Butterfly to bring back gyroglider training

EI-GYRO

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I guess it should be called a boom-glider.
I hope he videos a few novices on this thing to make sure they dont find any new
way to screw it up.
It is certainly an interesting approach.
He may be using the standard ball-hitch to limit the vertical range.
 

PW_Plack

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...He may be using the standard ball-hitch to limit the vertical range.
But what happens to a ball hitch if you hit that limit?

I've seen jack-knifed cars with small trailers on ball hitches that didn't let go, so they must be pretty secure, but I like Doug's idea.
 

EI-GYRO

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I guess if you had a big enough load, something would have to give, but I don't
think the lift of a boom-glider would be enough. It should work well enough as a limiter.
That said, maybe that was just what he had to hand. :)

Barring some student finds a new way to screw it up, it seem like a good idea.
 

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I agree that this looks like a great way to accelerate the initial student learning curve in a very controlled way.

The observer is ideally placed to see exactly what the student is doing, how he responds to what is happening and instructions he is being given, and to give him a detailed and ongoing critique on his handling technique.

Am exceedingly interested how this progresses Doug, what glitches occurr if any and best practices that evolve when using it.

I feel this is an ideal training tool and would be interested in trying to get one up and running over here if at all possible.
 

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Doug

Do you know how much runway was needed to lift off when using the pre-rotor ??

Tony
 

Doug Riley

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I'd suggest rigging the trainer so that it can make excursions left and right of the tow car.

The nose will continue to point toward the car even when the glider is far off to one side. As a result, the mains should be castered, so that an unintentional crabbed landing doesn't result in a rollover. Such accidents can be pretty rough.
 

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I saw a video from P. Rico where the instructors seats in the back of a small pick up, facing the glider and talks to the student via intercom. Simple rigg but cable towing.
Heron
 

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Doug
Do you know how much runway was needed to lift off when using the pre-rotor ??
Tony
Tony,

I don't know how many feet it took to get off the ground but I would guess several hundred feet. However, I don't see that as really important because I would think you are going to want a runway or straight flat area that is at least 5,000 ft long in order to be able to stay in the air for a while before you have to land and turn around. While a place like El Mirage may allow for continuous running, the rest of us are going to need a very long and very lightly used runway to make this kind of training practical. The airport I plan to use for this kind of operation has a main runway that is over 7,500 ft long by 100 ft wide. It also has pretty low traffic normally (averages 65 aircraft operations per day).

Doug,

The way Larry has it set up, the rudder is operational and the boom allows the gyro to move from side to side. However I do not believe he has changed the main gear from the standard Bensen configuration. I will talk to him about that and see what he has to say about that risk. Thanks for the thought.
 

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I'm pretty sure I've posted Chapter 62's experience with the boomtrainer but I can't find it in this thread. So, I'll do it again!

This post will cover several replies I could have made in this thread.

First the boomtrainer has hazards of its own. It can be rolled! Chapter 62 managed to do it because of an untrained tow team and a good gyro pilot that made a bad decision. Without going into detail (I know it is on the Forum some where!) the boomtrainer landed off to one side and without our castering wheels installed, it twisted the boom and rolled over. The very simple roll bar kept the one injury to road rash on one arm of the pilot. After thinking about it I don't believe castering wheels are a good idea, particularly if the tow driver puts the trainer on the ground off to one side which is what happened in the Chapter 62 roll over incident.

The boomtrainer is pitch limited and also yaw limited but not as much in yaw as pitch. You can achieve a pretty severe yaw angle! But I don't think it is a good idea to check out the limits since it really doesn't serve any training purpose that I can see. Craig Wall, who probably has more boomtrainer experience that anyone here could give more insight.

The last email address I have for Craig is [email protected] Don't be put off if you get an email back saying you are an idiot! That is just the way he is! He doesn't do it to all of us all the time and it is usually when something out of the norm is suggested.

I can't tell exactly what Larry has done with the boom but if he has added a flex joint or two where the trainer can climb level without the tow hitch interfering and also use the roll axis along with a rudder then all three control axis will be in play. I guess the concern would be rotor contact with the ground if these were all in play.

