Building Mariah Gale

Graeme Monro

Newbie
Joined
Jun 20, 2008
Messages
285
Location
Ingham / Australia
Aircraft
2 homebuilt gyros
Total Flight Time
Forget
Fantasies

Fantasies

I feel we should stick to the book fantasy and who knows what will happen
Nothing wrong with having fantasies Vance, I used to lots of them about Dolly Parton.

Graeme.
 

Mark E

Newbie
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
592
Location
Singapore
Total Flight Time
A total of about 60 minutes dual hangin onto a stick in Cessna, a glider, and a gyrocopter.
I don’t have any idea how we would work toward that, I feel we should stick to the book fantasy and who knows what will happen.

Thank you, Vance
You are right Vance, the book should come first, then who knows what may happen?

I will certainly buy a copy, and we are certain that it will be written, for you are a man who makes things happen.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Easy to get lost.

Easy to get lost.

Hello Graeme,

We may not be referring to the same sort of fantasies; then again they may be closer than I first thought.


Thank you Mark,

I try not to get lost along the way.

Adventures take on a life of their own.

I appreciate your support and enthusisum.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Mariah Gale has taken a back seat to getting moved into Juliette and getting her working.

We are going to fly up to Hollister next Friday, May 27th for the Hollister Air Show and spend some time with Mike and Vince. I was too late to fly in the Air Show, maybe next year.

I continue to struggle with weight and balance to try to better understand the changes we have made compared to the Predator. I feel I will need to set aside several days do a good job. It is frustrating because of all the unknowns. It is less important now that we are going to build temporary Mains.

The way we have of mounting the mast allows waiting until more things are finished and weighed before we need to locate the rotorhead. It also will allow us to get her in and out of Jim’s garage.

We are at a point that you come to in every project where the to do list seems interminable.

Just over a year ago, 5/13/2010 I flew up to Georgetown and Jim and I started the to do list with: build frame layout table.

Since then the list has expanded exponentially. Each time we cross something off we add several more items.

In my experience the way this works is one day in the distant future the tasks become simpler and the list begins to get shorter and then finally and without much warning we are done with the lists and the test phase begins.

We are not that far from having the rolling chassis to Mike’s and beginning to make the mold for the body. Hopefully that will be about the time the empennage is finished. The cowl and cooling will be a challenge but the front body and most of the covers sort of design themselves.

Vince has less free time this time of year so it is hard for him to make time to work on her. Things will be better in the fall.

Jim and I have lots of Mariah Gale projects to work on in the meantime.

I asked Jim the last time I talked to him and he is still having lots of fun and is not sorry he started.

I am pleased to see what Mariah Gale is becoming and have learned a great dea. I continue to enjoy the daily challenges she presents.

I am glad to have you all along on the adventure.

Thank you, Vance
 

Arnie Madsen

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Messages
4,352
Location
Southport Aerospace - Manitoba Canada
Aircraft
Bell 47 G2
I probably will not explain it very well Vance , but to me , you and your friends and associates are what I would call "Old School Guys". You have made your mark many times in your lives. Now to see all of you put your various talents into something like a gyroplane is a story in itself.

You "Old Salts" have some ideas that are more modern than normal. We love your craftsmanship and ideas. That is the story we are captured by. It is rare and you have given us a glimpse. Never mind what the calendar says Vance , you guys will make it work in your own style.

Your gyro will probably be one-of-a-kind not intended to bring you revenue. Your book and your life story could very well produce revenue. Some thing to consider on the rainy days when you cannot fly or build.

The stories about your friends and fabricators is just as interesting. Include them all.

Treat your keypad as a source of future revenue. Everybody wants to hear your story. Guys like you do not come by very often.

Hope that makes sense.

Arnie
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
That is a very kind and insightful thing to say.

That is a very kind and insightful thing to say.

Thank you Arnie,

When I was racing I would remind myself that if I won it just meant that the fellow who could beat me wasn’t there or had trouble with his motorcycle.

I would remind myself that each thing was done one step at a time and if I could do it, it wasn’t that big a deal.

It was an important defense against becoming an egotistical jackass.

I was fortunate enough to stand with giants often and part of how I kept from acting foolish was to purposely devalue their greatness in my perception of them. They were a lot like me, just better at some particular thing. I suspect they appreciated being treated that way.

Mike, Smokey, Jim and I are past our glory days so it is easier to do. Vince has children near college age and continues to grow.

