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

heli1

Newbie
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
4
Location
Bristol
Hi . The Helicopter Museum in the UK is looking for a set of out of life/ scrap blades for its 18A if anyone can help. Minor damage acceptable if it can be cosmetically repaired. Please e mail me at [email protected] if you can help.
We currently have a helicopter in California to be shipped soon so any blades in that area would be good but Florida or anywhere else in the US just as welcome.Help us to make this lovely autogyro complete for the public to see.
We have a J2 too!
 

baronpilot

Newbie
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
544
Location
Auburn, IN
Aircraft
Baron B55, Bonanza V35, Brantly B2B
Total Flight Time
2500
I guess I do not see why this is a desireable aircraft to own other than it is rare. You still cannot do a confined area take off and landing as you only get about 20-30 vertical feet with the "jump" feature and then you have to accelerate straight ahead until you get sufficient airspeed to maintain lift. So, you still need a runway or an open area. For $100k+ you can have a nice 269, R22, Enstrom, etc.

Now, if it could maintain a climb to 100' or so before needing any airspeed it might make sense. Just my thoughts, but they seem to be confirmed since the design never went anywhere. Neat history, though.
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,482
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
Come take a ride with me and you might very well change your mind. It's a very nice, professionally engineered and constructed, standard airworthiness, reliable aircraft that makes some EAB gyros seem like toys in comparison.

Nobody has succeeded in the market for standard airworthiness gyros because they have to be priced accordingly. Is that a design problem, or does it reflect the economic realities/priorities of most PRA members?

By the way, you can't climb 100 feet straight up in an R-22, 269, or Enstrom without going dangerously deep into the avoid area of the H-V diagram.
 

baronpilot

Newbie
Joined
Apr 17, 2012
Messages
544
Location
Auburn, IN
Aircraft
Baron B55, Bonanza V35, Brantly B2B
Total Flight Time
2500
I agree, not arguing the fact that they are well made and probably fly great. I guess I just don't understand why you would choose one. For instance, a Carbon Cub with big tires will take off and land in less than 300' and can use an extremely rough runway, field, or whatever. Super efficient on fuel, nearly zero maintenance, and brand new for $150K loaded with equipment.

On the H/V curve stuff: That is part of flying helicopters. There is always a risk of crashing them with a power failure. The military operates in the H/V all the time. So do power line check pilots, Coast Guard, life flights, police, construction flights, etc. The ability to ascend/descend vertically is there, but comes with a price if the power fails.

I just would have a hard time paying $150k for something that does little more than a brand new $75k gyro.

Again, we all like different stuff and sometimes having that rare machine is reason enough to own it :)
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,482
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
Personal taste is always a factor, for sure!

When they make a Carbon Cub that can do vertical sinks and operate from a helipad, then maybe . . .
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,482
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
Stored in pieces for over 40 years after only about 30 original hours. Zero-time restoration completed in 2011, and all additional time has been since then.
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,467
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Jon that was interesting. It is a historical piece and also still a good flying machine.

It's always been horses for courses, and, as Marylin says, what dings your particular bell.

The joy about us humans is that we all have particular tastes. Be a boring world if we all liked the same thing.
 

scott heger

Custom-made Troublemaker
Joined
Dec 14, 2003
Messages
1,635
Location
Southern California
Aircraft
SportCopter Bell 206L-1
Total Flight Time
1350
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).

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.

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.
So can you do, stop and go's in the 18A or J-2, or do you loose too much RRPM and have to start over? I have never seen 18A fly, and enjoyed the video of the red and white one.


Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
 

scott heger

Custom-made Troublemaker
Joined
Dec 14, 2003
Messages
1,635
Location
Southern California
Aircraft
SportCopter Bell 206L-1
Total Flight Time
1350
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).

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.

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.
So can you do, stop and go's in the 18A or J-2, or do you loose too much RRPM and have to start over? I have never seen 18A fly, and enjoyed the video of the red and white one. Waspair, I do like your paint better.


Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
 

Fly Army

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
1,956
Location
Utah/summer Florida/winter
Aircraft
From un-powered Paragliders off the side of a mountain to the Boeing 777.
Total Flight Time
18,000 ish , I guess
They are interesting ships no doubt. I still kick myself for not having enough stopover time to allow for a ride in one when John Potter offered back in 1989. Like so many other things in my young life I just figured they'd always be around........

The problem with running one of these now for training is the upkeep and operating cost. Heck, we don't even need to go in to upkeep just look at the difference between the cost of 100LL and some Premium unleaded from down the street ! Then figure 4.5 to 5GPH vs. 8.5 to 10 GPH.
 

