Build thread on the GT-VX2 Explorer.

DavePA11

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Its been an exciting journey that has a way to go yet, as I would like to take Blue back to the UK for certification there, and potentially Europe and beyond. We gyronauts are a small group but widely spread. Lets see how the journey progresses.

We will continue to let you know how things are going, and thanks to all who have followed and enjoyed the journey with us.
I like the term “gyronauts”…
 

Sv.grainne

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As is fully intended, the 40hr within phase 1 limitations is for the Flight testing of the newly built machine. We decided that as Denis has great familiarity with the flying characteristics of his VX-1 The Black, upon which the VX2 is based, he will be conducting some of the test phase flying. On his first flight on Blue, the new model VX-2, which was being videoed, he noticed the the instrument pod did flex and vibrate more than the smaller pod on the Black.

I didn't notice the problem when I first watched the video but saw it when I rewatched!

Bobby
 

Loren Jones

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It's nice to see all the refinements Denis is making. I think there's a lot of interest in the VX2, including myself. Thanks for the update.
 

Resasi

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100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Finally made it back over here to continue with Phase 1. Denis and I managed to get three flights in yesterday. The pod is noticeably steadier, as is the mast with those added items. The fall colours round Kasota are lovely, and a great deal of harvesting of corn is taking place.

As each flight takes place I am getting more and more comfortable with Blue. She is an incredibly responsive machine the controls not as light as the Black but not that heavy that appreciably effects the ability to follow Denis when he is in the lead and 'enjoying' his excursion. This means not too much straight and level.

We have discovered that when following Blue and I was exploring rate of climb he was left well behind. She climbs extremely briskly, and I will have to see what speed will give best rate. Denis is trying windshields on his Black and the one he was experiment with yesterday was making an appreciable difference. Something that I will definitely get, as when I open up the throttle in straight and level the wind against the helmet really does push my head back hard.
 

Capt'n Gator

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Dominator Single 582BH N401JC
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Finally made it back over here to continue with Phase 1. Denis and I managed to get three flights in yesterday. The pod is noticeably steadier, as is the mast with those added items. The fall colours round Kasota are lovely, and a great deal of harvesting of corn is taking place.

As each flight takes place I am getting more and more comfortable with Blue. She is an incredibly responsive machine the controls not as light as the Black but not that heavy that appreciably effects the ability to follow Denis when he is in the lead and 'enjoying' his excursion. This means not too much straight and level.

We have discovered that when following Blue and I was exploring rate of climb he was left well behind. She climbs extremely briskly, and I will have to see what speed will give best rate. Denis is trying windshields on his Black and the one he was experiment with yesterday was making an appreciable difference. Something that I will definitely get, as when I open up the throttle in straight and level the wind against the helmet really does push my head back hard.
It's like a motorcycle in the air, feel the power Luke, embrace the wind.....
 

Loren Jones

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Finally made it back over here to continue with Phase 1.

Glad you made it back! I may have to stop by and catch some pics of you guys flying. Looking forward to learning more about your experiences in testing.
 

Mayfield

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Welcome back Leigh. Sounds like good fun to me.

I still balancing on the mains, getting better but not there yet. Weather has been cooperating, no winds at sunrise and temp in upper 50s when I start warming quickly.

Bobby
I am so envious Bobby. I have the greatest respect for Magni, AR-1, AG, MTO, etc, but really want a tandem open frame or semi open frame.

Jim
 

Resasi

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Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Thank you all. It has been been amazing to be back and able to fly Blue again. Of all the single seater types I have flown she is the best and I am truly delighted with how she flies.

Having built the individually adjustable horizontal tail surfaces to counteract engine torque, Denis found during his first flight on her that when testing using big rudder deflections, a sudden release of deflection would cause the nose to bob up and down noticeably. He then suggested that we go back to zero deflection on both, then experiment see how much torque effect with large power inputs and reductions was being produced, and how controllable these were with the control inputs available.

