DIY Gryocopter Cover

NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
4,897
Location
Columbia, SC
Aircraft
Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
Total Flight Time
>350
DIY Tailored-fit Gyrocopter Cover



7’ X 9’ PLASTIC TARP $5.00

5’ X 7’ PLASTIC TARP $3.00

GROMMET KIT $10.00

8” X 0.3” REUSEABLE RELEASING TAB ZIP TIES, 100pk $11.00

HOT GLUE GUN

BOX CUTTER

WALLPAPER SEAM ROLLER, FLAT

BLACK SHARPIE

WOOD BOARD ~12” X 4”

TIME REQUIRED: 4-6 HRS.



Fold the 7x9 tarp in half, length-wise. Working from the starboard (right) side of the fuselage and holding the end fold in your left hand, pinch the fold with your right hand about 3 feet in. Hold the left edge end up to the prop, and mark the place where the tarp contacts the mast ( and in the case of Air Command, etc., mark the location for the front mast tubes.)

Slit a straight, perpendicular cut from the mast marker down the left (port) side of the tarp to the side edge. Run a STRAIGHT bead of hot glue 3/8” to ½” along one edge of the slit, about 12” long. The plastic will shrink and deform along the glue line, making a natural fold. Fold it over along this bead with your fingers (careful, it is HOT), and using the board as a backing spread the hot glue by rolling the bead flat with the seam roller. Be carfeul not to push too hard and force the glue out of the fold, as it will get on the roller and make a mess. If you do get some glue on the roller, clean it off before it completely cools. Repeat until the folding edge is complete, and repeate on the other side of the slit.

Glue guns get way too hot, and the glue can melt completely through the tarp. You want the gun just hot enough to run a 12” bead and still have enough time to work it, but no hotter. You will have to unplug the gun to keep it from getting too hot, then plug it in again as it gets too cool to liquify the glue stick.

Install a grommet on either side of the slit at the bottom edge of the tarp, and then zip tie them together.

(For double-mast gyros like Air Command, repeat the process for the front tubes. Be sure to slit the opposite, starboard (right) side of the tarp, so that you don't end up with two slits on the same side.)

If necessary, tape the leading edge of the tarp to the top of the windshield, being sure to keep it centered so both sides are the same length.

Fold the 5’ x 7’ tarp in half along its short length. If you are using a camo print tarp, make sure the reverse, unprinted plain side is out, facing you. Mark the crease at one edge, and about 18” from the edge. Grabbing the folded edge with your right hand, hold the crease about 18” away in your left and place the folded tarp on top of the windshield. Leaving 2” extra material at the bottom of the windshield for overlap, mark the top of the windshield.

Unfold the tarp, and place the mark at the top of the windshield (printed side down). Let the tarp fall naturally along the base of the windshield, and pull on the back of the tarp to snug it up against the plexiglas. Holding the tarp against the top of the windshield, outline the plexiglass with the sharpie, and mark a vertical line to the bottom edges on both sides of the body, making sure there is minimum 4”- 6” of overlap to the underlying first tarp.

Remove and slit along the cut lines. Roll, double and finish the edges with hot glue. Lay the windshield section in place printed side up and glue to the underlayment with a 2” bead at the top center. Next, afix the section with a 4” – 6” bead along first one side, then the other. Complete the seam.

Take the leftover section of tarp and lay it on the nose of the pod, with the unfinished cut edge along the bottom of the windshield. Check for fit and mark any trimmings you need to make. Roll, double and finish the edge. If you have an antenna sticking up like mine, now is the time to mark its location on the tarp section and install a grommet for it to go through at this point.

Any grommets left along the bottom edge of the windshield section can either removed, or you can glue a couple of layers of small protective flaps under them to protect the gyro from abrasion. I chose the latter option, in order to leave the factory-finished edge intact for strength. Fix the nose section in place over the windshield section and attach as you did the windshield section.

At the nose, fold the tarp as needed to fit the contour of the pod, fixing the folds as you go with short beads of hot glue, forming a shallow pocket around the nose. Using a medium to large kitchen bowl as a template, cut and finish a round, bullet-head nose piece and afix to the nose to hide the multiple folds that make up the nose pocket.

Finish over any other folds with long strips of tarp as needed.

Go back to the slit for the mast. Mark the location for a pair of grommets half-way up from the bottom of the slit. Afix a 2” x 2” square reinforcing tab on the back of the tarp where the grommets go, then install the grommets.

Trim and finish the hole for the mast, and mark the location for a set of grommets at the mast to hold the slit closed there. Remove the tarp and install the reinforcements and grommets.

Put the cover back on, and close up the slit with reusable, unlocking tab zip ties.

Finish up the rear end of the cover, forming a contour pocket over the pre-rotator PTO body, and adding reinforcement tabs and grommet pairs along the factory-finished rear end of the cover as needed.

Remove the cover, flip it over and add reinforcements as needed around all the cut-out openings to the backside to strengthen and prevent tearing. I will probably add a little pyramid shaped "tent" around the main mast, and wrap reinforcing strips that will wrap from back-to-face side of the camo cover just to be sure the openings won't ever tear. I also plan to glue strips of velcro along every seam, between grommets, but I seem to have mislaid my big roll of yellow velcro momentarily.

Sit back, crack open a cold one, take some photos and then share them and your handy work here for the rest of us to enjoy :)

NOTE: The hot glue seaming method used here is how I've repaired the work tent in my driveway after several severe storms. In each case, the new seam has held up to multiple, later storms and not one has ever failed, even in winds up to 70 MPH.

A form-fitting cover like this one might even hold up, on the gyro, while trailoring. You will need to protect the gyro pod's gel coat from damage due to flapping with a layer of towels or soft canvas held in place with stretch wrap. You can either hold the cover to the trailor bed by the bottom edge grommets with bungies anchored to the trailer bed, or tie the bottom edges together under the gyro with those grommets. I just made this yesterday, to protect my new carpeting and the freshly-polished aluminum from rain and pollen dust, etc. so I haven't had a chance to road test it yet on my open trailors. You can bet I am going to, though.

IMG_9133 (640x480).jpg

IMG_9135 (480x640).jpgIMG_9146 (480x640).jpgIMG_9145 (480x640).jpgIMG_9142 (480x640).jpgIMG_9138 (480x640).jpgIMG_9139 (480x640).jpgIMG_9141 (480x640).jpgIMG_9140 (480x640).jpg
 
Last edited:

NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
4,897
Location
Columbia, SC
Aircraft
Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
Total Flight Time
>350
Use plain WHITE vinyl tarp instead. That way the paint won't release the glue, it will be welded directly to the vinyl.
 
Top