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Doug Riley
Doug Riley
Platinum Member
Last Activity: Today, 07:52 AM
Joined: 01-11-2004
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Kansas Leftoverture
    I thought that one of the Kansas guys got religion and swore off this pagan rock and roll?

    I'm an amateur fiddler and always admired their violinist's work -- e. g. Dust in the Wind....
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  • Crow: Be sure to keep the duty cycle of an aircraft engine in mind when talking about the HP you can extract from a car engine. In an aircraft (especially a power-hungry gyroplane), the engine must be able to run continually with the throttle wide open -- that's what you do in a climb. The engine...
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  • You might expect the maintenance costs and component lives of a jump-gyro would be more favorable than those of a helicopter. Jump takeoff requires a clutch, collective and swashplate, but the rotor drive is used only briefly during each flight. Therefore, the gyro's drive mechanism could be made...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Taggart GyroBee vs Bensen Gyro
    I flew a Bensen with a VW 1835 (stock crank; 92 mm big bore) as my first gyro. I weighed perhaps 155 at the time. It was hardly a rocket; maybe the rough equivalent of a 447 Bee. This was, of course, a direct-drive setup with a 52" prop. Things would not have gone well at all with another...
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  • The times changed when Igor Bensen put a pusher engine on a Rotachute derivative. The result was an intoxicatingly fun ultra-light aircraft. It also, however, featured a slew of pilot-unfriendly characteristics:

    It yawed wildly when power was changed. It rolled and pitched with power...
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  • It would be nice to automate the process by using some tactic other than Delta-3. Flyweights, perhaps -- maybe ones that reduce pitch only once per flight, and then must be mechanically reset on the ground. Making such a gadget fool-resistant (never fool-PROOF!) can result in a process of chasing...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Crash Pad
    A 1970's vintage PRA magazine featured a guy who wanted to build a Scorpion helo but couldn't afford it. But he REALLY wanted one.

    To free up cash, he gave up having a home. He rented a workshop near both a gym and a McDonald's. He built a bunk under his workbench. Ho got showers at...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to 912 vs 914
    I avoided the turbo on my 2-place Dominator because of cost (of course) but also because complexity, and hot-rodding small engines, both bother me. The underlying 1300 cc engine was designed for 80 hp. The old VW 1300 cc made about 40 hp.

    I built my 2-place as light as possible and used...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Stainless
    I doubt there were any deep reasons for using SS on the Gyrobee. It's rust-resistant as long as it is exposed to oxygen. If cut off from oxygen, it will rust. It provokes serious "wasting" corrosion in aluminum that it contacts if not insulated from the aluminum by plastic, paint or other...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to RAF Rotor Blades
    Jean Claude's chart brings up an interesting additional point. If I recall accurately, the PCA-2's blades were intentionally built with an aft CG (I'll use CG to mean center of mass here). Aft, in this case, means aft of the initial aerodynamic (or zero moment) center. As a result, as long as the...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to RAF Rotor Blades
    Mike G., yes, you're right. Helo blades (and airplane fixed wings) should have the twist described in the RAF literature, but autogyro blades should have more pitch at the tips, not "washout" twist as described by RAF....
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Stainless
    Close enough, in my opinion.

    Even better: use chromoly steel instead of stainless. Stainless reacts chemically with aluminum and is actually a poor choice of material for hardware to be attached to aluminum frame members. Stainless also is miserable stuff to cut and drill. Just prime...
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  • Stability and control of FW planes were challenges in the Wright era. The technological push during WWI led to pretty definitive solutions (for subsonic craft anyway) that were quite well-worked-out by the 20's for FW craft.

    Cierva had nailed autogyro stability and control by the early...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Rotor Bearing Life: Calculate Yours!
    I've not heard of a true main-bearing failure in a Bensen-class gyro with an offset-gimbal head since I joined PRA in 1969. There have been several rotorhead failures in and around the main-bearing assembly, though. Among these:

    Installing a loading-slot bearing with the slots on the...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to A broken accident chain!
    Quite awhile ago, I was flying my Kolb FW ultralight (with a Rotax 447) on a X-C. I went fishing about beside me for a chart, and managed to switch off the engine! (I'd bought the plane used, and the builder had installed a toggle switch on the airframe down on the side of the seat, out of the pilot's...
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  • The two maneuvers look the same to me. The maneuver consists of slowing up with back stick and reduced power, then ruddering around into a "falling" turn. The more dangerous version is done at higher speed and high power. This greatly accelerates the rate of yaw. If it's done with a lot...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Manned Quad-Copters
    The old pendulum analogy comes up frequently, but it's a flawed one as regards aircraft. A pendulum, by definition, includes a frictionless attachment to a fixed suspension point. "Fixed" is a relative term; even the Earth isn't "fixed" -- but the attachment point must at least...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Manned Quad-Copters
    Hmm. A human standing on his/her two feet is a statically unstable* system, with a CG 2-3 feet above the point of support. We all would fall over if we did not continually make small corrections through our legs and feet. This becomes a reflex at the time we first learn to stand, and we usually think...
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  • Doug Riley
    replied to Manned Quad-Copters
    Around the time I first joined PRA in 1969, there was a story in the magazine about the Aerotechnik. It was a prototype of a German quad-copter using a BMW motorcycle engine. There were no pictures of it in free flight and no followup....
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  • No, it wasn't fatal, and it was a REALLY long time ago. Mid-70's. Harlan Gage, the crash pilot, ended up in the hospital with a collapsed lung and other injuries. He said that the gyro got into a power dive, and did not respond to back stick. It simply plunged nose-down into Long Island Sound. ...
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