A contender...

Vance

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There have been no mast separations in flight for the Tercel reported to the NTSB to date.
 

Kolibri

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Personally, I would be uncomfortable flying any gyro which broke like that from merely a take-off tip-over.
I hope that owners will often and carefully inspect that area.

Also, the Xenon-type gyros seem to have a weaker mast than others, breaking off from below.
These separate examples aren't the only ones:


Xenon N912XV 20170417.png
Xenon flung rotor and upper mast.jpg
 

Vance

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Kevin_Richey;n1142799 said:
I am wondering how the upper mast, rotorhead, and rotorblades became unattached from the lower mast structure (as seen in photo #1) in the accident without any apparent damage to that lower mast section.

One would think there would be torn sheet metal from the skin (or fiberglass) and the visible lower mast would have some deformed attachment.
There is a large amount of stored kinetic energy in a rotor system at flight rpm Kevin.

Contact with the ground at near flight rotor rpm releases that energy suddenly and the weak link either bends or breaks.

Looking at the absence of injuries and the minimal damage to the rest of the aircraft after a rotor strike; having the mast break away clean like that may be a safety feature Kevin.
 

JAL

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The mast construction is very different on the Xenons compared to the 2 place tub designs. Mast shearing off might just suggest that the mast has a rigid attachment to the fuselage, whereas most tubs are welded stainless steel with the mast welded in such a way it is more likely to bend before it breaks.

As Vance points out, if this was a problem it would have shown itself by now. These models have been flying for a decade or more now.

It seems no gyro design can handle blade flap very well.
 

Kolibri

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Contact with the ground at near flight rotor rpm releases that energy suddenly and the weak link either bends or breaks.

Looking at the absence of injuries and the minimal damage to the rest of the aircraft after a rotor strike; having the mast break away clean like that may be a safety feature
While I'm relieved that nobody was struck by the detached mast/rotor, let's be honest: such non-injury cannot be assured, and is mostly a fluke.

The SCII that had the rotor strike during a rushed take-off at Van Nuys stayed completely intact, but twisted the mast/firewall mounts.
I'd prefer that result vs. a buckled over or broken mast.


_________
if this was a problem it would have shown itself by now. These models have been flying for a decade or more now.
JAL, while that seems compelling on its face, I suspect that many gyro owners are flying on much less margin of strength than they know.
This was certainly true for me when I was flying on the OEM RAF rotor system.

Remember, a gyro isn't stressed only in the air, but also from ground handling. The softest grass has corrugations and can be rather jarring.
I've become a big believer in actual suspension on gyros, vs. merely a spring leaf main gear and rigid nosewheel.
The contrast between the Sport Copters I've been flying, and my RAF, is stark -- and the Eurotubs aren't much better.

Folks: please often and carefully check your mast and blades for crack initiation/propagation, especially after a few hundred hours.
Some companies have specific SBs about this (e.g., AutoGyro).

Regards,
Kolibri
 

Vance

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Kolibri;n1142853 said:
While I'm relieved that nobody was struck by the detached mast/rotor, let's be honest: such non-injury cannot be assured, and is mostly a fluke.

Regards,
Kolibri
"Mostly a fluke" it typical of your hyperbole and fear mongering.

It would be nice if you would be honest.

I don't know why you feel you need to make things up about how dangerous a gyroplane is Kolibri.

I feel your unfounded fantasies misdirect pilot's efforts to mitigate the risk that is inherent in flying.
 

Kolibri

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I'm sorry you feel that way, Vance.
When a broken blade or broken mast departs, the pilot cannot control where it goes or what it impacts.
It is thus a matter of luck -- not pilot skill -- that nobody is hurt.
This is not what I would describe as a "
safety feature".

I don't know why you need to apologize for gyros of questionable structural strength, especially as they acquire 300+ hours on them.

Regards,
Kolibri
 

Vance

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Kolibri;n1142864 said:
I'm sorry you feel that way, Vance.
When a broken blade or broken mast departs, the pilot cannot control where it goes or what it impacts.
It is thus a matter of luck -- not pilot skill -- that nobody is hurt.
This is not what I would describe as a "
safety feature".

I don't know why you need to apologize for gyros of questionable structural strength, especially as they acquire 300+ hours on them.

Regards,
Kolibri
If the rotor separates after impact it has already used up a lot of the stored kinetic energy.

The pilot and the passenger are the ones most likely to be in the vicinity of the energy that is left.

I feel it may be safer to have the rotor depart the aircraft after impact.