I forget that most people don’t get to stand with giants and the experience would have value to them as it does to me.

Thank you for reminding me just how special and interesting these friends are.

The point of the adventure is the adventure. It will be great if it finances future dreams but that is not the purpose of the effort. I can make more money with less effort in most businesses I have run.

I have discussed this at length with my friends and we are in agreement.

My highest goal is to inspire someone to chase their dream.

The best way I can do that is to have a magnificent adventure at my age with my limitations.

In my opinion adversity helps infuse a memory and I feel that denying adversity diminishes the adventure. I don’t clearly remember the adventures where everything went well.

I fly Mariah Gale in my imagination often and I love the idea that she may exceed people’s expectations.

I have not spent a single moment regretting the decision to begin this journey. I cannot say that about many of my larger challenges.

I hope you are right and it works out like we envision.

Thank you for your continued support, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Progress and reflection

Progress and reflection

I flew up to Hollister for the Hollister Air Show and Mike picked me up at the airport and we went over to his seat shop.

That is his seat shop on the right as I was on short final for 24 at Hollister.

Vince has been very busy, it is the busy time for the motorcycle business, and he has not had much time to work on the plug.

He has finished the root fairings and is working on keeping everything square with his tacked together steel frame.

Mike, Vince and I worked on the rudder control and we have the seed of a plan that will keep the cables out of sight. I have to get some measurements for Vince before we can get further down the road.

Vince has three big projects that will keep him busy through June.

He hopes to have the mold done and some parts made by the End of July.

Jim and I hope to have Maria Gale’s chassis to Hollister by September when Vince has more time so he can began to work on the body and seats.

I had a couple of lengthy conversations with Jim and we were trying to get a handle on the costs and time involved in building Mariah Gales so far.

We have established the official start date as June 15. It is amazing how much time Jim has found to work on her, almost 400 hours in eleven and a half months. To put that in perspective a working year is 2,000 hours.

I will do a little more research on the cost of stuff and will post it when I get a chance.

I will be busy with the Hollister Air Show this weekend and Phil and I are going to start the annual Tuesday.

I am hoping to fly up to Marysville for the Golden West Fly in and meet up with Mark Givan, the designer and builder of the Predator who is visiting California. I hope he will get a chance to fly her with the IO-320.

The very next weekend is the two day event that the Vertical Challenge has become in San Carlos.

It is fun to have destinations to fly and people to see.

Thank you, Vance
 

Attachments

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Cost for Materials$$$

Cost for Materials$$$

Several people in my EAA chapter have asked me about costs to build Mariah Gale and I see that the question of cost comes up often on the forum.

So far I have spent $1,394 on basic metals, $66 on shipping, $4,500 for the Lycoming IO320 core, $176 on the engine mount, $1,400 for various aircraft Spruce stuff $1,476 for my JPI EDM 700 and $600 for the Mooney empennage that we are not going to use.

That is $9,612 so far for parts to build Mariah Gale.

I suspect I am leaving out lots of little expenses because I don’t like to think about it in those terms. For me it must be done so I simply have to find a way to fund it.

I don’t know how much the composite materials in the empennage, body and the cowl are going to cost. The paint is expensive too.

I expect to have a little over $27,500 in parts, materials and the panel by the time she is finished. If I go with the new Sport Copter 9 inch chord rotor blades instead of using the 30 foot 8.5 inch chord set that I have now that will probably add another $8,000. I don’t have a firm price yet because I am not ready to buy.

We may also spend around $3,000 on some sort of supercharger or turbocharger if we find that she doesn’t have enough practical ceiling.

So far we are behind on the timeline because of an unscheduled funding interruption but on target on the budget.

It would not be hard to spend $40,000 on Mariah Gale.

It is not cheap to design and build a cross country gyroplane from scratch.

For me buying would almost always be less expensive but not as rewarding.

It has already been very gratifying for everyone involved and I expect the fun to escalate as she takes to the sky.

I expect our cross country trip will provide unimaginable joy and adventure as simply flying The Predator around here has.

There are still lots of potential pitfalls out there and that is part of the fun.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Airventure, Mentone and Bonneville are comming up.

Airventure, Mentone and Bonneville are comming up.

I am headed up to Jim’s on July 11th after the Cub fly in at Lompoc.

Jim has been working on the details of the front suspension so there was not much to take pictures of when I flew up to Marysville.

