Calidus Instructor Pack

JJ Campbell

Junior Member
I'm in the early stages of planning to buy and build a Calidus (Currently working on Sport Fixed-Wing License.) Since I'll soon be 73, it is taking me a lot of hours to get my license and then I need my gyro endorsement and then the huge expense of the Calidus.

Needless to say, I'm worried about having the funds to do all this and am taking a good look at all optional expenses.

I'd love the groups input on the Pros/Cons of including the Instructor Pack in my build.
 

Tomgyro

New member
Before you spend your money, I strongly suggest you check out the AR-1C from Silverlight aviation. I'm assuming you have flown in the Calidus. Please do yourself a hugh favor and fly some of the other gyros. Magni and Titanium explorer are two other good machines. This will prevent " buyer's remorse" should the Calidus not turn out to be your perfect fit.
Secondly, if you are looking to fly the gyro as your primary machine stop your fixed wing lessons now. Now, not after you get your Sport Pilot rating. You will need to unlearn many control responses and habits from the FW to safely fly the gyro.
Next, I'd recommend Steve Rastanis in Louisiana or Greg Spicola in Zepherhills, Fl for an intro flight and discussion about flight training.
There are quite a few more instructors out there but I know these two. In the long run you will save many hours and possibly tens of thousands of dollars by listening to this advice.
And no what you choose to do enjoy your gyro flying.
 

JJ Campbell

Junior Member
I've been told by three different gyroplane CFIs (not fixed-wing) that I am better off perusing my fixed-wing license since I will get a better grasp of the basics in a fixed-wing. They also point out the difficulty of directly obtaining my license via the gyroplane route since there are few if any gyros that I will be able to solo in.

I know the AR-1 is supposedly available enclosed but I have yet to see even a photo of one. I am definitely not a fan of the open cockpit gyros. Another problem with the AR is that I live in Northern Virginia and if I build it in Florida, I'd either have to fly off the 40 hour Phase 1 there or trailer it home (not to mention motel and restaurants).

I live an hour and fifteen minute commute from Autogyro at W29 Bay Bridge and it is where I am taking my fixed-wing lessons. Since, I know I love the Calidus and it also eliminates a ton of logistical headaches, I would need a substantially compelling reason to seek solutions elsewhere.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
No Title

JJ Campbell;n1135866 said:
I've been told by three different gyroplane CFIs (not fixed-wing) that I am better off perusing my fixed-wing license since I will get a better grasp of the basics in a fixed-wing. They also point out the difficulty of directly obtaining my license via the gyroplane route since there are few if any gyros that I will be able to solo in.

I know the AR-1 is supposedly available enclosed but I have yet to see even a photo of one. I am definitely not a fan of the open cockpit gyros. Another problem with the AR is that I live in Northern Virginia and if I build it in Florida, I'd either have to fly off the 40 hour Phase 1 there or trailer it home (not to mention motel and restaurants).

I live an hour and fifteen minute commute from Autogyro at W29 Bay Bridge and it is where I am taking my fixed-wing lessons. Since, I know I love the Calidus and it also eliminates a ton of logistical headaches, I would need a substantially compelling reason to seek solutions elsewhere.
I am a gyroplane CFI in California JJ and I feel getting your fixed wing certificate first may not be the best approach if you want to fly a gyroplane. You will learn a lot about flying a fixed wing that is not applicable to gyroplanes. Some of it will need to be unlearned to fly a gyroplane well.

If you buy or build your gyroplane first and take your lessons in it you will save a lot of money by not renting the instructors aircraft.

I have a client who wants to do it that way in an AR-1 and Abid has a very reasonable charge for flying phase one (it requires an appropriately rated pilot).

In my opinion going from no rating to Sport Pilot, Gyroplane can be done in less than a month if you are willing to work at it; particularly in an easy to fly aircraft like the AR-1.

I wish you all the best on your Gyroplane adventure.
 

Attachments

Tyger

Member
Vance;n1135869 said:
I am a gyroplane CFI in California JJ and I feel getting your fixed wing certificate first may not be the best approach if you want to fly a gyroplane. You will learn a lot about flying a fixed wing that is not applicable to gyroplanes. Some of it will need to be unlearned to fly a gyroplane well.