I have now had 5 flights under varying wind conditions. When flying together with Denis, using varying power settings, and varying speed of application and reduction, there has been no serious torque effect that so far has not been easily managed with normal control inputs.

After pre-rotation to initially around 150-190, which is easily achievable with the system installed, with stick back and power application, the rock back is quick. Forward stick to wheel balance and very quickly she is airborne.

We have yet to start measuring TO distances but I feel they will be short. Landings so far have been power on to just before touchdown, and have been pretty much zero to very minimal roll. I have felt entirely comfortable at all times, and though in the first couple of flights there seemed almost an overload of sensations and new experiences this has very quickly settled. Next few days will be cold so no flying, but plenty to do with getting better actuated with the Razor control head for the V16 ration, and the MGL Explorer capabilities.
 
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Resasi

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Thank you Vance. Pretty soon we will also have some video to share with everyone.
 

Resasi

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Temps have dipped here in Mankato, so taking a little break in flying, and gyro has come back to the workshop for a couple of tweaks, fit some fuel valves on the equalising line connecting the two tanks, take out the differences in the EFIS and Kanardia alt readings, and try to adjust the effectiveness of the rotor brake.

Over the last few flights been discovering that on this open frame with the bigger engine that wind blast is something that will have to be dealt with. In my earlier motorcycle days, never had windscreens, so never experienced the relief they could afford. On the two stroke open frame single seaters without a pod, the, generally, limited endurance meant that one was heading for a landing within an hour, also, one rarely tore around at max speed for the whole duration of the flight. Motorbikes have obviously been dealing with this for a long while so turning to them for ideas.

The VX-2 now with the greater endurance/range is venturing into the territory of a tourer/cross-country machine. Wind blast, and buffet is going to be more of an issue here, and I have already noticed that when flying in formation with Denis, if he ever got ahead and I sped up to catch up, which the machine will do easily, the increased wind pressure on body and particularly helmet and its effect on your neck, is very noticeable indeed. Up till now we have been generally proceeding at a fairly leisurely pace as I investigate her general handling but later one may want to have increased speed eg when bucking a headwind.

Denis and I had already already been looking into windscreens, he has made one, and is also experimenting with motorcycle screens on his Black. I have now been on Youtube investigating, and there is a lot out there on the various types of screens available and their effectiveness.

It is obviously a huge area of variables to be investigated, and without wind tunnel or computer programs, which I am sure are out there, it is going to be a bit of trial and error in finding one that will be suitable, safe, and will not be introducing undesirable flying characteristics.

One interesting item I have seen on is where quite small deflector plates lower down and in front of the knees helps with the wind flow that now came up past the thighs into the lower pressure area behind the screen in front of the pilot. These were fixed to crash bars, but it may be possible to have a small cross bar attached below the pod on the pod support structure to attach these to.
 
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Mayfield

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One interesting item I have seen on is where quite small deflector plates lower down and in front of the knees helps with the wind flow that now came up past the thighs into the lower pressure area behind the screen in front of the pilot. These were fixed to crash bars, but it may be possible to have a small cross bar attached below the pod on the pod support structure to attach these to.
Ben and Vance probably have some really good insight, but Even on my little bike I am amazed how a small deflector helps. I'm usually cruising at about 70-75 MPH but the load on my head and chest is much less with this little deflector.

All my open frame gyros were comfortable cruising at 50-65 MPH. I would imagine your "Blue" is much faster. Hopefully you'll sort out some type of windbreak that looks as elegant as the rest of your machine.

Jim
 

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Resasi

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Thanks Jim, yes, the Harley 'Bible' does indeed have a section devoted to wind deflection. I have no doubt Vance is well up on that with being a dealer, and of course his experience with speed on bikes.

Yes the lower speed range isn't too bad, but only when I started exploring the higher speeds achievable, does it start getting uncomfortable...something Wolfy had mentioned earlier in this thread when I was discussing prop pitch.