Once he attaches the keel she becomes very unwieldy so he wants to manage as much of the details as possible first. He hopes to have it attached by the 11th. The frame is almost 20 feet long.

Jim and I have regular design meetings and we are still very much aligned.

Vince is hoping to have the plug finished, the mold made and some parts out of it before I get back from Mentone.

I am going to stop by Mike’s seat shop on the way back from Greenwood.

Thank you, Vance
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,336
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Sounds as though things are progressing fine and as they should Vance.

The cost is important but not the bottom line. How does one put a monetary value on the pleasure derived, not just from the joy of flying the finished machine, but the innumerable wonderful interactions between individuals that one so much enjoys during the build process.

Lives touched, that would otherwise have been missed. Those who helped us make the dream become reality, and whose own dreams and workmanship are carried aloft together with ours.

Sure one has a budget, for some of the basic components, others, more intangible, defy valuation.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Slow progress!

Slow progress!

Thank you Leigh, I appreciate your encouragement.

We are at a stage where the little details consume a lot of time.

I would like things to move faster. I am satisfied with our pace.

I don’t want to be too old to fly her when she is finished and I want Jim to see the first flight.

I tried to explain at the beginning of this thread that this would be slower than most builds on the forum.

I only mentioned the money and time because of some inquires.

It seems like a wonderful adventure at an affordable price.

I am grateful that I seem to be able to manage the funding.

Ed is working to help pay for this very extravagant project.

The cost so far is just about what I imagined and it could easily go higher.

We have made some more progress on the airframe and seemed to be stalled on the empennage.

A report to follow.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
A visit with Mike and Vince on the way to Greenwood.

A visit with Mike and Vince on the way to Greenwood.

A little progress and hope for more.

I stopped my Mikes seat shop and Vince is busy on two projects for Sturgis so that probably puts off the first article until the end of August or the middle of September. Vince wants to get back on it but business needs to come first.

We are trying to get Mariah Gale up on her gear in time to get her to Mikes for the body and Cowl when things slow down in the fall. Mike thinks this will be easier than the empennage. I have tried to warn him how challenging the cowl will be and how carefully we have to manage the cooling but his enthusiasm seemed to drown out my words.

Mike had a big motorcycle event at his shop with thousands of motorcyclists showing up. The thing in the R&D shop that received the most interest was Mariah Gale’s empennage. Mike was surprised at the interest and amazed at the number of people who knew of the project. Vince is an artist and his art always draws attention.

Mike has one of the crashed streamliner bodies hanging from the ceiling in his lobby that has Vance Breese pilot written on the side in small letters. This new project nicely answers the question, “whatever happened to old Vance?” He plans of having an empennage sticking out of the wall as though I flew through it.

There has also been a lot of talk around the airport about The Predator at the Hollister Air Show. There is something about her that generates an inordinate amount of interest. I hope Mariah Gale comes close to touching people’s hearts the way The Predator does.

On to Greenwood, Vance
 

Attachments

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Steady progress!

Steady progress!

I spent some time with Jim and we had a fun and productive interaction.

We discussed all the things we will do differently when we build a second gyroplane. This is part of our protocol.

We feel we might save 5 pounds with modifications to the frame, have slightly less frontal area, manage the front of the frame for foot clearance differently and generally tidy things up. We would probably use a single 2 inch tube to mount the tail given the way the bracing in working out. For us this is a very short list and not enough to start over. We are both known for starting over when something is almost finished because we figured out a better way to do it.

Jim is trying to get a lot of the details done before he attaches the keel because it goes from being 8 feet long and 40 pounds to over 16 feet long and close to 50 pounds. It also will no longer fit flat on anything.

We moved Jim's very heavy motorcycle frame fixture so he can work on the assembled airframe. I could tell we were two people who had made a lot of mistakes because it took about 45 minutes to turn it 90 degrees and move it about 8 feet. We were very careful to not let it get out of control and just lifted it a half inch off the floor with my hydraulic die table. We are both old enough to hurt ourselves trying to manage a mistake with such a heavy item.

We worked on the panel mount and the bracing for the coil over dampener for the front suspension. We found out last time that I might have a toe clearance challenge so we raised the tube that the upper arm pivot mounts to and carries the load for the upper coil over mount. Jim was making little sheet metal braces for it when I arrived. We feel we have the front suspension loads pretty well managed for both up and back. We found ways to make most of the braces do double duty.