If you buy or build your gyroplane first and take your lessons in it you will save a lot of money by not renting the instructors aircraft.
How can he do his solo if he does not already own his own gyro?
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Tyger;n1136063 said:
How can he do his solo if he does not already own his own gyro?
Sorry if I didn't understand you question Tyler.

In the first post in this thread JJ said he was going to buy or build a gyroplane.

In my opinion there is no reason to wait till you have a rating to buy or build a gyroplane.

With a flight instructor package he can train in his own aircraft and save money because he is not renting the instructors aircraft..
 

Tyger

Member
Vance;n1136065 said:
Sorry if I didn't understand you question Tyler.

In the first post in this thread JJ said he was going to buy or build a gyroplane.

In my opinion there is no reason to wait till you have a rating to buy or build a gyroplane.

With a flight instructor package he can train in his own aircraft and save money because he is not renting the instructors aircraft..
Yes, but in his second post he said that one of the reasons he was pursuing his fixed-wing certificate (as the first step to getting a gyro endorsement and THEN buying a gyro) was the difficulty of finding a gyro to solo in were he to attempt to get his certificate as a gyro-primary student. It would seem that he prefers to get a certificate before committing to "the huge expense of the Calidus".
His actual initial question was about pros and cons of getting the "instructor pack" (i.e. dual controls), which no one seems yet to have addressed.
 
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Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Tyger;n1136066 said:
Yes, but in his second post he said that one of the reasons he was pursuing his fixed-wing certificate (as the first step to getting a gyro endorsement and THEN buying a gyro) was the difficulty of finding a gyro to solo in were he to attempt to get his certificate as a gyro-primary student. It would seem that he prefers to get a certificate before committing to "the huge expense of the Calidus".
In JJs fist post he asked for advice and In his second post he was describing what I feel was bad advice from gyorplane CFIs.

I am a gyroplane CFI so I thought I would give him what I feel is good advice.

If he already knows that gyorplanes are fun why not save some expense in getting his certificate.

I am apparently completing missing your point Tyler.

What is it exactly that you are advising that JJ do and why?
 

HighAltitude

in transition
I am also in the market for a gyro. Multiple people have recommended the instructor controls. It would allow you to take lessons as Vance mentioned. It will also provide a second set of controls for your biannual and for those you trust to take the controls once in awhile. I will be looking at ways to remove the rear stick easily while crawling all over the different gyros at Mentone. I take a lot of passengers in my plane and it bothers me a little that a "pedestrian" would have a stick in the back seat.
 

JJ Campbell

Junior Member
All the tandem gyro POHs I've seen require you to take the rear stick out unless the back seat is occupied by a qualified CFI.

And, yes, I am very uncomfortable about buying/building a gyro before I have my pilot's license. To me, that is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

I am having my doubts about the Calidus but it is still a contender. I'd like to spend a couple of hours in an AR1 (w/canopy would be nice) and a Calidus before I settle on which AC is for me. As unbelievable as it is, AutogyroUSA at W29 (which is the main US facility for Autogyro) does not have a Calidus that you can even get a demo ride in. Nor do they have a rentable/soloable AC available. Color me unimpressed.
 

Tyger

Member
Vance;n1136067 said:
I am apparently completing missing your point Tyler.

What is it exactly that you are advising that JJ do and why?
Yes, it's quite obvious that you have missed my point. I'll just leave it at that. And nor am I advising anyone to do anything; my initial post in this thread was just a simple question.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
For what its worth: We have yet to actually sell a gyroplane where the buyer did not take the dual controls option. If for nothing else than for resale value I guess.
If you fly with qualified pilots in the back seat, its fun in a cross country to share controls.
Its best to set up the back controls in a way where they can be taken out in a few minutes.
Our rudder pedals in the back come out quickly when pins are released. The cyclic in the back has two bolts and a plug that can be released t take it out.

Regarding instruction, solo etc. that is a personal decision. Do what makes you feel more comfortable and secure. I do believe that Steve Rastanis in Louisiana offers solo to his students in his gyroplane. His insurance covers it.
 

