Recent content by Doug Riley

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    Power needed to spin rotors

    Since helos vary in their "full down" collective pitch setup, I suppose the experiment would be more meaningful with scales or strain guages between the landing gear and the earth. These should be arranged to detect either up-lift or down-lift. Either one will add induced drag and therefore a...
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    NTSB Factual Report - Cavalon N198LT Sebring 30-10-2018

    It may bear repeating: One of the most hazardous parts of an instructor's work (if he/she chooses to do it) is flying in a student's homebuilt machine or test-flying his machine for him. A dear friend of mine (a trike instructor) died at 53 flying with a student in the student's...
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    Viral Aerosol Spread Simulation

    What exactly happened back in 1918 is subject to speculation. There were no samples left of the virus itself until it was reconstructed from exhumed victims and some stored tissue. Viruses had not been seen yet (no electron microscopes) but the existence of an infectious agent too small to be...
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    Hey Chuck, and all you helicopter / gyronuats (spelling deficiency)

    It did have a cycle of sorts and a pulsing exhaust sound, Chuck. Someone who, I think, was trying to sell Gluhareff propane engines showed up at one of our ultralight flyins perhaps 15 years ago. He had an engine on static display. I was expecting something resembling a large Bernz-o-Matic...
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    Long Unedited Video of Flying over the Florida Pastures and Wetlands.

    You warm-climate dudes cannot imagine the bliss we Northerners feel when we step off the plane in Florida (having left home amid winter temps that can be -20F hereabouts) into HUMIDITY! And it smells like living soil! Dreamlike and intoxicating. I'm sure glad we made it down and back this...
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    Viral Aerosol Spread Simulation

    Perspective tends to reduce panic. We've been here before. Epidemics were a regular feature of life in the bad ol' days, say in Shakespeare's time. Folks then had no choice but to "let it wash over them" -- a sanitized way of saying let everybody damn well get infected ASAP and die if they're...
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    I Learned about flying from that...

    Shirley, have you explored your gyro's whole airspeed range to find your best rate-of-climb airspeed? Then dialed in prop pitch to give you full RPM (but not over redline) at full throttle at that airspeed? Best rate in an open gyro is often surprisingly slow -- 40 mph being typical. This...
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    Not so fully articulated rotor

    Even ignoring the considerable rollover danger, flying from a surface as rough as the one in the video puts enormous stress on the control system as well as the airframe. Most of us have done it now and then, but that doesn't mean that a steady diet of it is safe. You'll find cracks in your...
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    Question for Doug Riley

    I had Doc's prototype. It weighed about 15 lb. You might get that weight down a bit with very careful management of the epoxy resin. OTOH, the vertical surfaces ideally should have some width at the top, instead of coming to a point. More area is more material and more weight. 5-6 sq. ft...
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    Not so fully articulated rotor

    I have owned and flown both FW and gyro U.L.'s. Each has its charms and drawbacks. The gyro can be flown in more wind than the FW. The FW gets better gas mileage and provides a quiet, low-RPM cruise. Zero and negative G have no effect on the controllability of the FW, while the usual...
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    Not so fully articulated rotor

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    Bensen control stick

    Bensen's "default" practice was to include an overhead stick in your gyro kit. The joystick (floor-mounted conventional airplane stick) was an extra-cost add-on. At that time, hang gliders had barely come into use and powered trikes were unknown. The motion of the Bensen stick was VERY...
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    Stirrable nose wheel or differential brakes.

    In some ways, Igor Bensen was ahead of us all. His original ground steering involved a directly-steerable nosewheel, but it wasn't linked to the rudder pedals at all. You had to shift your feet down off the rudder pedals to reach the nosewheel steering. If you held rudder to deal with a...
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    Still need HS

    In my experience, too, an effective HS makes even a LTL gyro much easier to fly. It creates a "crisper" feel in the controls. There is less time lag in the aircraft's response to pitch commands.
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    question about prerotation

    If the runway layout allows, I "hold short" with the gyro pointing partly into the wind (about 45 deg. off the takeoff heading). That way, I can prerotate more or less facing the wind, but still see the final approach path. Once the approach is clear and RRPM is up to 180 or more, I let up the...