first trip to the airport

giro5

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
1,199
Location
Farmington, New Mexico
Aircraft
prev- citabria,AA1b, fun racer
Total Flight Time
400 GA, 50 trike
firing it up with the nose up against the pickup tire, taxiing it around. Observations:

Gyro is really squirlly taxiing at anything above 10 mph.

Band brakes work for steering but are not as good as I would like. They do not grab but leverage is such that quite a lot of petal pressure is sometimes required.

Could not attempt a full power run. Power feel equal to my 503 DIDC that I had on my trike but at 25 mph control was marginal. Don't know how it would be if rocked back or the nose wheel off the ground. Nose wheel seem too short coupled to rear wheels. Thinking about lengthing out the position of the nose wheel and changing the caster angle. Also tiny nose wheel tire would roll over on the wheel and make slow sharp turns hard to do. It needed more air pressure but I just don't like that tiny wheel. All in all, have to make the gyro feel more stable taxiing before I would feel comfortable with the rotor on it.

I have 4 westtach EGT's none worked and the needle fell off one gauge. My one CHT and engine tach worked fine.

Probably going to redo most of the front of the gyro. Change the nose wheel, change the gauge setup, change the brake petals. May widen out the rear axel.

Airport field elevation at Aztec is almost 5800 ft. Engine started easily and ran smooth. My one Cht never got higher than 300 deg so I am probably still a little rich with fuel jetting.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Timchick

Tim Chick
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
10,890
Location
Panama City, Florida
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex, 582 Greyhead
Total Flight Time
~30
I can't think of a reason to taxi at 25 mph. When you start your take off run (with rotor on and prerotated) your front wheel will come off the ground pretty quick. You'll be using your rudder pedals to steer then and it will not feel squirrely.
 

MrGrey

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
1,032
Location
Munster, IN
I would not do anything yet! Here are a few reasons why. First, I would not ever taxi at 25mph and do not know anyone who does. You run a major risk of tipping over, especially with blades on. Second, the tiny wheel has been used forever and if it is not properly inflated then it will not work at all and will roll off. I would get some flight training and learn to fly before I made any changes, but that is just my opinion. It is a very proven machine and would not do anything yet. Once the blades are on and you are going down the runway with blades spinning you will notice that is is actually very stable and not squirrley.
 

Kingchocolate

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
271
Location
Echo, La.
Aircraft
Monoarch Butterfly
Taxi with the rotor blades off and taxi with them on. Is like night and day. The rotor blades change the way it will handle. You will learn to use the rotor blades to help control the gyro and use them as a brake. I would not taxi with out the rotor blades. Blade management is very important.

Scott
 

Bob

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
1,305
Location
Shingletown Ca.
Aircraft
Tail drager GyroCopter
Gyro5 :
Congrats on the ground test !
I know well what you are complaining about , my gyro was the same
...
there is no reason to taxie at 25mph ? BULL ! at 4800 ft you have to go 45 to 50mph on the ground just to lift off fellas !
its a whole nother ball game at high altitude !
and if you can't control the gyro at 20mph you certainly don't need to be takeing it any faster ! I totally agree!
...
I had to change the front wheel 3 times before I found a setup that I liked.... and a bigger tire !
although the gyro still is hard to control at 25-30mph it is do-able if I'm carefull
but seriously Gyro5 get LOTS of practice in steering that thing
before you go faster.... I pushed my luck and flopped it over on its side in the proccess !
so learn from my mistakes , don't do what I did ! slow down and master the steering first !
....
gooood LUCK !!!! you're gunn'a need it at that altitude !
get to sea level if you can !
....
Bob........
 

giro5

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
1,199
Location
Farmington, New Mexico
Aircraft
prev- citabria,AA1b, fun racer
Total Flight Time
400 GA, 50 trike
I hand start the blades. It is the time and taxiing to get them spinning fast enough to have a significant stabalizing effect that is worrysome. My trike with not much more wheel base was very stable at up to 60 mph (that is where I chickened out) with no wing. I think what is proven with the Bensen and KB2 design is it will tip over easily. I have to taxi at no more than 10 mph to get the blades up past about 150 rpm where they start to have some lift. But then I had to get to 25-35 mph to get the blades close to flying speed while towing. At this point what I am unfamilar with is at what speed the gyro will rock back and not run on the front wheel and the amount of control I will have with the rudder at the low speed. Also one difference is I am using independent main wheel braking for steering on the gyro ( this has worked well on my tailgraggers FW's) and the trike had direct push on the front wheel for steering. The trike also had about a 30 deg caster angle on a 12 inch wheel and tire. It just seems prudent to have the gyro fairly stable before adding the weight of the rotors up on the mast which makes it more tippy until they get up to speed.
 

