Building Mariah Gale

SgurlEd

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Ask Vance's log book
Ed- Tell Vance it looks like only a helicopter can take off out there now. ha. We are getting hit with more snow.

Stan
Stan,
The winds are high I don't think their are any helicopters out there...if they are they are nuts!! A local gas stations heavey carport blew over in the middle of the night it had to take pretty high winds to knock that thing down it was huge and weighed a least a ton!

We are lucky though...we don't have snow they said something on the weather channel about sunshine on Thursday and Friday then the rain will be back on Christmas day!

♥Ed♥
 

Graeme Monro

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Forget
News?

News?

Nothing happening with the project?
You have not sold it and gone to fixed wing have you?

I do enjoy keeping up with what is happening in your lives Vance and Ed and hope one day to meet and see first hand your touring gyro.

Graeme.
 

Vance

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Nipomo,California
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Givens Predator
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Ongoing adventure

Ongoing adventure

Nothing happening with the project?
You have not sold it and gone to fixed wing have you?

I do enjoy keeping up with what is happening in your lives Vance and Ed and hope one day to meet and see first hand your touring gyro.

Graeme.
Hello Graeme,

Vince has been off work for a week between Christmas and New Year and works on the empennage in his spare time at work.

I flew up to Hollister on January 4 and he was working on getting the plugs straight for the mold. I took him up flying and he seemed to like it. I posted about it in flying photos thread called “lessons re-learned” because I made some poor aviation decisions.

We do not yet have a plan for managing the rudder and I hope to work that out next week.

This is a slow time of the year for the motorcycle business so I tend to have a discretionary cash flow interruption.

Jim has finished the pedals and brake master cylinder mounts. He is waiting on funds from me to order the material for the keel and rear suspension.

I am finishing year end things at work and getting ready for our trade show in Cincinnati in February. I probably won’t get up to Greenwood before I get back from the trade show around the middle of February. If all goes well we may fund the rest of the project at the show if it doesn’t the cost of the show puts a big dent in my discretionary cash flow.

I won’t know about my taxes until the latter part of February and that also affects the available funds.

We always enjoy meeting people from the forum that we only know from their posts. I wish we could spend time with all of our friends here.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

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More progress on the empennage!

More progress on the empennage!

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I flew up to Hollister today in the Predator and I will write about what I learned about flyingin in another thread.

Vince is working on two big projects and probably won’t get to work on the empennage for several days. Mike is working on a fender and bags for the Harley Davidson FLH and Vince needs to make the tooling. They are also working some other projects. The empennage for Mariah Gale is a side job, making a living needs to come first.

He did get the rudder separated from the Vertical stabilizer and braced it with wood to keep it aligned. We still don’t have a really good scheme to manage the rudder.

Vince is still excited from his motorcycle in the sky experience and he doesn’t understand why more people aren’t gyroplane enthusiasts.

I offered Mike a ride but he demurred.

The picture shows how Vince used wood to keep the shape and alignment.

I wish I could explain how exactly this all becomes a plug for the mold but I don’t understand it either. I love the parts and I look forward to taking pictures of the finished empennage.

Thank you, Vance
 
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animal

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Wow that is looking good.
this is going to be a sweet machine when done for sure. you have a lot of great people helping with this Build.
 

All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
That is exceptional work!!!
This is exciting and can't wait to see the lay-up!
 

Vance

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The thinking goes on.

The thinking goes on.

I spent a lot of time on the phone with Jim this morning.

I started by explaining what I had been learning about flying further, faster on less fuel and what I had learned flying to 12,700 feet.

We have been working on the same design challenge.

Making the A arms for the main gear is going to use up close to $800 worth of streamline 4130 tubing.

I have been rethinking the need for a wide base on the A arms.

In my opinion the primary need for strength is in torsion for braking and steering.

The back side of the A is in compression and I feel that there is not that much strength.

If it bends a little during steering it will be turning in the correct direction.

I did not want to use an single airfoil cover because I felt it would act like a wing. If we reduce the size of the bottom of the A I feel this challenge become is mitigated.

We could reverse the A but then the smaller tube would be in front. It would be in tension so that is another possibility.

I think a slightly larger airfoil shape covering the entire A would probably create less drag without becoming a wing.

We kicked around several schemes and at present we do not have a final answer.

Jim likes the idea of making the streamlining structural, I lean more toward a cover with internal structure between the legs of the A.

It is fun how much we think alike in spite of coming at things from such different backgrounds and experience.

I hope to get back to work on her when I return from our trip to Cincinnati around the Middle of February.

Hopefully by then we will have a final design and begin the fabrication.

I hope to visit Mike and Vince before we leave.