Several pilots and one passenger that I recall have been killed by being struck by a rotor that stayed attached to the mast after impact with the ground. As far back as I read the NTSB reports no bystanders have been killed by a detached gyroplane rotor assembly.

You have continued to promote fear and ignorance about problems that only exist in your imagination Kolibri.

You continue to demonstrate your ignorance about even the simplest engineering concepts and an unwilling less to back off of your untenable claims when confronted with facts.

This accident, the pilot's narrative and the pictures are a wonderful example of how to crash a gyroplane on takeoff.

I have already used it successfully as a training aid and will continue to do so.

I try to promote reality because I feel your rants direct people away from the demonstrable hazards of flying a gyroplane Kolibri.
 

Kolibri

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If the rotor separates after impact it has already used up a lot of the stored kinetic energy.
Not as much as you imagine:



AutoGyro Calidus 83-AMW 20141024 gusty, fell from 25m, half of blade thrown 600+ feet

ELA 07 N534EA 20180508 with missing blade piece.JPG


The pilot and the passenger are the ones most likely to be in the vicinity of the energy that is left.

I feel it may be safer to have the rotor depart the aircraft after impact.

As far back as I read the NTSB reports no bystanders have been killed by a detached gyroplane rotor assembly.
Again, this relies upon luck, something bystanders may not have:


Rotor debris is safe-5.png



Several pilots and one passenger that I recall have been killed by being struck by a rotor that stayed attached to the mast after impact with the ground.
An easily buckling mast and spaghetti-like blades could indeed jeopardize cabin occupants.
Regarding the
"one passenger" you seem to be referring to the Ortmayer trainer with the old-style RAF hub bar and blades.
Regarding "several pilots" you'll have to cite specifics, but meanwhile I suspect that any such incidents will be classic examples of masts and blades lacking rigidity.

From a companion thread, I appreciate the below from Doug Riley:

But, though it may hurt me instead of somebody else, I think the blades ought to stay attached in a strike.


I have consistently advocated robust 4130 chrome-moly masts with blades strong enough to not pretzel or fly apart from impact.
Currently, only two gyro manufacturers provide such to their customers.

I am sorry that you seem to believe that this does not matter, or has no bearing on pilot safety.

Meanwhile, I'll stick with my "
rant" previously expressed:

Personally, I would be uncomfortable flying any gyro which broke like that from merely a take-off tip-over.
I hope that owners will often and carefully inspect that area.
 

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Vance

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It is all about priorities.

When I fly and air show I am required to be 500 feet from the crowd. I don’t recall ever landing close to people.

The gyroplane Kolibri claims to fly doesn’t have a robust 4130 mast and he will sell it to someone as is when he gets his Sport Copter.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong the mast on an RAF despite it not being 4130 or particularly robust.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the mast on a Tercel.
 

Kolibri

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When I fly and air show I am required to be 500 feet from the crowd. I don’t recall ever landing close to people.
Since you fly Sport Rotors, your spectators are safe. :smile:

In my opinion there is nothing wrong the mast on an RAF despite it not being 4130 or particularly robust.
Actually, as well as Sport Rotors, it has the Sport Copter mast plates (bolted, not riveted), but I'll inform prospective buyers of my RAF that you said so, thanks.

The gyroplane Kolibri claims to fly . . .
Are you just being snotty, or have you evidence that I don't fly an RAF? You can apologize, or accuse, your choice.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with the mast on a Tercel.
And I'll stick with my "Not much material there".
Caveat emptor.
Good day.
 

Kolibri

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Here is a photo showing the AutoGyro Rotor System 2 parts, including the "taco" shaped "doubler" (which serves in place of a thicker blade root pad).

D-MDOZ - 5.png
D-MDOZ - 2.png


As seen in the bottom photo, this MTOsport had Rotor System 2, with a claimed service life of 2500 hours.
All 6 bolts remained in place, but that blade tore out after the last bolt, ripping apart the taco "doubler".

I do not believe that a rotor blade should break off from an in-flight tail strike.

I do not believe that it is "
fear-mongering" to say so.

AutoGyro owners: please inspect your blades' bolt holes regularly (at least every 100 hours according to AG, if not more often).
You'll have to pull them from their tension straps to see, but you'll never otherwise catch any crack initiation.

Regards,
Kolibri
 

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ventana7

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Mike,

I was the original US importer for the Xenon in 2007-2008 when Celier and Artur Trendak were partners. I've owned two of these gyros and love the way they fly. The magni, and auto gyro models seem to me far more stable in flight than the Xenon- this means a gust would affect the Xenon more than the others- it also means intended turns and banks take far far more stick effort in Magni and Auto- Gyro than in a Xenon.