Bob

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
1,305
Location
Shingletown Ca.
Aircraft
Tail drager GyroCopter
I had to increase the caster angle on my gyro way beyond what the instructions said.... it was just way too squirely to go any speed with it other wize.
30 degrees sounds reasonable to me , i have no idea what my gyro is now but it has a new front end on it now and I really haven't tested it yet so I don't know if it solved the problems i was having or not... it should though. I should be able to go at any speed I want to on the ground with it now !
...
but Yes I am not suprized at hearing that your gyro is so squirely that its a hazard to life and limb... mine was the same
and I immediately tore it apart to change it and now wish I hadn't... because I've been working on it every sense ! HAHAHA!
... the biggest problem is your altitude... for taxiing at or below 20mph the gyro should be fine the way it is, it'll just take some getting used to ... but thats for sea level usage
if your going to fly at higher elevations you are going to have to go faster than that by at LEAST double... that means something has to change.... been there done that !
if you don't change it you'll wind up on your side and destroy the rotors and prop at a minimum....
when my gyro rotates back to the tail wheel its right at 30 to 35mph with 4800'ASL and 24ft rotor blades faster if the rotor is smaller ! more like 40 to 45mph if the rotor is 22ft ( as mine was)
...
believe me when I say the high elevation has a big draw back !
taking off at sea level or even 3000ft is a heck of allot easier than 4000ft plus there is a big jump in the thickness of the air between 3 and 4 thousand feet....or at least it sure seams like it ! <GRIN>
.... differential breaking on a gyro I think is a bad idea because of the wide stance... its easy to over steer and hard to break in a straight line because of it....
if your used to that kind of breaking its probably no big deal though....
....
at my elevation of 4800ft I was doing 45mph when my gyro with 24ft blades finally lifted off the ground..... weather that is typical or not I have no idea, but if you have to go that fast to get off the ground you need to be able to steer the thing straight down the runway... and most gyros aren't built for that kind of speed on the ground .....period!
so... depending on your air strip , you may have some front end work to do !
....
thats my 2 coppers!
Bob.......
 
Last edited:

Timchick

Tim Chick
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
10,890
Location
Panama City, Florida
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex, 582 Greyhead
Total Flight Time
~30
..... Also one difference is I am using independent main wheel braking for steering on the gyro ( this has worked well on my tailgraggers FW's) and the trike had direct push on the front wheel for steering. The trike also had about a 30 deg caster angle on a 12 inch wheel and tire.....
Most Bensen/Brock type gyros use either direct nose wheel steering or steering linked to the rudder pedals. What type of brakes are you using on the mains for steering? If you want something that drives on the ground like your trike then go with a front wheel setup like this:
 

Attachments

Bob

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
1,305
Location
Shingletown Ca.
Aircraft
Tail drager GyroCopter
Tim !
thanks for the pic.
thats a unique design ! who's gyro is that ? kind'a Cagey getting the weight of the tail wheel support up high like that uh?
....
verrry intelestinkt !

...
Bob......
 

Timchick

Tim Chick
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
10,890
Location
Panama City, Florida
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex, 582 Greyhead
Total Flight Time
~30
That's Murray Barker's gyro. It was inspired by Chuck Beaty's gyro but retains an axle setup like a Bensen type. I like the way he angled the front of the keel up to make room for a larger front wheel.
 

RockyMeLad

Curmudgeon-in-Training
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
1,175
Location
Las Cruces, NM
Aircraft
Desert Bee (Gyrobee)
Total Flight Time
320
Taxiing

Taxiing

John,

Sorry I didn't see your post earlier. Good to see you out and about.

My opinion only. . . but I never taxi very fast, maybe a brisk walking speed at most. And I usually taxi with the rotor still, for-and-aft. Taxiing with the rotor turning just seems to scare most pilots that aren't familiar with gyros. Speeds above a slow taxi (when your instructor says you're ready) should be balanced on the mains in preparation for take-off. In fact early balancing on the mains practice isn't at a very high ground speed either, or you'll be "in the air".

Yes, your take-off roll will be longer at altitude, but not bad. The important thing is rotor control. Spin-up smoothly, and don't worry about ground speed during takeoff. You won't be on the nose wheel very long, and then the rudder is your primary yaw control (something like a tail-dragger).

My early attempts at taxiing seemed "squirrelly" too, so I changed the steering linkage to reduce the wheel angle at full rudder deflection. Helps a lot. If the wheel turns just enough at full pedal to follow the "line" on the taxi-way, you'll be fine.

