Flying the Gyro Glider

I spent time these past two Saturdays in Olney, Texas working with Brian Booth and Larry Neal to learn to fly the gyro glider. I have hundreds of hours of fixed wing time plus glider and hang glider time but this was very different. Definitely a learning experience!

I spent a total of about 4 hours training and I was finally able to master it. It was great fun!

If you have no gyro experience and you're wondering what it's like to fly a gyro I can highly recommend this approach.

And I have proof of my success. I hope I get the pictures in here properly so you can all see them.

Bill
 

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Resasi

Gold Supporter
Now that is serious cone-up.:)

Never tried it but looks fun. Would probably speed up the training progress. The student does not have to worry about throttle control but is quickly shown the correct pace to accelerate the rotors and achieve lift off.
 
Winds

Winds

Yes, the wind was much nicer this week. Last week it was blowing 20+ with gusts that made it unsafe for me to even attempt getting off the ground. This week it was fairly steady at around 10 and pretty much in line with the runway. A slight cross that switched from right to left and back again - but no big deal. It was good to learn how the gyro handles the crosswinds.

Bill
 
I also got a ride with Larry in the Golden Butterfly later in the day. I got to handle the controls for a little while. Larry said he could tell that flying the glider made a difference in my first time flying a 'real' gyro.

I think I'm hooked now. It's time to have the money discussion with my wife. Wish me luck.

Bill
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Yes, the glider gives you a nice "calibrated" feel for the amount of stick needed to obtain results, and for the slight time lag involved. The first time I lifted off in my powered machine, after about 50 hours of glider training, the stick felt very familiar.

BUT... the glider can lead to the bad habit of flying too slowly. This doesn't matter in a gyro propelled by a tow car, as the available thrust is, as a practical matter, unlimited. It is NOT unlimited in a powered gyro. The difference between 30 mph and 50 mph in the typical powered gyro is the difference between barely flying in ground effect and flying with plenty of reserve climb power.

Of course, torque effects in the powered machine (both yaw and roll) will be unfamiliar, too. These two transition challenges accounted for many. many newbie splats back when gyroglider training was all we had.
 

Monarchist

MTO Sport Owner
Good luck Bill....I have one of those too, with similar misgivings about spending hard-earned money on such silliness. They just don't understand. Best approach is to let them know how happy it makes you. :)

Glad you got to fly in the 2-place...now I'm really jealous!

-John
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Doug, with regard to your very relevant points on speed, torque and crosswind control, it would be my impression that the glider would be a very valuable, if comparatively short introduction to single seat gyro instruction, specifically between the transition from two seat to single seat instruction.

I know that my own progress from the RAF to the Bensen would have benefited significantly from an hour or three during that transition.

If one had been learning only on a single seat, with no two seat instruction available, then probably much more time would probably be used on the glider. Of course a lot depends on the student and individual progress.
 

Aussie_Paul

A reforming stirrer!!!!!
Yes, the glider gives you a nice "calibrated" feel for the amount of stick needed to obtain results, and for the slight time lag involved. The first time I lifted off in my powered machine, after about 50 hours of glider training, the stick felt very familiar.

BUT... the glider can lead to the bad habit of flying too slowly. This doesn't matter in a gyro propelled by a tow car, as the available thrust is, as a practical matter, unlimited. It is NOT unlimited in a powered gyro. The difference between 30 mph and 50 mph in the typical powered gyro is the difference between barely flying in ground effect and flying with plenty of reserve climb power.

Of course, torque effects in the powered machine (both yaw and roll) will be unfamiliar, too. These two transition challenges accounted for many. many newbie splats back when gyroglider training was all we had.
So true Doug. Our industry is so far ahead these days compared to when I started on a single seat gyro glider in 1961.

Aussie Paul. :)
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
Just a simple illogical question, why is the tow line so short?
Birdy, it's not a cable or rope. Larry advocates a rigid boom, which limits the ability of the glider to overrun the tow vehicle, and increases the control of the instructor over speed. The goal isn't to gain significant altitude, only to allow beginners to get a foot off the runway and learn to get back down safely and smoothly.

He also uses cables on each side to limit how far off centerline the glider can drift, then removes them when the student demonstrates the skill to keep both cables slack using the cyclic.
 
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