Kolibri

FW and Gyros
Since, I know I love the Calidus and it also eliminates a ton of logistical headaches, I would need a substantially compelling reason to seek solutions elsewhere.
How about safety and ruggedness?
AutoGyro products have a one-piece mast (rigidity, though without strength) made of stainless steel (which is inappropriate for the application).
Stainless steel has much less strength than 4130 chrome moly, and work hardens with flexing and vibration. It will eventually crack and fail.
There have been mast failures in low time AutoGyro machines. Their welds have been suspect, too.


If you want to use AutoGyro as a reference for TIG welding quality ask Rene, his brand new Calidus frame failed at the mast weld on his first flight and it nearly killed him.
You'll never see a stainless steel engine mount in a certified aircraft. 4130 only. That should be a strong indicator.

The AR-1 also has a stainless steel mast, and I'm sure that fara will surface in this thread to defend it.
(He is, however, on record saying that if he were building a gyro for the military, he would use 4130 steel.)


If I was making an AR-1 for the military, I would change a few things including going to 4130.
I believe in a two-piece mast, with polyurethane bushings, made of 4130 steel.
(RAF copied Sport Copter's two piece mast.)

May I suggest that you look into Sport Copter's new 2-place, the Vortex M2?
fetch?id=1136051&d=1532781346.png



https://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/ki...49#post1136049

Sport Copter has never seen an in-flight structural failure of mast, rotorhead, hub bar, or rotors.
To my knowledge, no other gyro mfg. has that unparalleled record. Certainly, AutoGyro does not.

All Sport Copter gyros can be looped and rolled. That's how robust they are.
Everyone else's are limited to 60 deg. roll and 40 deg. pitch. Ask them why.

The M2 has beefy suspension and a trailing link fully castering nosewheel.
This is much more forgiving of imperfect landings, and has saved many owners from tumping over their gyros.
Also, the M2 can turn around in its own radius. The Calidus can barely turn around within a taxiway.

I agree with Vance that getting your Sport gyro license directly is more sensible.
Sport Copter has a factory build assist, and Jim Vanek is a superb pilot and CFI.
You could train in your own Vortex M2 at the factory airport of Scappoose, Oregon, near Portland.
Drop in for a visit and test flight. http://www.sportcopter.com

Please do not let the accidental locality of AutoGyro's facility override more important considerations of safety and ruggedness.
I wish you great joy and satisfaction flying gyros!

Regards,
Kolibri
 
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WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Kolibri;n1136112 said:
All Sport Copter gyros can be looped and rolled. That's how robust they are.
Everyone else's are limited to 60 deg. roll and 40 deg. pitch. Ask them why.
I'd bet it has nothing at all to do with how "robust" they are.

The danger in acro flight for rotorcraft is not snapping the mast, or lack of structural strength, but but loss of control by inexperienced and/or incompetent pilots who wind up asking the aircraft to do something for which it is aerodynamically unsuited. One can barrel roll (at a steady positive 1 g load) just about any heavier-than-air aircraft if you know what you're doing. Example: look on YouTube for Tex Johnston's infamous Boeing 707-prototype roll over Lake Washington, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JlUvX3HUKQ .You'll make a hole in the ground if you don't know what you're doing. A vertical loop-like move in a rotorcraft (more like a script lower case "e" than a classic nice round "O" such as fixed wing aircraft often fly by applying high-g at the bottom and low-g while inverted) requires careful energy management in a regime that is unfamiliar to the typical round-the-pattern jockey, which makes it also easy to mess up. Both the loop and the roll require passing quickly through an inverted orientation while following a g-force profile that retains pilot authority over the rotor system; they are not a function of mast strength. Generally, pulling excessive g-loads is something that a rotor system will simply refuse to do and you won't break it for lack of robustness. Slap a g-meter in the panel of your gyro, and see if you can get it to reach 4 g in flight. You'll be the first..

If I built gyros that I had looped and rolled myself I'd still put restrictions in the POH to keep my customers from ending up dead. The average gyro pilot is too short on training and experience to pull it off.
 
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JJ Campbell

Junior Member
"
May I suggest that you look into Sport Copter's new 2-place, the Vortex M2?
"

Kolibri, On the Sport Copter Web site I only saw Vortex and Vortex M912 no M2. If it not LSA, not 2 seat Tandem and not fully enclosed, I'm not interested.
jj
 

eddie

RAF, turbo subaru 230hp
JJ it looks like a sparrow Hawk/RAF with a different tail enclosed side by side.
 