:welcome:
 

giro5

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
1,199
Location
Farmington, New Mexico
Aircraft
prev- citabria,AA1b, fun racer
Total Flight Time
400 GA, 50 trike
Timchick, that front end in the pic looks a lot like my trike which was a Fun Racer by Air Creation. I will probably take the plane back to the airport next weekend and try taxiing with the blade. See if I can get it to start coming up to speed, see when it wants to rock back and get a feel for the rudder. I had quite a bit of practice in blade management while towing and after thinking about it I had to keep the speed under 10 mph to let the blades spin up. Any faster and they just would not acclerate. Last weekend was sort of like the very first time I lifted it off. I did not know what to expect and was apprenhensive. I immediately put the gyro away for a week and thought about it and the next time was no problem. My confidence is back up and at least at 10 mph I am sure I can manage it.
Nice to hear from you Rocky. My progress is slow especially since I went back to work. But on the plus side pretty soon I can afford to go take lessons and I will have an operational gyro.
 

giro5

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
1,199
Location
Farmington, New Mexico
Aircraft
prev- citabria,AA1b, fun racer
Total Flight Time
400 GA, 50 trike
Also Tim, I have Azsua band brakes on the mains and the front wheel free casters. I may direct or loosly couple the front wheel to the brake control pedals. And at worst case I may change it to like in your picture. Got Cht's for each cyl today and expect softer axels for my trailer to make the ride to the airport easier on the gyro by the end of the week. I plan to re jet the carb to get the cyl temp up to 375 deg F and if the EGT't still don't read I will just take them off. Got one more idea on placement of the senders for the EGT's where I am sure they should read if working. All in all I am reasonably happy with the plane and just need to keep on plugging.
 

Timchick

Tim Chick
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Messages
10,890
Location
Panama City, Florida
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex, 582 Greyhead
Total Flight Time
~30
Here's the first springs I used on my front wheel but had to replace them with smaller/softer springs. When I'm sitting in my gyro without it moving when I push the rudder pedals the springs stretch and the wheel doesn't turn. Once the gyro is moving the springs will turn the wheel easily.
 

Attachments

giro5

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
1,199
Location
Farmington, New Mexico
Aircraft
prev- citabria,AA1b, fun racer
Total Flight Time
400 GA, 50 trike
That is about what I had in mind. I would have to weld a tube on the opposite side of my brake pedal to attach the spring to. Really easy. The trial and error part is attaching the correct spring and getting the lever arm correct. I missed it a little on the brake leverage. But these parts are easy to make and change. Actually I could just turn the brake pedal over and make a new pedal for the brake part to change the leverage to what I think I need.
 
Last edited:

giro5

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2006
Messages
1,199
Location
Farmington, New Mexico
Aircraft
prev- citabria,AA1b, fun racer
Total Flight Time
400 GA, 50 trike
Bob, I too like the design in the picture but mainly because I could run a bigger diameter prop if needed. I also liked Friendlies KB4. But in reality the next one I build will be a little wing tractor. Notice I said build. Before that I expect to get an engine on the Dominator chassis I have. Since that one will be too heavy to qualify as an ultralight I will probably sell it. Or if any one out west is interested in a Dominator rolling chassis contact me. It is not for sale cheap but someone could save some. Or, Bob, I would trade it for your Dad's ultralight. The value of the Dominator chassis is about 5 grand.
 

Bob

Platinum Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
Messages
1,305
Location
Shingletown Ca.
Aircraft
Tail drager GyroCopter
I made a series of holes to attach the linkage to my steering at diferent places, simply because I had no idea where it realy needed to be... it was then easy to take 2 end wrenches and change it while at the air strip... after a few passes and a few adjustments
you come to the point of thinking "well, it isn't going to get any better than it is so leave it there !" heheheheh
...but sense I changed the entire front wheel unit I'll have to do that All over again when I take it out next time !
....
I spent most of the day getting the rotor head movement right
on my gyro and I came to the conclusion that I can't do what Aussie Paul says to do , have the left control rod 1/2" longer than the right ( rotex machine) because the rotor head didn't want to turn its 8 degrees to eather side then...
I had 4 degrees on the left and 12 degrees to the right setting it up like that... and it didn't feel right nor look like it would turn left at all, so I set it how the book said at 8 degrees per side.
I will just be very carefull at lift off and make sure I have control of the thing this time !
...
... My new "Chainsaw Pre-rotator" is looking good though...
but I still need to get a ring gear and starter bendix... for the rotor head.... so its a ways off before it will be complete !
... I can't wait to try that pre rotator ! I bet it works great !
...
Bob......


oh, and Dad sold that B1RD for $4000.00 ... it killed me to see it go for that but its long gone now !
 
Top