Aviomania - Viking First Impressions

Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
I have about 9 flying hours now in my new Aviomania GS2 powered by the 130 HP Honda engine.

Here are a few first impressions.

General flight characteristics. It is rock solid. There is nothing I have experienced to this point call attention to the aerodynamics. Nothing odd, nothing dicey feeling it just flies. I have limited experience in other gyros. I trained in a two place Dominator, I have flown my own single place Dominator and I have flown the Ranger with Greg for my Biannual. I really don't see much difference between it and the two place Dominator, in flight. Also my sight picture in it is very close to my single place Dominator, so my landings were decent right out of the box. I am moving a lot more mass so my stick pressure and responsiveness is not like the single place, but neither is it as twitchy in wind.


Power and Smoothness - I could not be happier than I am so far with the Honda engine. It starts instantly runs smoothly, is crazy quiet on the ground. Alone with a full tank of gas my climb rates were about 1000FPM. I saw 960 but I quit climbing before it did. I do have noticeable torque roll at take off.
I am cruising at about 4300-4400 rpm. I have just recently increased my pitch and seem to be topping out about 5400 rpm. I am spinning a 72 inch Warp Drive.

I am averaging 4.47 GPH. I have a fuel barrel with a metered electric pump so I am able to get pretty good repeatability on my refills.

Rotor/Rotorhead - I have 28 foot Dragon Wings with a RFD Slider head. I have a fair amount of stick shake. We have not begun to chase the solutions to that. The thread on the forum came at a very good time for me and maybe I will try to entice Mike G to visit.

Pre-Rotater - Ernie did a great job with that. It is a good looking installation and it is easily capable of 180 to 190 RPM which is getting me in the air very quickly.
 
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CLS447

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
6,320
Location
Reading, PA
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Air Command 503 & Air Command SxS /EJ2.5
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Aprox 400 gyro
Dude ! I missed the whole build ! I am gonna have to do some catchin up here !

Very nice machine & COLOR !!!
 

Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
Thank you Mike and Chris. Paul read the whole signature. :)
 

CLS447

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
6,320
Location
Reading, PA
Aircraft
Air Command 503 & Air Command SxS /EJ2.5
Total Flight Time
Aprox 400 gyro
Still fly a Dom ??? I think that is what he meant......................
 

Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
Yes I still fly a Dom. I don't think I will be getting rid of it. It's a really different experience, one I am not ready to give up.
 

CLS447

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
6,320
Location
Reading, PA
Aircraft
Air Command 503 & Air Command SxS /EJ2.5
Total Flight Time
Aprox 400 gyro
Hey Joe ! You have been very busy ! Good work.

I am gonna pest you with alot of questions if you don't mind ?

One at a time, OK. I'd like to know what you used for rad hose & pipe & all....could you
Please post detailed pics of the entire cooling system with description. Please ? I know you are probably busy.....so no hurry.

I need some good ideas & yours looks very neat & tidy. Help !

Did you post them yet ? haha
 

All_In

Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
15,535
Location
San Diego, CA. USA
Aircraft
Piper Archer, Aviomania G1sb
Total Flight Time
Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
Very, very cool Joe!!!

GREAT JOB! Cannot wait to see her in person at B-Days?
 

Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
Went to visit XXX for a service and checkout. Changed the oil, changed the gearbox oil, changed out the muffler to a smaller light weight muffler. Did a thrust test and pulled 540 pounds. See the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r11rxK1DWxc

An interesting story will follow when I have the time.
 
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Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
Hey Joe ! You have been very busy ! Good work.

I am gonna pest you with alot of questions if you don't mind ?

One at a time, OK. I'd like to know what you used for rad hose & pipe & all....could you
Please post detailed pics of the entire cooling system with description. Please ? I know you are probably busy.....so no hurry.

I need some good ideas & yours looks very neat & tidy. Help !

Did you post them yet ? haha

I used silicone elbows from:
https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/group.asp?GroupID=COOLSTRTR

I used this radiator:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K33XOQ6/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I used aluminum pipe for the straight runs. I had to bead the ends of the pipe I borrowed a hand beader from Viking.
 

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ultracruiser41

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Messages
2,706
Location
NC
Aircraft
Cavalon,Snobird+, Ryan PT 22,JetGyro,Titan T51,TwinStar, Radial Rocket Gyro, HummelBird
Total Flight Time
Too many to count
Joe......that is one sexy machine!

Great job!!
 

Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
The interesting story mentioned above. As I said Jan called me and offered at no charge to do a service on my engine. I am the first gyro flying this new version and he wanted to make sure he had any issues that might develop in a gyro ironed out. So I went there and he did an oil change and evaluated the oil. Then he did a gearbox oil change and evaluated the gear box oil. We modified one of his mufflers to replace the larger one that I had been using, giving me a weight savings and about 15 more pounds of thrust.

Everything seemed fine. He decided to flush out the gear box just to see if he would learn anything. Well he did learn something very important...more on that in a bit.

He poured a good quantity of gasoline into the overflow reservoir and allowed it to drain out of the bottom vent. Once it stopped dripping he filled it with Mobile 1 gear lube.

It was all back together so i took off to fly back home.... This shows a picture of my route. I left the airport and went nearly due south to my first waypoint. I realized that below me was inpenetrable swamp and thought, If I go down here I might not ever be found so i did a 90 degree turn to go over to Rte. 95 which I knew was running to the west of me. If you look at the black route you can see how dense the swamp was. Where the black line stops I developed a problem.
 

