A&S 18A For sale and jump T/O

tamflyer

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Barnstormers Feb 8, 2013

1965 AIR & SPACE 18A GYROPLANE • FOR SALE • N6134S. 52hrs TT.. 23hrs since restoration & I.R.A.N.. 2nd 18A 4 parts. please Contact "Al Ball". • Contact Bradley Ball - ANTIQUE AERO ENGINES, Friend of Owner - located Santa Paula, CA USA • Telephone: 805-525-9464 . • Posted February 8, 2013

watch it jump take off here:
http://dragtimes.com/video-viewer.php?v=hI5cAgWmShU&feature

Pat
 

WaspAir

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That's me flying it in the video link above.

Al did a fantastic job in the rebuild, and it came out better than factory new. I'm surprised he's selling it.
 

hjajr

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Do you have to spin up every time for a jump take off or can you take off like a regular gyro? Harry
 

WaspAir

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Do you have to spin up every time for a jump take off or can you take off like a regular gyro? Harry
I always think of the 18A as a "regular" gyro, and the EAB ones as limited in comparison by requiring runway.

The short answer is that you can do a rolling take-off, but it is not at all like those done with teetering rotor fixed collective pitch EAB gyros, and not done for the same reason. The long answer is below.

You always spin up beyond normal flight rpm, while sitting still, holding the brakes, using no runway. If you want to jump, you do a full spin (around 370 rpm; flight rpm is around 240) and pop off the ground from there with no airspeed. If you don't want to jump, you spin to perhaps 320 or more, disengage the clutch, roll a little, and then pop in collective pitch to lift off. But the roll you do is NOT to get rpm -- only to get airspeed. The airspeed you get from that short roll helps if you're too high/hot/heavy to get a crisp jump.

There is no rotor management, no "flap" risk, no balancing on the mains, or any of that stuff, ever. You can't, and don't want to, do that. Every roll begins with wide open throttle and neutral cyclic, and ends with a slight reposition of the stick and punching the "take-off" button to add collective pitch. If you choose to roll a bit before adding collective pitch, you will actually lose some rpm while you roll. You choose your roll duration as a compromise between the airspeed you gain and the rpm you lose.

If you pop in collective and don't leave the ground at that instant, you will not save that take-off, and must stop and try again. You can't continue down the runway hoping to get more revs into the rotor. All that will get you is a fast taxi with decaying rpm. Stop the machine, engage the clutch, spin up again, and pop it off (with or without forward airspeed).
 
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hjajr

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I couldnt remember as it was in the 90's when I went to Don's for my Commerical gyro and heli add on.
I do remember I had a hard time getting use to the 18A and its precedures for getting off the ground.
I busted the first check ride in the 18A as It fles so good I forgot to close the canopy while I exceeded the speed for it while it was open. I was just use to the open frame gyros so the wind just didnt bother me. I thought I was doing good and Don said turn around.
That 18A always had a good stick bump from one of the rotors being out some. I really didnt care for that.
You think that forward taxi speed would spin the rotors faster? It does on a J-2. But two totally different ships. Harry
 

WaspAir

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I couldnt remember as it was in the 90's when I went to Don's for my Commerical gyro and heli add on.
. . .
I busted the first check ride in the 18A as It fles so good I forgot to close the canopy while I exceeded the speed for it while it was open. I was just use to the open frame gyros so the wind just didnt bother me. I thought I was doing good and Don said turn around.
It doesn't have a canopy, but there is a cockpit door on the right side. If left unlatched the airflow will ordinarily hold it closed. There is a door-off max speed that Don may have had in mind, but that applies if you remove the door completely (perhaps for an aerial photography flight).
That 18A always had a good stick bump from one of the rotors being out some. I really didnt care for that.
You can track and balance the blades on an 18A with a Chadwick just like on a helicopter; there are tabs on each blade. The one we have for sale (N6131S) is very, very smooth; most teetering rotor pilots who fly with me in it remark about how much smoother the three blade system is. Al Ball's ship (N6134S, the one that started this thread) was also well tracked and smooth when I last flew it.
You think that forward taxi speed would spin the rotors faster? It does on a J-2. But two totally different ships.
Check a picture of an 18A, see how vertical the mast is, and you can tell that the flow is edge-on to a flat disc, and does diddely-squat for rpm. You're also doing the run with flat collective pitch. Once you put in pitch, you leave the ground at that moment, so you're never running along the ground with positive collective pitch like a teetering system.

My J-2 lost rotor rpm during a take-off run, too. If you tried back stick in the J-2 to build rpm all you would accomplish is lengthening the take-off (if lucky) and not getting off at all (if not lucky). It was designed to spin to more than 100% flight rpm, and I can't imagine why you wouldn't do that. The J-2 flight manual says the minimum pre-spin is 400.

The process for a short, safe take-off in the J-2 was to spin to the ground redline of 520 rpm, then up-lever, brakes off and immediate full throttle, twitch the stick back at 45 mph, and off she went. By the time you had 45 (typically well under 200 feet of runway for me), the rotor rpm would be down to flight speed, just over 400. I've seen people try to fly a J-2 like an airplane or like a teetering gyro, and it's not pretty to anyone who knows how they were intended to be operated. They'll use runway like it's going out of style for both take-off and landing, managing to fly at all only because it is forgiving.

There's a famous story around here about a J-2 enthusiast years back (owner of a big furniture business) who thought he could shorten his time on the busy runway with heavy traffic departing from an airshow / fly-in, by a quick partial spin followed by charging down the runway to get rpm. He didn't get any, and found himself with lots of ground speed, no runway left, and slow blades.
 