We have mocked up a radio and transponder tray in cardboard and have the measurements for all the instruments to make sure we don’t put a brace somewhere it will interfere with something. The cardboard angles will actually be sheet aluminum and mount on the side of the aluminum trays to take the load off the panel. The will bolt to a bracket on the front suspension braces.

The wood with the curved top represents a tube brace that bridges the frame and provides the lower panel mount and the attaching point for the aluminum braces. The aluminum braces will have a kink in them that allows them to go between the instruments and splay out. My engine instrument is heavy and long. The panel will be a little over an inch wider than my cardboard representation. The vertical card compass will be a separate bracket that will mount on the glare shield with a piece of foam and be vertical. The Garmin 695 will be at more of an angle and surface mounted to a separate plate.

The Black thing is aluminum and will become the Battery mount. Jim wants to cut some holes in it to make it lighter. The orange one is the one we didn’t use. We are reserving a decision on its placement so we can use the 13 pound battery to help address a balance challenge if we find one. We want the battery close enough to the engine to keep the starter and alternator wires short yet far enough away to not pick up too much heat.

The braces in pictures 10, 16 and 18 are for the front of the keel. On the Predator the front of the mount for the keel is splayed out to pick up the side rails. We feel it is good for strength but not good for airflow. We are trying to keep the tubes parallel to the airflow so we felt we needed the braces as part of our overbuilding for reliability. We feel the braces to the keel are at enough of an angle to fool the air into thinking they are streamlined. Only the vertical braces for the keel back under the engine mount will be streamlined tubing. There will be a cover over the base of the keel so all the cross tubes will not be disruptive to our drag reduction efforts.

Jim is hoping to get the keel attached before my next visit either on the way to AirVenture/Mentone or on the return.

We explored a new main suspension scheme and some modifications to the current one.

We are at a point where the little details consume a lot of time and things appear to move very slowly even though we feel we are making steady progress.

Thank you, Vance
 

Attachments

StanFoster

Newbie
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
16,880
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Vance- You are just an amazing person. Any more words just dilute my meaning.


Stan
 

ckurz7000

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,438
Location
Vienna
Aircraft
ArrowCopter
This story reminds me of the guys who built my house. I have a friend who is general contractor and doubled as an architect. He has a crew of 5 people who actually build (in brick, mortar, wood, steel, etc.) what he comes up with. When I came on to the construction site I was repeatedly amazed how they communicated. There was hardly a whole sentence spoken. A grunt here, a wink there, some body language that got picked up by someone and the right thing got done, the right tool found its way, the problems got solved efficiently. Those guys were all well past their 50th birthdays. The work they did was amazing.

I have the same feeling with the building of Mariah Gale. A bunch of very experienced guys who do excellent work without much extraneous and superfluous motions. Just look at the welded frame. Each welding joint is just a marvel.

I love to see it come together!

-- Chris.
 

Gyro_Kai

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
3,219
Location
near Frankfurt, Germany
Aircraft
MT-03, Calidus (rent)
Total Flight Time
about 150
It is a delight to follow this story of determined engineers putting a dream into reality. I'd love to watch you guys doing this. And the story is, as always, told as well as a good Dan Brown thriller.
Keep us posted,

Kai.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
The support of my friends feels great!

The support of my friends feels great!

Thank you Stan,

I appreciate the encouragement and your continued support.

You are the master craftsman and I marvel at the things you are able to envisage and bring to fruition.

Thank you Chris,

That is a very nice thing to say and we are certainly having a lot of fun.

None of us are aeronautical engineers so we don’t have a language to communicate in, a traditional protocol to follow or a methodology to quantify the result of our effort to understand gyroplane design.

We change things faster than I could draw them.

We make a lot of little sketches and Jim understands the goals.

I find it very exciting to see her coming alive.

I try to stay out of Jim’s way and I don’t even understand what Vince does or how he does it.

I get so excited about each little detail I have to slow down and breathe deep for a while before I post.

I am glad to have you along on our adventure.

Thank you Kai,

It pleases me to be a conduit of delight for you.

I appreciate the encouragement.

We are not engineers and I didn’t know who Dan Brown is.

I looked him up on the internet and he seems to be a remarkable writer.

I am flattered by the comparison.

Mariah Gale is more impressive in person and I do not have the language tools to describe her.

We are determined and I love to share the adventure with my friends.

I find the wait to fly her excruciating and yet I enjoy every step of the adventure.

