before french flying adminsitration, otherwise I would have bougth a kit from ernie..

      as i defintely wanted a high profile dominator like gyro, I had to do it myself ..

      all is finished except the fairing ( don't know if it is the rigth word), apart from this every parts are finished and I need to find a week alone in the garage to assemble the upper parts (upper parts of the mast and rotor head and the control parts) ... but as I have an other gyro I spend only one week end out of two in the garage

      it is constructed using aluminium round tubes ( like the famous deluc gyros, well famous in france), nothing is welded, I have machined everything myself exept the all the plates that I had watter cutted in cnc ( very cheap) you just have to rectify a couple of things that need to be accurate on those plates

      the engine is a 912 uls ftted with a pagotto turbo kit ( only 6300 euros) it gives you 120 hp and it is certified in germany ( I don't mind but is is encouraging)
      I am only mentionning my home buit becaus of this topic otherwinse I would not have

      the rotors are an averso rotor, the rotor head is also an averso one built in montelimar ( france ) my planet Gyro, I already use the 2 on my gyo, it is zéro vibes, as a fixed wing aicraft

      people need to know that it is still possible, and more then this that it has never beeen as easy as today ( with free CAD programs and cheap chineses lathes ans millings) to built a gyro
      just a few photos, again not to show off,

      there is absolutely nothing fantastic in this construction I only hope it will fly correctly coz like Chuck Beaty says, anyone can't make anything fly using a bensen type rotor

      I am not an engineer

      the next batch of pictures will be the flying bird ( I hope at least) in a couple of months


      • #18
        She looks beautiful jm-urbani!

        I see lots of nicely executed details.

        Thank you for sharing the fun.

        I am sure you know this and am only mentioning it for others.

        The Dragon Wings are very light and heavier blades will need changes in the layout to achieve an acceptable thrust line to center of gravity relationship.
        Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI


        • #19
          Hi Vance,

          you are rigth to remind me and all that the rotor weigth has to be taken in account as for the vertical position of the center of mass,

          I use to think ( long time ago) that as the rotors are flying they had no weigth which is not the case, jean claude could explain all of this

          Thx for you compliments , but let's wait and see how she will fly

          it is not a dominator copy, the dom has only been a source of inspiration along with the principle "taught" by Chuck Beaty, Jean Fourcade,

          nothing compares to a real dom in my opinion,

          of course I have taken in account every element weigth an location in order to locate the center of mass sligthy under the prop center of revolution
          the averso rotors are 38 kg heavy and the head weigths 7 kilos,