I've flown my Xenon from Florida to Colorado, Colorado to Oshkosh and other long XC trips and it is very relaxing with just thumb and index finger lightly holding the stick and very little stick shake. Turns require almost no effort. I did my last BFR in an Auto-gyro tandem and was astonished by how tired my arm was at the end of 1.2 hours of flying from the much heavier grip and stick force required, plus the significant stick shake. Other than that there are minor pluses and minuses in each machine in terms of construction, features, visibility, etc.

I have an original Xenon RST - the 912 engine with the aftermarket Turbo- I live in Colorado and my home airport is at 7,500 feet and it performs well here and flying over 10,000' passes.. Of the 10 machines I originally imported the only one that had an issue with the turbo was fortunately a 914. Rotax warrantied it fine. The 7 machines with the aftermarket turbo have been here for 11 years now and I never heard any turbo issues- that being said there is no doubt the 915 with fuel injection would be preferable today.

I recently upgraded my engine with the larger pistons - a mod done by the Rotax guys in Mississippi. This should have boosted me from about 122 HP to 140 HP- have not flown it enough yet to have any feedback.

In terms of acquiring a Xenon - I think you would be OK with the Xenon 2's imported in 2007 as E-LSA as these were made in the Trendak factory and are supported by them. Or any of the subsequent Trendak manufactured machines. I would avoid at all costs anything made by Celier. Raphael was first in France where he made the xenon 1 (none still flying to the best of my knowledge) Several French folks told me He stole the molds and escaped in the middle of the night to Poland. There he made Xenon2 with Trendak- but was ripping off all their worldwide dealers so eventually Trendak kicked him out. Subsequently I think he has had 3-4 other factories working with him, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Malta, maybe one more in there somewhere. Eventually all his partners part ways. He is certainly not to be trusted.

If Trendak did have a real dealer in the US that is offering support that certainly is an advantage.

If you have any specific questions about the Xenon feel free to ask.

Rob Dubin
www.gyroamerica.com
 

HighAltitude

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The 6 bolts on the failed blade side of the rotor are all still in place. Once again Kolibri makes ridiculous statements about Autogyro and states "I do not believe a blade should break off from a tail strike in flight". Seems to me that you are demonstrating fear mongering pretty well. Why do you then quote the POH regarding checking the rotor blade bolt area when it has absolutely no bearing on the crash you reference? Fear mongering? Yep.

While you at it, why not comment that the cotter pin appears to be missing from the teeter bolt? It's a fuzzy photo so I AM NOT SURE ITS MISSING. It also has no relationship to the failure.
 

Kolibri

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The 6 bolts on the failed blade side of the rotor are all still in place.
Once again Kolibri makes ridiculous statements about Autogyro and states "I do not believe a blade should break off from a tail strike in flight".

Why do you then quote the POH regarding checking the rotor blade bolt area when it has absolutely no bearing on the crash you reference? Fear mongering? Yep.
AutoGyro's "Rotor System 1" saw blade cracking at the outboard bolt hole underneath the blade straps.
An AD was issued, limiting the airworthiness to just 700 hours.
The blade straps 6 bolts stayed in place; the blades were cracking.

For "Rotor System 2" (which a -- paid? -- university study declared a service life of 2500 hours) the blade straps were changed, but AFAIK the blades themselves are identical.

MTOSport D-MDOZ with "Rotor System 2" lost a blade in flight, presumably from chopping the tail.
(Or, it could have been in the process of separating and then struck the tail.)

AutoGyro's "Rotor System 2" does not impress me for strength, for the blades tear off in about the same place:


AutoGyro N571UJ - 2.png


Below is an M912 blade after hard landing and tip-over, which would have likely broken an AG blade:

N229MG - Vortex M912 - 20150605.JPG

Below is an SCII blade root portion after a takeoff flap and ground/prop strike.
Not only did the blade not break off or tear out, there aren't even cracks in the bolt holes.


SCII rotor blade after ground strike.png

SCII rotor blade after ground strike-2.png
Sport Rotors will not tear off, period.
I enjoy that peace of mind. I suffer no post-purchase cognitive dissonance.
I do not have to "whistle past the graveyard" of weak flight critical parts.


I have noticed, however, that those who accuse me of AutoGyro "fear-mongering" are usually somehow connected with AG, most often as gyro owners.
So, I "consider the source" of such criticism.