Kolibri

FW and Gyros
I'd bet it has nothing at all to do with how "robust" they are.
My point about mentioning loops and rolls in a Sport Copter was not to recommend gyro aerobatics.
It was, however, to emphasize that Sport Copters can safely be flown quite vigorously.

A few years ago, Jim went up in an AutoGyro (a Cavalon, IIRC) with their German engineer.
When Jim began to try some steep turns (i.e., 45-60 degrees), the engineer chided "No, no!" and took over.
He then flew it like a Granny, even reducing power in turns.
AutoGyro knows that they don't make a very strong machine. It cannot be flown hard for long.
You don't see Australian ranchers mustering cattle in an MTO Sport, etc.

The Sport Copter Vortex M912 (single-place), for example, is the only gyro certified in Australia without component time limits.
All other brands must replace their hub bar and rotors after a certain number of hours (<1000, I think).
Sport Copter anticipates the same certification of their M2.

Australian ranchers muster cattle for 6-8 hours/day. Probably nobody else flies gyros as hard as they do.
I like that level of ruggedness. It's an extra safety factor not offered by any other mfg.



______
Kolibri, On the Sport Copter Web site I only saw Vortex and Vortex M912 no M2. If it not LSA, not 2 seat Tandem and not fully enclosed, I'm not interested.
jj
They're revising their website shortly to include the M2. It is LSA, fully enclosed (with cabin heat), and side-by-side.

Please do ample research on the engineering suitability of stainless steel for a rigid gyro mast (as in AutoGyro and most other European machines).


Even better: use chromoly steel instead of stainless. Stainless reacts chemically with aluminum and is actually a poor choice of material for hardware to be attached to aluminum frame members.

Don’t be so harsh on pot and pan grade stainless steel (type 304). It is a highly ductile material, making it ideal for deep drawn shapes such as kitchen sinks and coffee pots. Its strength to weight ratio isn’t very high as compared to aircraft steels such as 4130 but that’s not important in hobycopters where the most important attribute is appearance. It’s pretty!

The yield strength of SS 304 is low because it’s intended for deep drawn shapes where it can be easily formed into complex shapes without tearing or breaking. That’s known as ductility.
It would never be used as a structural material for serious aircraft designs . . .
Regards,
Kolibri
 
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fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
I think I need to correct the record here.
Kolibiri, there is no so called "certification" in Australia. There is a criteria that ASRA wants gyroplanes to meet. To be honest some of it is sensible and some seems pulled out of thin air because of someone's opinion. It is however overall more appropriate in loading of structures etc. than BCAR-Sec T but its really not that different from it either. To be honest any reasonably made gyroplane will pass the structural load tests. So I am not sure what medal that gives any gyroplane.

Second, aircraft like trikes and gyroplanes are not appropriate tools for aerobatics. This has nothing to do with their strength. It has to do with recovery if you blew a maneuver and went to low G. In essence, there is no repeatable proven recovery. I'll do loops etc. in a utility category airplane all day but if you tell me you want to do loops in any gyroplane with me, I'll kindly ask you drop me off on the ground. That is not saying anything about the gyroplane's strength. That is saying I question your judgment and you do this stuff alone not with me in it.

Your fascination with gyroplanes doing loops and rolls etc. is interesting btw.

Component time limits are determined conservatively by manufacturers. Nothing lasts forever. If you have Aluminum structure like SC Vortex, it definitely has fatigue properties worst than any steel. It starts to fatigue if you push on it with your hand technically.

Besides making gyroplanes for Australian ranchers for mustering cattle, which at least we so far have no interest in doing, the real life applications of gyroplanes are the market for pilots in the US, Canada and Europe.

I can make you a gyroplane stronger than Sportcopter from ABS plastic. It would just have to be designed with ABS plastic properties in mind to get the strength and life limit needed. Dimensions would be different, it may become heavier but it can be done.