Paul mentioned the Subaru Brat as a tow vehicle and while he may have said it in jest, a small vehicle, at least low in height, would be my first choice. Vans or pickups do block some air to the rotors which leads to a longer takeoff run. The Chapter 62 trainer does have an electric prerotator but one of the things a boomtrainer teaches is rotor management so it wouldn't be used at first. The pilot will know when he is in 'clean' air once he gets off the ground. I happen to have an ole Honda Del Sol that I'd like to try as a boomtrainer tow vehicle.

I mentioned a trained towing team and that is one of the things Craig will mention if you talk to him. He feels it is extremely important. Also communication between pilot and tow team is required. Though hand signals have been used there can be misunderstandings as some experienced glider pilots can tell you! The Chapter 62 boomtrainer has a wired intercom. It was intended to install a air speed indicator for the tow driver but that has never been implemented.
 

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Dean, I was joking about the Brat because of its rear-facing seats in the bed, but good thought about the blocked air.

The video Larry posted shows the ability to climb level behind the tow vehicle, so there's obviously a pitch-agile joint at both ends of the boom.

I'm curious...how would castering wheels have a downside if the tow driver put the glider down off to one side?
 

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Paul, the problem I see with the castoring wheels is if the driver messes up and lets the boomtrainer land off to one side and slows quickly (the Chapter 62 driver stopped!) then the speed of the trainer will be faster than the tow vehicle for a bit.

When that happens I can see the boom whipping around and trying to smack up against the tow vehicle. Obviously the travel is going to get limited but there could be some consequences when the limit is reached.

There are a couple of other things I didn't mention about safety; one is wearing a helmet and eye protection (autos do kick up debris!) and using adequate safety restraint. The Chapter 62 trainer uses 4 point harnesses and they came into use during the roll over incident.
 

RotoPlane

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Paul, the problem I see with the castoring wheels is if the driver messes up and lets the boomtrainer land off to one side and slows quickly (the Chapter 62 driver stopped!) then the speed of the trainer will be faster than the tow vehicle for a bit.

When that happens I can see the boom whipping around and trying to smack up against the tow vehicle. Obviously the travel is going to get limited but there could be some consequences when the limit is reached.
I thought the same thing could happen as Dean, so I figured it would be wise to limit the boom side to side arc with cables. I still kinda like a rope better though…...;).
 

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Paul, the problem I see with the castoring wheels is if the driver messes up and lets the boomtrainer land off to one side and slows quickly (the Chapter 62 driver stopped!) then the speed of the trainer will be faster than the tow vehicle for a bit.

When that happens I can see the boom whipping around and trying to smack up against the tow vehicle. Obviously the travel is going to get limited but there could be some consequences when the limit is reached...
Dean, I hadn't considered jacknifing, but yes, if a driver was that careless or unknowing, I can see the issue. Whatever device at the tow vehicle end limited the lateral motion of of hundreds of pounds on a 20-foot arm would surely lose, and you'd lose a cable, bend the boom, or probably can-opener the hitch off either the boom or the back of the vehicle. Yikes.

The time I got in the cable glider at El Mirage answered a lot of my questions. When it's time to stop, the drivers start with plenty of room to spare and just take their foot off the gas, no brakes, and let the gyroglider slow the truck with its own drag, so the cable never goes slack.
 

EI-GYRO

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The trouble with making things fool-proof is that it encourages the proliferation of fools.

Either the boom-trainer or gyroglider, constructed and operated AS PER BENSEN, is
a reasonably safe proposition. Not risk-free, but reasonably safe.

If you deviate from Bensen, as in not having spring-centred castoring wheels on the boom-trainer,
for instance, or not having a quick-release on a gyroglider,you are probably constructing
your first accident.

It's not rocket science.

If you want to entertain fools with joyrides, make a two-seat glider, and give rides.

Anyone who cant/wont read and absorb Bensen's training guide, should not be let
near either boom-trainer or gyroglider.