Regards,
Kolibri
 

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Kolibri

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On a related subject, here's a rather illuminating crash for those who believe that buckling/breaking masts are not a safety issue.

On 27 July 2017, AutoGyro MTOSport G-GCPG had a rotor blade ground strike. Only by a fluke was the pilot not hurt or killed:


Before landing on the grass Runway 28, he looked at the windsock and assessed that the wind had not changed since his departure, when it was from 230 at 12 kt. Just before touchdown the gyroplane veered left, and the pilot believes that he then moved the control stick too much and either there was not enough airflow over the rudder to maintain directional control or his input to the rudder was insufficient. Consequently the rotor blades struck the ground and the rotor mast broke and collapsed, but the gyroplane remained upright and came to rest near the edge of the runway (Figure 1).

As the rotor blades slowed to a halt, one of them dropped gently into the pilot’s lap, without injuring him, and he was able to lift it, unstrap and step out (Figure 2).
All three propeller blades were damaged and the pilot assumes they made contact with the rotor during the accident.
AutoGyro MTOSport G-GCPG 20170727 photo2.png



Another example is the 23 Aug 2008 crash of an AutoGyro MT03 in Sweden:

AutoGyro MT03 SE-V   20080823.png
 

Jason312

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SpyderMike;n1142575 said:
I am a survivor of the self taught generation - building and flying a Bensen back in the late 1980s at El Mirage. My little craft was first VW powered and then MAC 72 powered. I had a blast. I have been flying fixed wing before that and ever since. Now I am retiring and looking to change my flying experience (lower and slower). I am looking at 2 place enclosed machines of the major brands and intend to travel to experience the final 3 or so contenders before making a decision and starting formal training and the purchase. I came across the www.airgyro.com website and the AG-915 Model and it looks very interesting. The other models I am looking into are tandems. I understand that this is a variation on the Xenon/Tercel model, but I don't see much feedback on this forum regarding it.

I am looking for any direct knowledge on this model (or earlier generation versions) and the company behind it.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
OK, back to the OP's purpose of this thread.

If I understand correctly, MBL produces ALL of the kits no matter what the name AG915, Tercell, Xenon etc...
.
AAT purchase their kits from MBL and gives them AAT names ie Tercell.
R. Celier/Fly Argo purchase their kits from MBL and gives them Celier/Argo names i.e. Xenon.
Air Gyro purchase their kits from MBL and gives it the AR915 name.

So what you are purchasing with any of these companies is an MBL kit which seems to have a great record.

Air Gyro is now the U.S. distributor of the MBL kit meaning you won't have to deal with a Polish company (AAT) or ones that appear to have a shady history (Celier/argo).
So in the states you now purchase from Air Gyro who has a good reputation and get the same great product.

Please clarify if I am still misunderstanding.

​​​​​​​Jason
 

Vance

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MBL makes the bodies.

There is a lot more to a gyroplane kit than the bodies and I don’t know who makes what.

The Tercel I flew was not the same as the Xenons I have flown in many details.

Airgyro is using composite rotor blades where Xenon and Atur Trendak use extruded aluminum rotor blades.

Airgyro is using a Rotax 915 where both Xenon and Artur Trendak were using a 912 with an aftermarket turbocharger. I have not been keeping up so this may have changed.

The AG-915 appears to me to be unique in many details.

I look forward to flying one soon.
 

Jason312

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Thanks Vance.

First-- since you mention composite vs aluminum rotor blades it reminded me. I just got a demo ride in the Cavalon yesterday in Nephi Utah and the owner claims that composite rotor blades will deteriorate if flown in rain unless a special (nickle) leading edge is applied. He's a composites engineer so I can't argue but that surprised me since there seems to be a lot of gyro's with composite rotors.
Do those with composite rotor blades really not fly in rain? Or is he just trying to sell me on AutoGyro's extruded aluminum blades?


Second-- My bad....I left out Manufaktura Lotnicza which must be where the parts come from if MBL only makes the bodies.
Still Air Gyro claims that these manufacturers make all the kit parts for AAT, Celier and Argo as well. So I assume the quality would be just as good as an AAT model.

Here is a Quote from Auto gyro:

"NO! we don’t buy or cooperate with any company related to Celier, our Kits come right from the manufacture, MBL and Manufaktura Lotnicza, they are the same that produce all parts for Celier, Argo and Trendak actually, we remove the middleman of the equation, reducing the price as you can see, (from $125K to $98K ) and Airgyro became the direct responsible for pars and support in the US, engines Rotax and avionics GCA all In US soil. "

Jason
 
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