Dan Donley Videos

CLS447

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This morning I popped in an old video from Dan. Ken Brock & the guys from the lake bed. Great stuff ! Vance's Predator got alot of coverage. Mike Schallman & his old machine also.

I was wondering where Dan Donley got to ?

Vance, weren't you building a machine of your own design at one time ?

Anyone know Dan ?

Thanks guys !
 

Vance

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I was building a two place tandem powered by an IO-320 (Mariah Gale) and ran out of money Chris.

I had a lot of fun and don't regret a minute or a dollar of the process.
 

Monarchist

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I became friends with Dan Donley on Facebook several years ago and asked him the same question. He got out of the sport and if I remember flew helicopters for a while. Mostly, seems like he's probably too busy to do much flying. I think he dropped Facebook for a while, seems like he's back now, but looks like I'm no longer his "friend"...probably didn't survive a purge. (Fair enough, really didn't talk much after I asked if he's still flying.)
 

CLS447

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He's probably having an import (Corona) & editing gyro videos !

I'm glad to hear he's still around. I always enjoyed his videos, they were great entertainment for newbies !

Vance.....what year was the Predator built ? Using your flight hrs, it must be a great design !

Is the builder/ designer still around ?

Do you still have your other machine ?

I wonder if Dan still has the Mac powered KB2 that he built (very quickly ) in his video ?
 

Vance

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Good morning Chris,

The Predator was started in 1997 and first flew in 1999.

She is a unique design and I continue to be impressed with the details.

Mark Givans occasionally drops into the Rotary Wing Forum even though he has pretty much gotten out of gyroplanes.

The frame of Mariah Gale is leaning up against my hangar wall with some parts scattered around the hangar. The engine sits on the floor and will probably be my core when The Predator engine gets tired so I won't have to be down for long.
 

kolibri282

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After almost 20 years with a one off design I wonder whether it might be a good idea to perform some dye penetration testing in critical areas for cracks. Just a thought....

Hals- und Beinbruch, Vance!
 

Vance

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kolibri282;n1125915 said:
After almost 20 years with a one off design I wonder whether it might be a good idea to perform some dye penetration testing in critical areas for cracks. Just a thought....

Hals- und Beinbruch, Vance!

Good thought Juergen!

The Sport Copter rotor assembly was purchased in 2009 and has about 1,400 hours on it. The teeter bearings and most of the hardware is new.

I have the body off now; looking for cracks in the frame and inspect the flight critical parts before each flight.

We have repaired cracks in the frame many times and strengthened it where needed. None of the repairs have had to be redone.

We just redid the rudder pedals for the rear cockpit.

We have rebuilt the rotor control system twice.

We have rebuilt the nose gear three times.

I have patched the wiring many times.

I am constantly battling corrosion.

The fiberglass on the rear body section was just redone.

The windshield is about two years old.

The transponder was replaced last year.

The intercom was replaced two years ago.

The fabric has been redone twice.

She just got new rudder cables for the second time.

Her rebuild in ongoing.

Her engine is still showing good compression.

The magnetos were rebuilt about 200 hours ago.

She gets 100 hours services by an experienced Airframe and Powerplant mechanic with inspection authority (A&P with IA).
 

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CLS447

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Vance.....it sure seems that you know your machine inside & out ! Who could give it a better inspection than you ?
 

Vance

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CLS447;n1125920 said:
Vance.....it sure seems that you know your machine inside & out ! Who could give it a better inspection than you ?

I am not a professional mechanic Chris.

There are at least three A&P mechanics on the field that have a better eye than I do.

Every time I strip her naked I have a least one of them stop by the hangar.

The FAA has a wonderful book on how things are done the aviation way and I spend a lot of time reading and following procedures.
 

Vance

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eutrophicated1;n1125935 said:
I'd fly with you anytime, Vance. I'd pay for the flight too. You're my kind of nut about safety.

Thank you Frank, I take that as a high compliment.

I take the safety of my clients and passengers very seriously.

I also have a low fear threshold.
 

Udi

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Vance;n1125955 said:
I also have a low fear threshold.

Good to see you haven't changed much Vance! However...

People with a low fear threshold don't race motorcycle Vance, they don't try to break speed records on salt flats, and continue to experimental aviation even after they almost died! People with a low fear threshold don't even entertain the thought of flying our kind of contraptions...

Take care!

Udi-
 

Vance

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Udi;n1126082 said:
Good to see you haven't changed much Vance! However...

People with a low fear threshold don't race motorcycle Vance, they don't try to break speed records on salt flats, and continue to experimental aviation even after they almost died! People with a low fear threshold don't even entertain the thought of flying our kind of contraptions...

Take care!

Udi-

Fear is a difficult thing to quantify Udi.

I have always worked hard to mitigate the risk.

We were all surprised when the parachute didn’t open after it came out so nicely on the streamliner when she tipped over.

Even a cautious person has an occasional mishap.
 

kolibri282

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Your extensive list of maintenance items, Vance, gives a good idea of how seriously you take caring for our safety and your aircraft! It might be helpful to have a look at the report below, which is already in our "Technical Papers, Books and Publications" section, and which describes the effects of so many years of shake, rattle and roll (also called high cycle fatigue). The pictures in the report give a good idea about how metal parts stand up to the test of time and where to look for the starting point of a fatigue crack.

https://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/ro...402a-airplanes

Generally if there are any welds in a load path these would be the first places to check, especially if they are in the one to the rotor or the engine. For riveted parts the area close to the rivet holes should be given special attention because riveted connections can develop fatigue cracks starting from the holes, especially if the rivets do not completely fill the hole, which unfortunately is not visible from outside.
 
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Vance

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Thank you Juergen,

I have looked at that report.

All off the cracks I have found except for one have been exactly where I would expect it to be.

The one crack appeared to be in an odd location (middle of a tube) because I didn’t understand the loads on that tube.

Bearings and bushings get worn and I replace them.

Hardware corrodes and I replace it.

I use a beam torque wrench on almost everything.

Metal corrodes and I repair or refurbish it.

I have a large, thick book put out by the FAA (AC43.13-1B and AC43.13-2B) on doing things the aviation way. I follow it religiously.

I have experience with destructive and no destructive testing.

I road raced very fragile motorcycles and frequently built frames from .049 and .035 4130 tubing..

Maintaining The Predator is a walk in the park by comparison.

I have friends with lots of skill and experience to help me.
 

klyde

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Vance: Middle of the tube is exactly where the fatigue failure occurred on a friends Safari. The tube had been anodized which didn't help but those vibrating tubes often have changing stresses of tension to compression right in the middle of the tube. If the tube was aluminum you lucked out. Once a crack starts the stress concentration at the end of the crack will go sky high. Way beyond the expected loading.
 

Vance

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Good morning Stuart,

The tube that cracked in the middle was mild steel and it did not crack all the way through.

The more typical place for cracks to show is near a joint/weld.

There was stress on the tube that I didn’t anticipate until I understood more.
 
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