Both Denis and I had been having discrepancies in the artificial horizon setting. I had enquired from Rainier at MGL what that might have been about, one factor I hadn't considered, was the straight and level attitude of the gyro in flight as opposed to sitting on her three wheel on the ground. Might try calibrating the bars when in straight and level and seeing whether we still get a different reading when back on the ground

Just finished suspending Blue from the teeter bolt for a hang check with the few new tweaks. There was little change from our original angle of around 12 degrees nose down. Did this with empty fuel tanks, then filling the tanks to see what sort of pitch change we got. Result, very little.

Also had a discrepancy of the alt readout of the MGL EFIS and our standby Kanardia. For our lat and long, and elevation, the MGL was giving a correct reading though it does oscillate back and forth on either side. The Kanardia with the same barometric setting was over reading by around 30ft. There is a procedure in the handbook for calibration adjustments which we followed and that little difference was sorted out nicely.
 

Capt'n Gator

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Temps have dipped here in Mankato, so taking a little break in flying, and gyro has come back to the workshop for a couple of tweaks, fit some fuel valves on the equalising line connecting the two tanks, take out the differences in the EFIS and Kanardia alt readings, and try to adjust the effectiveness of the rotor brake.

Over the last few flights been discovering that on this open frame with the bigger engine that wind blast is something that will have to be dealt with. In my earlier motorcycle days, never had windscreens, so never experienced the relief they could afford. On the two stroke open frame single seaters without a pod, the, generally, limited endurance meant that one was heading for a landing within an hour, also, one rarely tore around at max speed for the whole duration of the flight. Motorbikes have obviously been dealing with this for a long while so turning to them for ideas.

The VX-2 now with the greater endurance/range is venturing into the territory of a tourer/cross-country machine. Wind blast, and buffet is going to be more of an issue here, and I have already noticed that when flying in formation with Denis, if he ever got ahead and I sped up to catch up, which the machine will do easily, the increased wind pressure on body and particularly helmet and its effect on your neck, is very noticeable indeed. Up till now we have been generally proceeding at a fairly leisurely pace as I investigate her general handling but later one may want to have increased speed eg when bucking a headwind.

Denis and I had already already been looking into windscreens, he has made one, and is also experimenting with motorcycle screens on his Black. I have now been on Youtube investigating, and there is a lot out there on the various types of screens available and their effectiveness.

It is obviously a huge area of variables to be investigated, and without wind tunnel or computer programs, which I am sure are out there, it is going to be a bit of trial and error in finding one that will be suitable, safe, and will not be introducing undesirable flying characteristics.

One interesting item I have seen on is where quite small deflector plates lower down and in front of the knees helps with the wind flow that now came up past the thighs into the lower pressure area behind the screen in front of the pilot. These were fixed to crash bars, but it may be possible to have a small cross bar attached below the pod on the pod support structure to attach these to.
The windscreen on the Dominator is extremely effective and does not affect flying.
 

wolfy

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Flying an open frame with power is uncomfortable for sure at anything over about 40 knots.
While mustering I used to search at about 50kn and cover ground when needed at 60-65 kn, after a day of 10 or 11 hrs on the hobbs you are completely spent partly because of the mental part of the job but mosty from the wind battering you all day.
Some non flyers seem to think it would be just the same as riding a motor bike all day but it's not even close, even a bike without a screen has all the front wheel and forks and engine and instruments ect all deflecting at least some of the wind.
I used to fly open frame machines all day that's why I now fly with a pod and screen, still can't beat an open for short duration warm day flights though;).
 
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Resasi

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Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
In Post No 414 I posted a picture of the fuel lines connecting the two fuel tanks to the filter and gascolator.

20220318_114940.jpg

@Smack in post No 414 then made a good observation about the absence of shut-off valves.

This is the new set up. Right side Fuel shut-off valve. Will have a zip tie on in the present open position.
20221011_181549.jpg

...and the left side shut off valve. In the open position.
20221011_181628.jpg


These will enable either tank, or both, to be drained or isolated.

With both in the off position there is very little fuel left in the line going to the gascolator if the bowl need to be removed/inspected.

When filling these tanks we have found that they very quickly equalise.
 

WaspAir

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