Thank you, Vance
 

Resasi

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Vance, glad to hear that though life is getting in the way a little the project continues on it's journey to gestation. Just a step in the whole endevour. The empenage you are presently doing certainly looks very attractive.

Ed your pictures and weather report does let us know that despite the image many of us have of a California sunlit paradise, things can and do get 'interesting' from time to time wherever we might be.

Just a personal opinion, based upon recent world wide abnormal and upset weather I think that we may all perhaps see this as a continuing trend for a bit. I prefer not to speculate why, simply see that historically large excursions like this have happened before and hope that it does get too bad before calming down again.
 

StanFoster

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Vance- Just a thought on what Leigh just said about "life getting in the way" of your Mariah Gale project. In my opinion, life getting in the way is a very good thing. Your project is a monumental task of many design decisions. Time brings out more ideas, and allows you to research and get more feedback from your pool of experts you have gathered. In my case building the Helicycle, besides building stairways, what got in my way is the large time between shipments. Mind you I had nothing to design like you do Vance, but even so.
I still needed those "about 2 weeks" periods of time to think out my instrument panel desiign, accessories, better wiring techniques, color scheme, etc. Had my kit been dumped in one shipment, I would have built it easily in a years time instead of the 2.5 years it took. But that extra year and a half of waiting caused me to think of ways that improved my build had I just had all the parts in the beginning. In your case Vance, you are designing from scratch and your build thread shows it simply takes time to plan your next move. Your design challenges need time to evolve. When you are done with Mariah Gale, your list of what you would have done different if you were to build her again will be very minimal. That's the beauty of time cleaning up and minimizing this list. My Helicycle was a predesigned kit, with not near the decisions you have, but I can look at it and really don't have anything that comes to mind what I would have done differently. Time is an asset! You are doing a remarkable job weaving all your complex decisions together into a gyroplane that will be absolutely stunning, and the mission you and Ed will experience with your cross the USA book will give us all lots of enjoyable "time" living your experiences through this book. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. Stan
 

Vance

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Givens Predator
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Thank you for your support.

Thank you for your support.

Thank you Leigh, I always enjoy what you have to say because of your extensive and varied aviation experiences.

You have such a lovely way of putting things.

Thank you for the nice thoughts Stan.

I am in no hurry and it looks like we are going to miss our body building window and have to wait for the fall. We may test fly her without the body to get all the systems working well before we complicate them with the body.

I tried to make it clear at the beginning that this would be a long project. Everyone is working on it in their spare time and as Leigh says, “life is getting in the way.”

I also have to pace the build to match my discretionary income. If Jim, Vince and Mike would work on Mariah Gale full time I couldn’t afford to keep up with the materials purchases.

Santa Maria Software has lost more than 30 percent of the customers to the recession and expenses have increased so this has diminished the available funds. I feel that business is starting to pick up and we hope to have a successful show in Cincinnati.

I continue to work on my aviation skill set so I will be prepared as a pilot to develop Mariah Gale and then make our journey.

As you know each hour of flying is expensive.

It would be difficult to quantify the value of the flight experience.

I continue to learn relevant aviation skills to enhance our journey and expand our options.

We have been working on Mariah Gale since May of 2010. In my opinion best case is we are ready to leave in the spring of 2012. We still want to find an agent and a publisher before we start. It would not surprise me if we didn’t start until 2013.

Thank you, Vance
 

MarkG

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Vance

On the main landing gear, have you though of using a sprung aluminum landing gear, like a Cessna uses on their 152's, 172's or 182's?? You could then use the same type bolt on axles and make a airfoil cover out of aluminum to go over the strut. You could probably then utilize the strut to wheel pant fairings and wheel pants right off a Cessna....... There used to be a place that would bend up the gear to your specs that advertised in the Homebuilders magazines... ie... Kitplanes..... EAA..... etc.....
 

Vance

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An excellent suggestion Mark!

An excellent suggestion Mark!

Thank you for the excellent suggestion Mark.

I spent a lot of time with Grove figuring weight, cost and an appropriate design. He was very generous with his information and time. He often makes custom landing gear for experimentals. He even has an option to make the gear in an air foil shape.

The gear has an additional advantage of providing a nice place for steps to aid in boarding Mariah Gale.

It would simplify the structure of the keel.

I suspect that what we build will be more expensive than the Grove gear.

It will certainly be more complicated.

Jim and I both feel we can design and build suspension that is lighter than the estimated 22 pounds of the Grove gear.

This is probably silly but both of us have spent a lot of time learning about motorcycle and racing car suspension and we would like to apply some of that knowledge to Mariah Gale to enhance her off airport capability and her ability to manage inelegant landings.

We are looking for more travel, roll resistance and hydraulic dampening.

My friend Gil at Works Performance who builds motorcycle suspension will build anything we want with any sort of dampening and springing we can imagine.

