Recent content by Doug Riley

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    Understanding Gyroplane Flight Controls.

    As a (thankfully former!) gyro instructor, I agonized over crow-hops. The criticism of them is well-founded: they tend to teach you to fly behind the power curve, and they put you near the ground where a minor slip-up can result in unplanned ground contact. The problem with abandoning them...
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    Understanding Gyroplane Flight Controls.

    A roll command to the rotor will produce a yawing tendency on the ground to the extent that the center of the rotor is not directly above the aircraft's yaw axis. On the ground, this yaw axis is the main wheels (as long as they have enough weight on them, and friction with the surface, not to...
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    06 Sept 2020 121 degrees F Woodland Hills, CA

    Good thing climate change is merely a sissy-Democrat-Commie hoax. Otherwise, I might be worried.
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    Flying Car

    Right here In our gyro world, I can think of several people who were either killed or maimed by rotor blades or props. The appropriate standard of safety for a product to be used in a consumer/civilian environment is quite different from that for a product to be used by experts, test pilots...
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    Some Thoughts on the Rotary Wing Forum.

    Anti-authority -- ? I'd always interpreted that "hazardous attitude" term to refer to hostility to CFIs, engineers, and experienced pilots. IOW, not to hostility to gov't officials as such. Anti-science and anti-expert are, in fact, very PHYSICALLY hazardous attitudes. They can get you...
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    Some Thoughts on the Rotary Wing Forum.

    A couple well-worn thoughts here. First, back in the day (the Igor Bensen era, to be exact), the PRA often did check papers at its flyins. The flyin bosses would ground any person or machine having non-conforming papers. Check out some of the 1960's-70's PRA mags. Second, this kind of tight...
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    Ground effect in a gyroplane?

    As someone who self-taught in the old Bensen way, I logged a lot of hours under power at under 10 ft. off the runway. Adding to my scores of hours in ground effect was the fact that I started out with a 1500 cc VW, which would not fly out higher than ground effect at any airspeed! Yet it...
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    Autogyro Cavalon N635BC

    Phil: Sorry to go "meta" on you, but "we" (i.e. the "you" in your post) frequently obtain zero information about a given crash... ever. Our FAA does not prioritize its investigations into amateur-built aircraft crashes. The agency doesn't have the money, knowledge or manpower to do a proper...
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    Ken Brock Gyroplanes

    I can't speak to the KB-3, but the KB-2 is a 1969 Bensen B-8M with the addition of Ken's aftermarket accessories, such as tail, seat tank, rudder pedals and control system. Of course, the KB-2 used the McCulloch engine with a short prop, leading to its compact overall height compared to the...
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    pre rotater

    My earliest gyro training was done on a SxS car-towed gyroglider with the O&R prerotator. I would, and did, fly with it. Of course, it wasn't mine; it belonged to my nearest Bensen dealers, Clyde Gordon and Ron Menzie. Using a noisy little 2-stroke on a gyroglider did kinda degrade the...
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    pre rotater

    That unit was Bensen's "deluxe" offering for many years. The O&R engine is not terribly powerful, but would bring Bensen blades (small and light) up to about 150 RPM. At this RRPM, you still have to begin your takeoff run with partial power, lest you flap your blades. Most prerotators add...
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    My Opinion on My Opinion

    Well, the mess in our news-distribution system and politics probably is traceable to the blurring of commercial entertainment and news that began decades ago. Entertainers see it as their job to be exciting: "Truth? Not my department! Give me ratings!" In our little rotorcraft neighborhood...
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    My Opinion on My Opinion

    It's cautious and wise to identify interpretations of regs, and interpretations of one's experiences, as opinions. Your personal ethics are matters of opinion, too. Still, I do worry that our culture is well on the way to believing that there are no data, only opinions. ("It's just your...
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    All Talk, No Action

    This attack happens to be on a guy whom I consider a friend -- a very mannerly and genteel fellow. It's always a treat to see him at a flyin and hang out for a chat. He in fact did a major mod (a re-power) on the big gyro in question -- one of those mods in which one thing leads to another and...
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    Some interesting take offs

    If it really were a jump-takeoff machine, that would be one thing. What we're seeing here, however, is a wobbly takeoff behind the power curve. Poor and risky technique. Things would not go well if the engine quit on takeoff, given that technique. On the design side, the tail surfaces are...