Some things simply require a bit of application to do safely, and there's no way round it.

I hope Larry Neal videos his student's efforts. I would be interested to see a few
'first flights' on the boom-trainer.

In theory, a properly set up boom-trainer could be adequately flown by a sack of potatoes as pilot.

Without spring-centred castoring wheels, and operated on concrete/tarmac, an overturn is nearly guaranteed.
 

RotoPlane

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I was told to use the rudder, something any glider should have, and keep the glider center-line parallel to the direction of travel. My driver would slow enough just before touch-down, that the rope would slacken and allow rudder control, regardless how far off center I was from the towing vehicle. The glider I used also had mechanical scuff brakes on the front wheel.

I have not used a boom but I can't see how it would be safer than a nylon rope. A boom certainly wouldn't give you the freedom of movement that a rope can provide and I don't see it as a good stepping-stone to powered flight.
 

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I was told to use the rudder, something any glider should have.....
Actually, Ed, most gliders were built following the Bensen plans and never had a rudder. Since the rope locates the nose there is no need for a rudder. However, the vertical stabilizer is needed on a glider to provide weathervaning and help force the glider in line with the tow vehicle. It is my understanding that the roll axis is normally used to bank a gyro through a turn in most cases and not the rudder.
A boom certainly wouldn't give you the freedom of movement that a rope can provide and I don't see it as a good stepping-stone to powered flight.
You are right, there is limited range of movement with a boom although Larry's looks like a different animal and appears to provide more than is typical.

As far 'as a stepping stone to powered flight goes', when it comes to transitioning from a heavy two place trainer to a light single place then it may have a purpose. The unfinished Chapter 62 training system incorporated a boomtrainer before powered training commenced. And then after the powered training was completed the student was again run through the boomtraining process to get ready for assuming flight in a light gyro. I asked Craig Wall what his thoughts were about attaching a boom to the students gyro instead and using it for the transition. After taking time out to call me an idiot, he said sure it could and should be done. It seems that I wasn't the first to think about doing that and others have actually done it. I believe I saw a pix once that showed a powered machine being towed but I don't recall if it was as a glider or a boom was used.

In using the students machine as a boomtrainer to transition, the student becomes comfortable in the environment he will be operating in and how the lighter machine responds to cyclic input. And I suppose rudder also if there is a desire to use it. Some experience in the unpowered machine should prepare the student once he undertakes powered flight since he has developed some feel for how his machine responds to cyclic input. Then all he has to be concerned about is how the machine responds when under power. This is all supposition on my part and subject to challenge. I reserve the right to change my mind!
 

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Actually, Ed, most gliders were built following the Bensen plans and never had a rudder. Since the rope locates the nose there is no need for a rudder. However, the vertical stabilizer is needed on a glider to provide weathervaning and help force the glider in line with the tow vehicle. It is my understanding that the roll axis is normally used to bank a gyro through a turn in most cases and not the rudder.
Exactly right!:yo:
And the cyclic is used to maintain position over the runway. You can make excursions out left and right, but don't touch down out there!
 

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Actually, Ed, most gliders were built following the Bensen plans and never had a rudder. Since the rope locates the nose there is no need for a rudder. However, the vertical stabilizer is needed on a glider to provide weathervaning and help force the glider in line with the tow vehicle. It is my understanding that the roll axis is normally used to bank a gyro through a turn in most cases and not the rudder.
This is true Dean, but there was a reason for this rudder madness. He wanted us to learn to fly off center of the tow-car as I mentioned above, and this required the use of a rudder. Also we didn't stop at the end of the runway...we round-housed it like a water skier. He didn't want the gyro going sideways too fast and so we added rudder to keep heading into the relative wind (yep, we had tell-tails). The other reason was the winds were always changing direction relative to the runway and the rudder helped to keep the gyro going in the direction we wanted it to fly....oh…and we needed it when we cut the rope loose and glided in for a landing. Perhaps I am too tired to make this more sensible ;).
 
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