Building a laminate shell on a Dominator or similar

Good afternoon folx,
I find myself with the schoolyear winding down and a bit more free time than I should be allowed but not the freedom I will have in 4 years when I retire from teaching so I am thinking about things and thinking takes me dangerous places.
Anyway what I am wondering is this: would it be possible and what would be the downside to taking a Dominator or similar beast and building an enclosed cabin on it? I have worked pretty extensively in vaccuum bagging fiberglass and carbon fiber so I am not really worried about the how to do it but more if there is a big why not to it. One might ask about the why do it at all, and i have to say I don't think I could ever get used to the lawnchair in the air vibe of most of the no body ultralights I have seen, and the semi enclosed i think would be more comfortable to me fully enclosed. I might be a wuss. But that aside what would be the negatives of such?


Sling-Wing Pilot
You will change the aerodynamics, I had a removable pod on my dominator, I would put it on for winter flying, the biggest thing that it did was reduce my rudder authority during low power landing descent.
Also you will create more side area, so you may need a larger tail, or may have to move the tail farther back, you do not want the machine to swap ends.


Gyroplane CFI
In my opinion adding side area ahead of the center of gravity requires the addition side area behind the center of gravity to keep the aircraft from swapping ends.

In other word if the center of pressure is ahead of the center of gravity it wants to weathervane into the wind tail first.

That is why the feathers are at the back of an arrow.

In my opinion more rudder volume will be required to maintain your rudder authority.

Rudder volume is the side area times the distance of the 25% chord line from the center of gravity.

There have been a number of mishaps in gyroplanes from getting the center of pressure ahead of the center of gravity by adding bodywork.
Thank you guys. I felt like there was probably a good reason and that it was almost certainly a matter of aerodynamics. Vance thank you for the formula on rudder volume.Is there a danger of overbuilding a tail if one were to try to do so? Lots and lots of research ahead of me fortunately I have time to do it. I am still four years out from teacher retirement and a few more from paying off the house. Alan thank you for the Dominator Eagle links.


Gyroplane CFI
In my opinion Brian I can never have too much rudder volume.

Space, weight and style are the things that limit the size of the rudder on most gyroplanes.

Part of what I like about the American Ranger is its generous rudder volume.

In my opinion the effectiveness of an aerodynamic surface goes up or down by the square of the change in speed.

What this means to me is as I get slow (low indicated air speed) just before touch down I have much less rudder authority than I did at 50kts indicated air speed on approach.

I use the rudder to align the aircraft with the direction of travel so if I don't have enough rudder authority I need to let the gyroplane turn into the wind.

In my opinion the rudder is not for steering a gyroplane, it is simply for controlling yaw.

In gusting conditions this can become problematic unless my touch down ground speed is very low.

When landing with a tail wind keeping the aircraft aligned with the direction of travel may become difficult.

I urge you to try different brands and models of aircraft, find what you like and then work on improving that.

I have found as I gain flight experience in divergent gyroplanes my tastes and desires change.

Often there is a way to fly around something I find distasteful.


When the manufacturer is still around it is always a good idea to email or call them about a thought on design change. My guess is Ernie has likely explored the idea of a cabin enclosure at one time or another. He could probably tell you why that Avenue wasn’t pursued. When Marion Springer put a shell on her Bensen she said it became unstable. The same thing happened to the Sportster gyro when doors were installed. Helicopter Ed put a scorpion cabin on his gyro. It caused it to enter an uncontrolled nose down condition. Be very cautious