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That was very enlightening Jon. I understand so much better how these take off now, almost like I had my 1st lesson.
Thanks for sharing...
 

WaspAir

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Next time you're up this way, we'll get you a ride.
 

Wiplash

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Check a picture of an 18A, see how vertical the mast is, and you can tell that the flow is edge-on to a flat disc, and does diddely-squat for rpm. You're also doing the run with flat collective pitch. Once you put in pitch, you leave the ground at that moment, so you're never running along the ground with positive collective pitch like a teetering system.

My J-2 lost rotor rpm during a take-off run, too. If you tried back stick in the J-2 to build rpm all you would accomplish is lengthening the take-off (if lucky) and not getting off at all (if not lucky). It was designed to spin to more than 100% flight rpm, and I can't imagine why you wouldn't do that. The J-2 flight manual says the minimum pre-spin is 400.

There's a famous story around here about a J-2 enthusiast years back (owner of a big furniture business) who thought he could shorten his time on the busy runway with heavy traffic departing from an airshow / fly-in, by a quick partial spin followed by charging down the runway to get rpm. He didn't get any, and found himself with lots of ground speed, no runway left, and slow blades.
Interesting,
So is it a lack of available back stick? You can't tilt the rotor back far enough to get a good bite at the air?

Do they fly nose high compared to teeter head gyros? or are they just too nose low while on the ground?
 

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Next time you're up this way, we'll get you a ride.
Dang I love this site and you guys!!!
What a place and what really good people.
Thank you Jon, next time I'm up your way I'll call you.
Your one of the friends I respect on here I've always wanted to meet!!!

You people make this site ROCK!!!!
 

NoWingsAttached

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If only had a job, I would snap this thing up in a heartbeat. What's it going for BTW?
 

WaspAir

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Do they fly nose high compared to teeter head gyros? or are they just too nose low while on the ground?
Mostly the latter. I never had much cause to study the issue deeply because they're designed and intended to spin to 125-150% of flight rpm, and doing less than that is just operationally silly. Running down the runway to get rpm in one of these is like hand-propping a Merlin V-12 that has a perfectly functional electric starter; there's just no reason to try it, and certainly no operational advantage.

Both designs may actually ride a bit nose high in flight, but you don't notice it from inside because the cockpit deck angle is not terribly extreme at cruise. I've looked for some in-flight pictures in cruise attitude, and I don't have much to choose from in my files. I couldn't find any for the J-2, but I have a couple taken of me in 18As against a hillside background to give some idea of what's level, and you'll see it's not a big angle.

In contrast, if you want to land in your own length, you can do a pretty impressive flare angle to stop it in the air and settle onto the mains (third photo; this is the aircraft that Al Ball has for sale). That particular flare is deeper than typical, but when you're instructing sometimes you let the pilot in training get to the extremes. I've thrown in one more shot to show the door arrangement that I mentioned in an earlier post; I'm holding it open from the back seat during taxi with Al to keep cool while moving slowly on the ground.
 

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hjajr

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Heck man I thought it was a sliding canopy. It was something like that. I remember its in the manual about not exceeding like 90 MPH or somewhere close to that.
Maybe it was a sliding window?
You guys just have to many nice flying machines in Calif. Dang.
 

M._Springer

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At the risk of raining on the parade of J2 and 18A lovers,

At the risk of raining on the parade of J2 and 18A lovers,

I have had time in both machines and didn't care for either one. What they both did best was to land. Pull the power back at the right height and bring the stick back and they settled down for a nice landing and were all done flying.

The Mcculloch J2 never seemed to make nice slick take offs but just sort of waddled into the air. To take off after spinning the blades up you had to go to full power FAST lest the blades slow down too much to take off. If the blades slowed too much then it was back to the beginning of the runway and spin them up again. The climb out with my 180 lb. husband and me at 130 lbs. wasn't anything to brag about either.

Both machines seemed big, heavy and sluggish to me. Neither one rang my bell.
Marion
 

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Wonder how it does with wire strikes ?

About as well as the SHTTD did !

MAYBE.......Ya Thank....:eek:hwell:
I do not believe they have wire cutters for rotors?
Oh buddy nothing does well when your rotor hit a wire.
You did all a pilot could do. Flew over the poll!
 

Phenix USA

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What a beautiful aircraft, I'd give my eye teeth for that baby. Hows that reverse mortgage thing work again?
 

ckurz7000

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Jon gave me a flight in the red A&S 18A shown in his post. It is a beautifully maintained aircraft with an original 60s feel about it. We made a jump t/o (my first ever) and it jumped to a guesstimated 20 feet (what do you say, Jon?). The stick was extremely smooth compared to a standard semi-rigid teetering rotor. It did all the things a gyro is supposed to do but the feeling is quite different when you're used light open gyros.

Here's a link to the post I put up after flying one (with photos): A&S 18A

-- Chris.
 
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WaspAir

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If only had a job, I would snap this thing up in a heartbeat. What's it going for BTW?
The listing has been updated. You get the aircraft, a second un-airworthy unit for parts, and a trailer, all for $145,000. Sounds like a bargain to me for a zero-timed fully certified Standard Airworthiness two-place (legal for commercial use, no LODA) that flies, very, very well.

I truly hope it goes to a good home.
 

bryancobb

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In Georgia

In Georgia

...legal for commercial use...
If I was an active gyro CFI, I'd be on that in a second.

There was a silver (or gray) one being used in NW Georgia for gas line patrol, in the early to mid 1990's.

I saw it fly over many times as I was going from one class to another. I remember it always being very very low.
 
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