Dmorris

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
802
Location
Somerset Kentucky
Aircraft
I currently own an IFR Carbon Cub FX3. This is my 3rd Carbon Cub. Owned a Xenon, 2 TAF 2000's.
Total Flight Time
Thousands and adding every week!
My 18A Experience

My 18A Experience

I consider myself very fortunate as my first ever rides in Gyros were in 18A's. The first one was with John in Paducah and the second flight was at my home airport. Think the owners name of the 2nd. one was Henry. He lived nearby in either London or Corbin, KY. I didn't truly appreciate what I was flying at the time but the experience did get me involved with Gyroplanes.
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,482
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
So can you do, stop and go's in the 18A or J-2, or do you loose too much RRPM and have to start over? I have never seen 18A fly, and enjoyed the video of the red and white one. Waspair, I do like your paint better.
You can't do a touch and go (roll on and off again retaining some speed) safely.
You can do a stop and go, but it means re-engaging the spin-up mechanism briefly when you stop.
Come up for a ride some day.

he problem with running one of these now for training is the upkeep and operating cost. Heck, we don't even need to go in to upkeep just look at the difference between the cost of 100LL and some Premium unleaded from down the street ! Then figure 4.5 to 5GPH vs. 8.5 to 10 GPH.
Costs are no worse than anything else with a small Lycoming, like a low-end model from the Piper Cherokee line, for example. It just isn't as fast as on the same power. Students need hours, not speed, so that doesn't much matter. Maintenance and operating costs for a training operation are no worse than for a fixed wing school with a comparable airplane. Hull insurance is harder to find than for an airplane, and that's the only difference.

With local av and auto fuel prices, the difference between 8 gph of 100LL (normal for me) and 5 gph of Shell Premium is just over $6 per hour, which is not really very significant in the overall cost of training.
 

Fly Army

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
1,956
Location
Utah/summer Florida/winter
Aircraft
From un-powered Paragliders off the side of a mountain to the Boeing 777.
Total Flight Time
18,000 ish , I guess
Costs are no worse than anything else with a small Lycoming, like a low-end model from the Piper Cherokee line, for example. It just isn't as fast as on the same power. Students need hours, not speed, so that doesn't much matter. Maintenance and operating costs for a training operation are no worse than for a fixed wing school with a comparable airplane. Hull insurance is harder to find than for an airplane, and that's the only difference.

With local av and auto fuel prices, the difference between 8 gph of 100LL (normal for me) and 5 gph of Shell Premium is just over $6 per hour, which is not really very significant in the overall cost of training.
I must be missing something in your figuring - here in South Florida 100LL on my field is $6.59 per gallon. Premium Mogas from down the street is $3.69 per gallon. At 8GPH it costs you (just in fuel) 8 X 6.59 = $52.72 for one hour. In a Rotax powered machine burning Mogas 5GPH it costs 5 X 3.69 = $18.45 for one hour resulting in a difference of $34.27 for every hour flown JUST IN FUEL COSTS. if I was looking to do just 200 hours a year of instruction that price difference would end up being $6854 and again, that's just the fuel cost difference.

If the rotax guy is charging $200 bucks an hour how much would you have to charge ? Careful with your answer because if it's more than 10 bucks difference why would someone want to spend more to get the same license that they're gonna get with the Rotax guy ?

As I said they are lovely interesting machines and I'm glad the're still a couple flying around out there but economics wise they just don't make sense for a training operation.
 

GyroCFI

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
845
Location
Petersburg, Illinois
Aircraft
Snobird Tandem Adventurer
Total Flight Time
3500
So can you do, stop and go's in the 18A or J-2, or do you loose too much RRPM and have to start over? I have never seen 18A fly, and enjoyed the video of the red and white one. Waspair, I do like your paint better.


Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel, Ca N86SH
I used to do touch and goes in my J-2 all the time, but you have to have one eye on the rotor tach all the way through the maneuver... can't do a stop and go though....
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,482
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
I used to do touch and goes in my J-2 all the time, but you have to have one eye on the rotor tach all the way through the maneuver... can't do a stop and go though....
My answer was about the 18A; sorry if that wasn't clear.

If you were doing touch and goes in the J-2, I imagine you kept some speed and must not have let the nose wheel down in between, or it would have been very, very hard to hold/regain rpm. I always tried to flare deep and kill all my forward speed at touchdown, and that's not a good condition from which to try a touch and go unless you've got a pretty good wind.

For stop and go operations, the J-2 requires a very gentle touch to re-engage the gearbox without unpleasant crunching, if you do it while the rotor is spinning quickly, which makes the stop and go more awkward unless you let it decay quite a lot before re-engagement. There is no gearbox engagement to do in the 18A; you just pump up the clutch and throttle up, and it will get back to take-off rpm.
 

