Dragon Wing history- early blades with rivets?

13brv3

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Greetings,

I recall reading that the early Dragon Wings rotor blades had rivets on the trailing edge, and a project I picked up happens to have the riveted blades. I bought a Dominator kit about 15 years ago, and looking at my pictures, I can't see any rivets in those blades, so I'm thinking these must be even older. They do seem to be in good shape.

Does anyone know the history of why the early blades had rivets and later ones did not? Is there any reason to be concerned about the older riveted blades, assuming they're in good shape?

Thanks,
Rusty (collector of gyroplane parts)
 

gyrojake

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They changed the type of adhesive to a more durable modern type.
The white stuff is the best, but because of price RFD went to the red stuff which works well at half the price.
With the new adhesives rivets were no longer necessary.
Riveted blades are just as durable as no rivets.
 

13brv3

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Good to know. I had found a comment that said something about the earlier adhesive requiring a higher curing temp, but no mention of whether that was good or bad. I had sort of assumed the rivets were just a precaution until there was enough history with the adhesive to prove they weren't needed, but that was just my guess.

To be clear, you mention white and red. Which was used on riveted and non riveted?

Thanks,
Rusty
 

MikeBoyette

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Good to know. I had found a comment that said something about the earlier adhesive requiring a higher curing temp, but no mention of whether that was good or bad. I had sort of assumed the rivets were just a precaution until there was enough history with the adhesive to prove they weren't needed, but that was just my guess.

To be clear, you mention white and red. Which was used on riveted and non riveted?

Thanks,
Rusty
Rusty I just saw this. The simple answer is white was used with the rivets. The red was the last few years of production. You are correct in your assumption about the rivets with the exception there was a different reason. The trailing edge had very little reflex and provided very little bonding area. A few years into production it was discovered through testing that aerodynamically the blades performance was improved with some more reflex. This allowed for more bonding area and the elimination of the rivets. As for the difference in glue the original was the very best for bonding aluminum and in the beginning was affordable. It did cure at higher temp. There were many sets that were crashed over the years and all tore aluminum and the bond didn’t fail. The problem was the company that made it was very big and eventually got tired of producing such a small amount of the adhesive for dad. They began raising the prices to a point it was cost prohibitive. What was 700 dollars in 1991 was 16k the last batch he got. Thus he did a extensive amount of research and began testing several different 3M products. The red ended up being just as good with a lower curing temp. It was significantly less expensive which allowed dad to keep his price point. It was his goal to provide the homebuilt gyro community the best quality and performing blades for the lowest possible price. For over 30 years he succeeded in this mission. There is a hole left where he was. A few others have tried to fill this void however never at his price point. I told him he was selling his stuff too cheap. He wanted to cater to people such as himself whom wanted to fly but not mortgage their home to do so.
 

j bird

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I bought a set 26' cruiser blades, ( 2# 12' blades plus 24" hub bar) from Ernie for $2200.00 in 2010.
 
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