This is the first gyroplane any of us has built. We are trying hard not to step out of the Predator’s silhouette so we have some reasonable expectation of building a successful aircraft.

I have been told that several of the concepts we are applying are on the edge.

I hope we can find the resources to fix whatever doesn’t work.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
A large pile of scrap!

A large pile of scrap!

Jim’s attitude was sorelytested Tuesday morning and today, Thursday. He did well.

Near the beginning of this thread I talked about scraping parts.

So far Jim has reworked very little and scrapped less than a pound of stuff.

That changed Tuesday morning.

Somewhere in the night of July 12 the answer came to me as to how to use something much closer to the original main gear design.

I spent the rest of the night until the early morning light trying to figure out what was wrong with what seemed a simple solution.

I love the process. There is often a big disappointment uncovered by careful examination of the concept.

We have been frustrated many times as the reality of making the fantasy out of metal shows where we missed some fatal error.

The original design had been scrapped because there was simply no way for the somewhat complex structure to fit in the space available.

It also made the cowl more complex than we wanted.

The original design had no tire scrub and no camber change throughout its 10 inches of travel.

The replacement design used some shapes in what I felt was a less desirable way, lost at least 1.5 inches of suspension travel and caused the keel attachment to be what both Jim and I felt was convoluted.

The design we have been working on, "Charlie" has never looked right to us.

We managed roll resistance in an afterthought sort of way with Charlie.

Charlie had two points that were fairly dirty aerodynamically.

After much doodling I was ready to present "India" to Jim.

Unfortunately my cad program took a major hit when my computer was infected with malware.

I was not able to send Jim a clear picture on India and I could not find the words to describe India in a coherent way.

Jim said that is the most excited he has heard me though out the build.

If Jim embraced India we would be scrapping more than a month of Jim’s work so I drove up Greenwood today trying to imagine how to deal with Jim’s annoyance.

We held tubes and parts in place and found a place to put everything that clears the fuel tank, the body and all of the structure.

The mounts that need to be strong already have a home with very little work.

The new keel has four tubes and is tapered in all directions and reinforced under the propeller. There will be lacing but it is not drawn in because we like to let the tubes show us where the lacing should go.

Jim was not annoyed and has enthusiastically embraced India.

We both felt that Charlie didn’t look right even though it was correct from a structural standpoint.

He feels that both the new keel design and new main gear look right.

Jim feels if it looks right it probably is right.

The new suspension has a much lower parts count and more direct load paths.

It is lighter and will probably work better with more conventional coil overs.

The new keel is lighter, shorter, has less parts and is at least as strong in all directions and better in some.

The empennage mounts in what I feel is a better way and I will approach Vince about the changes on my way to Air Venture. It scraps out some of his work too. It picks up the strength of the spars without compromising them or making the load path go around a corner like it does now.

The empennage also mounts higher in a way I feel will manage the torque roll better. We have a plan B if it doesn’t.

I have included the doodle that got it started. It is sort of the second iteration of Mariah Gale so she is much shorter. She is not for touring. I doodled her to answer the question; given what we have learned what would we do differently? The new design is from the headrest back.

The picture gives a rough idea of the rear view of one side of the new main gear.

I am sure that the design will change as we actually turn it to metal.

We made a very preliminary materials list today and Jim will refine it and probably order the material next week.

It is a iterative process and I will try to record the process and post it as it becomes relevant.

If it doesn’t make sense to you don’t feel bad, so far Jim and I are the only ones that embrace it.

Ed kind of likes the way it looks compared to the other design.

Thank you, Vance
 

Attachments

Last edited:

choppergabor

Newbie
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
4,864
Location
Sunshine State
Aircraft
N65GK Behemoth
Total Flight Time
Too few to mention
Vance I do like this concept better too if my opinion counts at all. It is admirable to be able to scrap an idea and go with one that is more doable or better design for whatever reason than trying to make the original idea work at any price. I have learned that on my own while building and figuring out things on the Behemoth. Every time I am sticking to something "brilliant" I have had come up with and run into problems with it I never really solve it! And I did end up with re doing it anyways :) Good for you being able to let go! BTW I do love to watch this thread. :)
 

JEFF TIPTON

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
2,860
Location
DICKSON, TN
Aircraft
Grumman AA5
Total Flight Time
1280
Vance just trying to visualize the concept. Would I be correct in assuming two sets of tubes, a left and right if you will, from the fuselage back to the tail assembly?
 
Top