The claim that no other aircraft have ever used stainless steel is not true either. DTA who make J-Ro previously used welded stainless steel welded frames for DTA Voyageur trike, that has gone around the world and multi-continent journeys for 5000 hours (one trike) and still flying.
Even today one of my own students is flying around the world in the same model trike.
https://vimeopro.com/tuberainmedia/trike-globetrotter
https://www.trike-globetrotter.com/t.../the-aircraft/

Air Creation used stainless steel lettuce work frame in their Tanarg.
http://www.aircreation.fr/en-us/prod...les/tanarg-912

The negative is they had to accept 10 to 12% weight penalty on the frames compared to 4130. 4130 is much easier to work with but it is not readily available in all sizes and requires maintenance to prevent corrosion in coastal areas. For a purest aircraft should be engineered to be as light as possible while meeting the structural requirements. Piper Super Cub is a great bush plane not because its heavy and over-engineered and beefy. Its a great bush plane because it is engineered just right to be as light as it can be while meeting the structural requirements of its category with just a few touches of over-engineering in just the right spots. It is not 2 pounds heavier than it needs to be.

I think you need to cut out this nonsense and trying to pass it on as fact. If Jim wants to come in and write down technically the points where he thinks his Aluminum frame in Vortex is engineering wise superior to a stainless welded frame (I can only opine on ours), I am happy to go point by point with him.
 
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Kolibri

FW and Gyros
fara, I very specifically criticized stainless steel masts, and especially if they are one-piece and without sufficient dampening.

I wrote nothing about frames. (Besides, a gyro frame has much less stress on it than the mast, and can be made with aluminum. Big deal.)
It's the rotor system and mast that are most critical.


Kolibiri, there is no so called "certification" in Australia. There is a criteria that ASRA wants gyroplanes to meet.
To be honest some of it is sensible and some seems pulled out of thin air because of someone's opinion.
Point taken about "certification", but any gyros registered through the ASRA must adhere to their technical standards.
And that "opinion" portion is, presumably, what favors the Vortex M912?



The claim that no other aircraft have ever used stainless steel is not true either. DTA who make J-Ro previously used welded stainless steel welded frames . . .
I never claimed that. What I wrote was: "You'll never see a stainless steel engine mount in a certified aircraft. 4130 only. That should be a strong indicator."


Second, aircraft like trikes and gyroplanes are not appropriate tools for aerobatics.This has nothing to do with their strength.
Your fascination with gyroplanes doing loops and rolls etc. is interesting btw.
I'm uninterested in learning how to do loops and rolls in a gyro.
However, to dismiss the structural strength needed in a low positive-G maneuver is to ignore, for example, the issue of mast flexing.
That is what I meant by "robust".



I think you need to cut out this nonsense and trying to pass it on as fact. If Jim wants to come in and write down technically the points where he thinks his
Aluminum frame in Vortex is engineering wise superior to a stainless welded frame (I can only opine on ours), I am happy to go point by point with him.
And I think you need to first quote me accurately, and then attempt to refute my specific allegation: that stainless steel masts
are (especially when rigid, undampened, one-piece) inappropriate and risky in both material choice and engineering design.



Besides making gyroplanes for Australian ranchers for mustering cattle, which at least we so far have no interest in doing,
the real life applications of gyroplanes are the market for pilots in the US, Canada and Europe.
I've also no interest in mustering cattle by gyro.
However, I am interested in flying only the safest and most rugged gyro I can find. So far, that honor goes to Sport Copter.
One can drive a chintzy car and still live, but why fly a chintzy gyro?
You're welcome to challenge my statement that Sport Copter has never seen an in-flight structural failure of mast, rotorhead, hub bar, or rotors.

Beyond only wanting a safer sport, I don't care what gyro people buy. I'm not a commissioned salesman for Sport Copter.
But I am tired of lightweight, low-time, prettily painted toys being sold to first-time consumers who do not discern what they are actually buying.
I don't trust AutoGyro's newer Rotor System 2 with allegedly 2500 hours life when their Rotor System 1 of less than a decade ago was cracking by 200 hours
and had to be replaced by 700 hours.

At Oshkosh this past Sunday, I watched the staff of a European gyro booth pound out a teeter bolt with a steel mallet and drift punch.
It apparently never occurred to him to rock the rotor back and forth gently and pull out the bolt, thus minimizing egging out the hole.
It's this sort of casual ignorance that gives me the shudders. "They know not what they do."

Regards,
Kolibri
 
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