Best rotor blades for Air Command gyro.

Skipinva

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Looking for suggestions and guidance for the best set of currently available rotor blades to put on a single-place Air Command gyro (HTL) with an inverted Rotax 503. The Sky Wheels rotor blades that were mounted on it took a prop strike and now I need a new set of rotor blades as well as a new Warp Drive 3-blade prop. The original blades were about 24 ft. total length and had an 8 inch chord. Right now Sky wheels are not yet back in production and as far as I can tell Dragon Wings are not being made either. Anyone out there have any suggestions as to make and specifications for a replacement set of rotor blades? FYI, I weigh 220 lbs and my local airport elevation is 345 feet.
 

GyroRon

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I take it the air command you have is original, in other words, the seat is fairly low to the ground, short mast, inverted engine.

If so, that means it has a high thrust line.

Lots of folks have died in high thrustline aircommands. The gyro, even with a horizontal Stabilizer, can do a power push over / Bunt, fairly easily.

The balance of the gyro, is where the weight is vertically. Skywheels are about the heaviest rotors you can buy. And they are mounted up to the highest point on the gyro.

By installing lighter blades, such as dragon wings, sportcopters, razor blades, etc.... You effectively lower the gyros center of mass, and effectively raise the thrustline. Making the gyro even more dangerous to fly, more easily able to PPO/ Bunt over.

I would try to find another set of skywheels, or consider doing some airframe work to raise the center of mass if your going to run different blades. You could do the aircommand CLT kit, or at the least, install a taller mast on your " Low rider " airframe.
 

Barney Bahle

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Skipinva

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My thanks to GyroRon and Barney for their replies. My 23-foot diameter Sky Wheels weigh 63 lbs. I will make sure I purchase replacement rotor blades that weigh that much or more. Any other advice or suggestions such as increasing the rotor diameter or perhaps increasing the height of the towers an inch or more are greatly appreciated.
Skip
 

GyroRon

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My thanks to GyroRon and Barney for their replies. My 23-foot diameter Sky Wheels weigh 63 lbs. I will make sure I purchase replacement rotor blades that weigh that much or more. Any other advice or suggestions such as increasing the rotor diameter or perhaps increasing the height of the towers an inch or more are greatly appreciated.
Skip

Honestly, it wouldn't be a huge job to install a taller mast. You would have to have longer push rods installed, new cheek plates made and a longer pre rotator cable... but your gyro would be safer and you could use lighter blades.
 

Skipinva

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Does anybody see any significant problems with increasing the rotor diameter from 23 ft to 24ft on my Air Command (HTL). I will also have to make a new 2 inch taller set of hub towers.
 

GyroCFI

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If you add an additional foot of rotor without raising your mast you may encounter ground strikes. Since you've already had a prop strike I'm concerned that your rotor management skill could be a bit lacking.
 

Skipinva

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You are right. No gyro training or experience what so ever. Was not intending to fly just do some taxiing when the rotor and prop made contact. The more I think about it the more I am inclined to fix then sell it and buy a fixed wing ultralight.
 

Gyro28866

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You need to calculate your actual flight "All up weight"!!!
Then calculate your disk loading.
Then compare to a 12" larger disk diameter.
Also, a 1' larger disk with the same cord with rotate at a lower rpm.
A lower rotor rpm will also increase the Coning angle; then your teeter height will not be correct.
The formula to calculate wing load is:
Radius squared times pie.
24' disk = 12'radius
12x12=144x3.14= 452.16
Gyro weight of 275 + you 220 = 495
495 divided by 452 = 1.09 #/square foot.
that wing load is too low for the average gyro..
25' disk = 12.5 radius
12.5x12.5= 156.25x3.14=490.625
495 divided by 490 = 1.01#/sf
even lower RRPM
 

Vance

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You are right. No gyro training or experience what so ever. Was not intending to fly just do some taxiing when the rotor and prop made contact. The more I think about it the more I am inclined to fix then sell it and buy a fixed wing ultralight.

Many people have damaged their blades just trying to get a feel for things in a gyroplane.

There are dead people from doing the same thing you did in a gyroplane.

His friends said; "he never intended to takeoff, just some taxiing around to get a feel for it."

My feeling is you will hurt yourself without training in a fixed wing ultralight.

People are not designed to fly and many of their instincts will get them hurt.

Flight training is how you get past the confusion without getting hurt or damaging the aircraft.

Just because flight training is not required to fly an ultralight does not mean flying with no training is a good idea.

I wish you all the best on your aviation adventure.
 

GyroCFI

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You are right. No gyro training or experience what so ever. Was not intending to fly just do some taxiing when the rotor and prop made contact. The more I think about it the more I am inclined to fix then sell it and buy a fixed wing ultralight.
That's probably a good idea... If you're not familiar with gyroplane type construction, i would suggest enlisting help from an experienced builder.
 

GyroRon

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I fly gyros and fixed wing ultralight. Both are fun, both can kill you. The gyro will be more fun, and less limiting on when you can fly since they do better than fixed wing on windy days.

Sorry you are sounding discouraged.

You just happen to have a older type gyro that is not as safe and forgiving as a newer type gyro. Its not the end of the world. You can fly it as is, with higher chance of a accident, or do some mods to make it safer. your choice. There are fixed wing ultralight airplanes that are also less safe than others. Each design has its weakness'

I have no idea what your flight experience is. Perhaps you have little to none.... or perhaps you are experienced with fixed wings and thought maybe you could fly the gyro without training.

Flying a gyro isn't much different than flying a fixed wing. There are some differences in the process of getting it in the air, and some things you don't dare do in a gyro while airborne that you can do no problem in a fixed wing ( low or negative G loads ) And landing is slightly different in that you want to land where at touch down there is little to no ground speed the moment your wheels touch the gyro.... But otherwise they fly very much the same. If your going to fly a gyro with a high thrustline like your aircommand, it is critical in my opinion to get training so you know how to identify a in flight instability and how to stop it from building on itself and leading to a bunt over. If your a decent fixed wing pilot, especially fixed wing ultralight, you might only need a couple hours of training to be able to confidently fly your gyro. A long weekend with someone like Steve McGowan in Macon Georgia would do the trick.

Got plans this weekend? Load up your gyro and come down to the Wadesboro NC airport. Will be a BIG gyro fly in going on there this Thursday through Sunday. You will be surprised at how much help you will get with your gyro and you will likely be able to score some dual instruction there as well.
 
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