GyroCFI

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
845
Location
Petersburg, Illinois
Aircraft
Snobird Tandem Adventurer
Total Flight Time
3500
My answer was about the 18A; sorry if that wasn't clear.

For stop and go operations, the J-2 requires a very gentle touch to re-engage the gearbox without unpleasant crunching, if you do it while the rotor is spinning quickly, which makes the stop and go more awkward unless you let it decay quite a lot before re-engagement. There is no gearbox engagement to do in the 18A; you just pump up the clutch and throttle up, and it will get back to take-off rpm.
I know you knew that J.R. I also have done Stop N Go's in my J-2's so I should have been more clear as well... I didn't have the patience to spin them up again, and I was also very careful to not stress the transmission, I did have several spares that were brand new but they were such a pain to change....
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
4,482
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
I must be missing something in your figuring - here in South Florida 100LL on my field is $6.59 per gallon. Premium Mogas from down the street is $3.69 per gallon. At 8GPH it costs you (just in fuel) 8 X 6.59 = $52.72 for one hour. In a Rotax powered machine burning Mogas 5GPH it costs 5 X 3.69 = $18.45 for one hour resulting in a difference of $34.27 for every hour flown JUST IN FUEL COSTS. if I was looking to do just 200 hours a year of instruction that price difference would end up being $6854 and again, that's just the fuel cost difference.

If the rotax guy is charging $200 bucks an hour how much would you have to charge ? Careful with your answer because if it's more than 10 bucks difference why would someone want to spend more to get the same license that they're gonna get with the Rotax guy ?

As I said they are lovely interesting machines and I'm glad the're still a couple flying around out there but economics wise they just don't make sense for a training operation.
Avgas is cheaper and pump gas is more expensive for me so the fuel cost difference is much less than you face, but I did make a typo in that post; for my conditions, it's $26 per hour (somehow I dropped the 2- sorry!). Regardless, no student is going to take 200 hours per year of instruction and face paying a premium anything like you cited. It's a difference of hundreds, not thousands, of dollars for a student to get a license, and out of the total cost of learning to fly and basis for choosing one's training provider, I still contend that it is not the major factor. Opinions on what makes sense notwithstanding, in fact it really does cost about the same to operate the A&S18 as it does a Piper Archer, and that's not much of a challenge for economic success. These are well engineered, well constructed, reliable aircraft. An 18A can be operated just fine for $200 per hour.

You're also assuming that nobody would want to fly in a Standard Airworthiness jump-capable cabin aircraft if there is an amateur built experimental trainer available for $10 per hour less. While that might be true for some, it is clearly not the case for all. Many of the people I've dealt with over the years don't even like the idea of flying in anything marked "experimental"; some don't want to be out in the open; some really want the jump take-offs; and so forth. Heck, when I got my first gyro training, I had a choice of a Marchetti Avenger or an A&S18A parked next to each other at the same airport, and I went for the 18A without a moment's hesitation or regret (yes, I did fly the Avenger, too).
 

Fly Army

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2007
Messages
1,956
Location
Utah/summer Florida/winter
Aircraft
From un-powered Paragliders off the side of a mountain to the Boeing 777.
Total Flight Time
18,000 ish , I guess
Avgas is cheaper and pump gas is more expensive for me so the fuel cost difference is much less than you face, but I did make a typo in that post; for my conditions, it's $26 per hour (somehow I dropped the 2- sorry!). Regardless, no student is going to take 200 hours per year of instruction and face paying a premium anything like you cited. It's a difference of hundreds, not thousands, of dollars for a student to get a license, and out of the total cost of learning to fly and basis for choosing one's training provider, I still contend that it is not the major factor. Opinions on what makes sense notwithstanding, in fact it really does cost about the same to operate the A&S18 as it does a Piper Archer, and that's not much of a challenge for economic success. These are well engineered, well constructed, reliable aircraft. An 18A can be operated just fine for $200 per hour.

You're also assuming that nobody would want to fly in a Standard Airworthiness jump-capable cabin aircraft if there is an amateur built experimental trainer available for $10 per hour less. While that might be true for some, it is clearly not the case for all. Many of the people I've dealt with over the years don't even like the idea of flying in anything marked "experimental"; some don't want to be out in the open; some really want the jump take-offs; and so forth. Heck, when I got my first gyro training, I had a choice of a Marchetti Avenger or an A&S18A parked next to each other at the same airport, and I went for the 18A without a moment's hesitation or regret (yes, I did fly the Avenger, too).
I'm not saying the students going to take 200 hours per year I'm saying the CFI needs to make that kind of revenue. And if the Rotax guy has a 26 to 34 dollar per hour cost advantage he's making more money than the A&S operator even if they charge the same price.
 
Top