We realize that the hydraulic dampening may be of little value in aviation and tire scrub make be completely satisfactory for managing the return of energy. We are in our own world having fun and learning.

We feel it will be interesting to explore aviation suspension. We both cringe when we watch inelegant landings that seem to be exacerbated by suspension without dampening.

Thank you, Vance
 

MarkG

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Thank you for the excellent suggestion Mark.

I spent a lot of time with Grove figuring weight, cost and an appropriate design. He was very generous with his information and time. He often makes custom landing gear for experimentals. He even has an option to make the gear in an air foil shape.

The gear has an additional advantage of providing a nice place for steps to aid in boarding Mariah Gale.

It would simplify the structure of the keel.

I suspect that what we build will be more expensive than the Grove gear.

It will certainly be more complicated.

Jim and I both feel we can design and build suspension that is lighter than the estimated 22 pounds of the Grove gear.

This is probably silly but both of us have spent a lot of time learning about motorcycle and racing car suspension and we would like to apply some of that knowledge to Mariah Gale to enhance her off airport capability and her ability to manage inelegant landings.

We are looking for more travel, roll resistance and hydraulic dampening.

My friend Gil at Works Performance who builds motorcycle suspension will build anything we want with any sort of dampening and springing we can imagine.

We realize that the hydraulic dampening may be of little value in aviation and tire scrub make be completely satisfactory for managing the return of energy. We are in our own world having fun and learning.

We feel it will be interesting to explore aviation suspension. We both cringe when we watch inelegant landings that seem to be exacerbated by suspension without dampening.

Thank you, Vance
Your welcome Vance!! It was just a thought on the KIS it philosphy. (Keep It Simple) The more moving parts the more possible points of failure....
 

Vance

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I agree with you Mark.

I agree with you Mark.

Simple is better and buying is simpler than building.

Using what is known to work in safer than inventing something.

Jim and I are both suspension enthusiasts and the way they do suspension on most aircraft makes us crazy.

What we have come up with is so strange we sort of have to do it just to see if we can make it work.

I need to find another 6 feet of wing strut like we are using on the front.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

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Progress on the empennage.

Progress on the empennage.

I visited Vince in Hollister and he has been busy with real work so the progress is slower.

He has been working on the rudder detail and fabricated an insert to keep the sides of the plug straight.

He has also been working on the curve that the rudder will fit in.

He hopes to get some time this week and make some real progress.

I am going to drop by on the way back because Jim and I may have discovered a potential conflict with the way the horizontal stabilizer is mounted.

Corbin is ramping up for spring in the motorcycle world so Vince's time is harder to get on non comercial projects.

Thank you, Vance
 

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PW_Plack

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Vance, your process is entertaining and enlightening. This is what experimental aircraft are about.

I can see the engineering elegance of making the weight of a tire do double duty as a tire and a friction device for damping the gear.

And yet, the little Aeronca Champs in which I learned to fly used "oleo struts" on an aircraft with an empty weight of just 740 pounds. So, you're not the only one who thinks they have value.

I have never tried to land a Cessna in the rain or on ice, but I'm told that's where the limitations of tire-scrub-as-shock-absorber become clear.
 

Vance

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Second version of pedals & mounts.

Second version of pedals & mounts.

Jim has made real progress on the second version of the brake pedals and rudder controls.

It is light, strong and should work well.

Here are a few pictures of the details.

Thank you, Vance
 

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Vance

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Nose Gear.

Nose Gear.

The parts that make up the nose wheel mount and pivot are further along.

It is very light and surprisingly strong.

The bearings are in place for the pivot and the pivot bolt is ready.

The axel still needs to be finished and the pivot welded in place.

Thank you, Vance
 

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choppergabor

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I love watching the fabrication process. Things are coming together very nicely Vance. Impressive solutions and everything seems well thought out and well fabricated also. Thank you for keeping us updated :)
 

Vance

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The Keel.

The Keel.

The keel is mostly assembled and tack welded into place.

Jim hopes to finish it up before my next visit so we can match it up with the empennage.

The front is a little long so we have more options and we have a straight section for the lower tube, it is upside down in the jig, to mount the pivots for the suspension.

We worked on the design of the tail wheel mount and tail wheel suspension.

We both feel it can actually be lighter if it has some suspension instead of mounting it ridged.

We refined the design for the mount for the empennage.

We have the box that joins the keel with the main airframe designed and ready to go.

It has an extra brace on each side the goes back almost to the propeller.

The brace is not about strength but about raising the frequency that the keel and empennage resonate above what we imagine the frequency of the perturbation that is present.

The legs are straight so they can be faired individually.

The keel will be covered.

We have some extra length so we have options if things change.

Thank you, Vance
 

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