Airframe design

Terry

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May 1, 2009
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The recent crash in North Carolina has brought out an idea I've been nurturing for some time.

Most open gyroplanes are built with little crash protection for the pilot.

So, my idea is this: what if gyroplane frames were built more like mini-sprint car frames?

The trend today is toward tall landing gear and an overall arrangement of mass, thrust and drag like Chuck Beaty's gyroplane; but most designs, like Chuck's, leave the pilot sitting on his deck in a lawn chair.

So, why not have a roll-cage type airframe out of aluminum stock or welded 4130? This would give better protection against rotor and propeller strikes, and better protection against bodily damage in otherwise survivable crashes.

Just something to think about from a man who is preparing to worship his Creator with his friends and family on a Sunday morning, and has never owned, built or flown a gyroplane . . . but might one day.
 

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Passin' Thru

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Super Bandit

Super Bandit

Terry, Joe Souza designed and sold a line of gyros simular to what you're describing. The construction technique was nice, but the overall lay out need some further thought. The machines flew with some "peculuarities". The C/G was way below the thrust line. I feel a little objective analysis could have corrected the problems and produced a pretty nice little machine. Take a look here: http://www.rotorcraft.com/bandit/super_photos.htm
 

Terry

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Yup!

Yup!

Terry, Joe Souza designed and sold a line of gyros simular to what you're describing. The construction technique was nice, but the overall lay out need some further thought. The machines flew with some "peculuarities". The C/G was way below the thrust line. I feel a little objective analysis could have corrected the problems and produced a pretty nice little machine. Take a look here: http://www.rotorcraft.com/bandit/super_photos.htm
Picture that kind of construction with the frame up over the pilot's head, and the rotor head attached to a spreader, no mast; all of it up off the ground on tall gear for propeller and rotor clearance. The engine could even be mounted within the frame behind the pilot.
 

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Minnesota_Mike

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Oct 5, 2008
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Panama City, Panama
Big Bird...!!

Big Bird...!!

Tom Patterson, the vice president of our Chapter-17 has just such protection on his machine...here He is with his ride.
It's a big bird...but he's protected well inside it.

( A shout of Hello out to Tom...Hey TOM!!!)
 

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animal

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Mike I looked at the Gyro back when it was for sale and had the hirth on it, I see it has a subaru on it now. how's it flying?

that is a very nicely built gyro and from what I heard was very light.
can you give me an update on it? cool to see it is still around.
 

BEN S

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Terry..

Terry..

I am not a designer OR safety consultant and I haven't slept in a motel 8 lately, BUT when I rolled my gyro, I was left hanging upside down and was quite protected from harm from the mast, my main concern was burning alive and I was really grateful that to egress the situation all that was needed was to unsnap the harness, drop out and roll like hell!
Luckily there wasn't any fire, but I will never forget the feeling of "woo that was close!"
I would not buy a gyro that enclosed me like a cage unless it was a dreadnaught class heavy cruiser.
Ben S
 

Zigge

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sweden
This what I have been wondering to! Why the low safety in gyros and ultalight helis?

Can you emagine a racedriver driving around a track in a car built like gyro or UL heli? the driver would never enter the track with out a safety cage...

I think it would be great if gyros had a higher safety!
 

EI-GYRO

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Dublin, Ireland
I'm only aware of one instance when an occupant of a gyro was fatally injured by a rotor
strike. That was Joe Ortmayer's student, and was a fairly freakish accident.
The mast, keel and axle of a standard Bensen-style gyro already provide most of the protective elements of a roll cage, as we see in countless rollovers where the pilot
almost always walks away unscathed.
The types of gyro accidents that kill gyro pilots would kill them regardless of what kind of roll cage was used.
If you dont believe me, read the reports. They're available online.

Safety in gyros has very little to do with roll cages, etc., and more to do with pilots,
and machine stability by design.

Another solution in search of a problem.
 

mitt11

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There is a old video on you tube I saw a couple of months ago, a test flight of a gyroplane where he sat right up front. He wasn't wearing a seat belt, when he came in for a landing he bounced the plane pretty good. He also bounce right out of his seat into the rotor blades, luckily the first blade just missed his head and the second caught him on the wrist and threw him about 20ft. He walked away with only a broken wrist. whew!!
 
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