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Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
My warning light for Gearbox Temp which I had set at 218 degrees went off. In just a very short time it went to 255, at which point my power faded to nearly nothing. I pulled back the throttle and can not remember if I shut the engine down or not but I spotted an opening ahead and there were no other options so I decided to try for it. I picked a point just beyond some scrub palm, which I have marked with a diamond. I got very lucky and I hit the spot. The second picture is my gyro sitting on that diamond and other than some scuffing on my rotors from palm fronds, undamaged.
 

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Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
As I got off the gyro, I saw the Gearbox overflow was full and bubbling out of the gearbox. It was a black gook, which I did not understand until later. I called viking because I had seen a flatbed trailer there and Jan agreed to come get me. In an amazing stroke of luck I have just begun using Glympse, and I had sent both Jan and Laura a Link so Jan knew just where I was. When we got back and thought about what happened the aha moment hit him. Viking gearboxes have not had catastrophic failures. They have been very reliable but something happened during my service that created a monster. Although he allowed the gas to drain out there was still a fair amount of residual gas in the nooks, crannies, gears, and bearings. When we refilled the box with oil we did it though the bottom vent. The gearbox has only a bottom vent. So all the gas in the engine just rode the oil up to the top and sat there until the box got hot. Once it did the gas expanded and not having a way out pushed down on the oil which was pushed into the overflow. I can confirm the gearbox will not last long without oil. By the next day Jan had my gearbox rebuilt with every thing new and I picked it up the following day. I spent a bit of time in the pattern watching the temps and when I was comfortable, I flew it back home. This time I took a route not over the impenetrable swamp. The picture is of one of the gears.
 

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Joe Pires

star hoarder
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,851
Location
Geneva FL FD92
Aircraft
Aviomania GS2.
Total Flight Time
600 ish solo gyro and 190 ish two place
The mistakes and the breaks. I was cavalier in the planning of this trip. I never looked at my route in advance or I would not have been over that swamp. I should have flew the pattern for a bit to just make sure everything was in order.

On the plus side I did fly fairly high and once I realized this swamp went on so long, I did an immediate correction to get to a safer route. If I had waited 5 more seconds before that decision this story would have ended differently. I do regular engine out landings, just about every one is at least partially without power so it did not add to my anxiety.

Lastly I had two people who knew where I was. There is a free app that allows you to send via text message a live route tracking in real time. As it turned out both Jan and Laura were watching when it happened. Laura was talking with Chris Toevs and said, he is doing 40 miles an hour that's odd? Now he is doing zero...... Thankfully I called her as soon as I put my feet on the ground and told her I was ok. I have about an hour on my new gearbox. I am perfectly comfortable that this was an anomaly and I will keep you guys in the loop regarding this testing.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
16,360
Location
Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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2400+ in rotorcraft
Congratulations on handling an emergency well Joe!

Congratulations on handling an emergency well Joe!

Good job on recognizing the problem before it became a bigger problem.

I like your theory as to what happened.

It has been my experience that without lubrication the life of a gear is shortened considerably.
 

GyrOZprey

Aussie in Kansas.
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
3,027
Location
Whitewater KS
Aircraft
Butterfly Aurora N5560Z / Titanium Explorer N456TE & N488TE/ - trained in MTOsport 446QT/488FB
Total Flight Time
845
Many impressive points

Many impressive points

Struck me with Joe's ... "off-field " landing ... Besides his superior ADM & pilotage skills! :peace:
Glimpse is a great app to track loved ones & friends - in realtime! Laura & I just happened to be watching Joe's flight path - direction change then speed drop to zero in that only one good gyro ELZ! - in the whole area! ... Then Laura's phone rang with the news that he was safe on the ground,machine safe & calling Jan for a ride back to MasseyRanch.

I had met Jan @ Sebring LS Expo ...when he came over from his Viking engine display to look at the Titanium gyro! After a few minutes conversation about alternate gyro engines I figured out who he was and ...as when a negative reputation precedes some-one ... Was a little leery of him!

After watching how he has supported and worked with Joe AND manned up to HIS error ( big learning curve .... with flushing a gearbox with no upper vent with gas - then refilling with oil - return to service!)- I can see how hard he is working at becoming a better ,more personable , sales & support fella!
If anyone had a bad experience with Jan in the past ...I'd suggest it be reasonable to give his product another chance! MY observation is that he is truly making a BIG effort to correct past failures and personality traits that left a bad impression!

It seems he has the "science" aspect of the Viking engine down to a good degree of reliability especially in the tractor - fix-wing applications. In the gyro community several sportcopters and the dominators are proving his 110hp engine to be a good alternative! The "art" side of tweaking the squawks in new applications ... Holds true for all engine projects!

An associate has a float gyro project in the works and is looking hard at Jan's engine - the 130hp version- like Joe's- option!

The genuine effort to be a better person & product supporter ... That I observed yesterday @ the Viking hanger .... Should be lauded! :yo:

Wishing Jan & Viking all the best in their efforts .... It's a "you-beaut" installation on Joe's Aviomania tandem!
 

phantom

Newbie
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
1,417
Location
Eagle River
Great job landing joe, sure glad that the automatic return to earth feature worked without engine power, I am a bit puzzled about why the gasoline didn't mix with the oil and then slowly just vaporize out later, it's not uncommon in very cold weather to add gasoline to both gearbox and engine oil to thin it enough to flow and it never causes any problems.
Norm
 
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