Full enclosure Sport Copter Vortex????

Rattler 1

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Does anyone know of a full enclosure for a Vortex 582? Has anyone done this? I fly in Minnesota where it's cold half the year and would like to enclose and heat my Gyro.
 

Doug Riley

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Enclosing a Vortex would require a significant increase in tail-surface area to preserve its stability.
 

Rattler 1

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Kevin_Richey

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Back in the early 1990's, our Chapter 73 V.P. flew an Air Command gyroplane. He had gone to Marion Springer for instruction to learn to fly gyros.

He told me how he mounted the Vancraft (now Sport Copter) fiberglass fairing on his AC. He relayed that it was great to have that big shield around him blocking most of the airflow.

Then, he said, w/out any input from him, his machine abruptly swapped ends on him in flight, finding himself going backwards! He chopped the throttle & managed to get the nose pointing forward & landed ASAP. He removed the experiment.

He is the same fellow who told me to not remain in a vertical descent for more than a short while, as the rotorblades would stop turning w/out the forward air inflow...:eek:

I found out later that he didn't know what he was talking about, when I flew a gyro. Having a rotor tach proved to me that long vertical descents are FUN! :love: And, that the rotor rpms slightly dropped around 30-40 below normal flight rpms, then stabilized there.
 

BEN S

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Kevin, was this the same guy who after two accidents on take off requireing rebuilds he mounted the rotax up high, upside down and crashed a third time?
I asked him if he looked at the CG before doing it, he said "yah yah its a new one I just bought it!"
 

Abid

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Enclosing a Vortex would require a significant increase in tail-surface area to preserve its stability.
Or moving the tail back or using a more high pressure thicker airfoil
 

Kevin_Richey

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Kevin, was this the same guy who after two accidents on take off requireing rebuilds he mounted the rotax up high, upside down and crashed a third time?
I asked him if he looked at the CG before doing it, he said "yah yah its a new one I just bought it!"
Hadn't heard about that fellow...
 

Rattler 1

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Great information guys. I won't do anything unless someone has done this on a Sport Copter and is proven to be safe. I can fly it in the winter but need lots of layers of clothes. Been very cold this winter in Minnesota. Maybe a heated snowmobile suit will work also. I have a Titan Tornado with skis that I now fly in the winter that has heat. Just trying to maybe go to one flying machine. I like the Gyro better.
 

Eric S

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Enclosing a Vortex would require a significant increase in tail-surface area to preserve its stability.
Doug, please elaborate. I have a Vortex and I never noticed a difference in the way it flies with or without the pod installed. I also have a RAF Sparrowhawk and don't notice a difference in flight characteristics while flying with doors on in winter or doors off in summer, but of course it has HUGE tailfeathers.

Thanks,
Eric
 

DonBishop

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Reach out to Jim Vanek at Sport Copter. He's the definitive expert on everything Sport Copter.
 

Rattler 1

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Reach out to Jim Vanek at Sport Copter. He's the definitive expert on everything Sport Copter.
Yea, I'm probably going to do that.
 

Doug Riley

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Eric: The question was about a "full enclosure."

The stock Vortex windshield/pod/roof enclosure has a huge cutout on each side, minimizing its side area. If you add that side area back in (with doors or fixed panels), you're going to overpower the tail unless you add tail area and/or tail leverage. The gyro probably will still fly face=forward at cruise or higher throttle, because the prop blast energizes the tail. When you throttle back, though, she's going to think about swapping ends, as others have reported in this thread and many others.

The half-height vertical tail, and minimal horizontal tail, were designed by Bensen for a total un-enclosed gyro. When you add surfaces forward of the aircraft's CG, you start eating into the stability of the open Bensen design. One change often requires another.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Rattler: I was thinking of commenting to suggest a possible solution & Doug's reply added some credence to it, so here it is:

Brock Steiner, a member of PRA Chapter 73 (which meets @ Sport Copter's facility @ the Scappoose, Oregon airport), had a boat firm make a set of zippered, clear tough vinyl enclosures to his "SHREDDO" door openings, which is a SparrowHawk gyroplane, several years back. He posted a thread of that project. He was happy to be able to unzip as needed, w/out using the SH doors. The clear doors had metal snaps, which allowed to be easily removed in warmer weather.

Brock also was a prior owner & flew two other gyros, A SC Vortex & a McCulloch J-2.

Doug's suggestion of adding leverage to the tail feathers could easily be done by making a longer keel tube on your Vortex, say, another 1-1/2'-2' longer. That is one of the changes JV did on the M-912 gyros that so many like to fly. They are a biggie-sized Vortex. You could also biggie-size the outboard stabs on your Vortex, like the M-912s & the new M2 have. Either make your own or I'd bet SC would be glad to have some additional parts sales.

If a curve was added to that longer keel tube, you also might be able to go w/ a slightly larger prop diameter, gaining some additional thrust vs. the stock 68". You could also raise the entire tail section a few inches to place more of it in the prop blast. It'd also allow more ground clearance for taking off & landings. IE: more aggressive flairs.

Another one of our chapter members added a couple of clear lexan spats on each size of his SC Vortex fairing, about chest-to-head height to you as you pilot your gyro. They attach to the fairing fiberglass & are about 12" X 18", with a slight bend in them. Doing so stopped the slight nose-wandering he was experiencing in straight flying.

I have 75 hours of flying a Vancraft Rotor Lightning (which was Jim & his dad's company when it was a welded air frame), so I understand about the cold, even though the wind blast is virtually non-existent since that is almost identical fairing that SC uses on their single place machines.

I have another couple hundred hrs. flying a SC Vortex w/out the fairing. I found I like the open cockpit view better, but then I avoided cold-weather flying entirely. I tried wearing two layers of socks (one being thick wool), as well as wearing snow boots. The boots made it hard to effectively use the rudder pedals...

I suspect you could add cabin heat through use of an automotive heater to your radiator for your gyro. My feet were all that got quite cold when flying that VRL for an hour when the temps were below 50 degrees.
 
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Rattler 1

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Rattler: I was thinking of commenting to suggest a possible solution & Doug's reply added some credence to it, so here it is:

Brock Steiner, a member of PRA Chapter 73 (which meets @ Sport Copter's facility @ the Scappoose, Oregon airport), had a boat firm make a set of zippered, clear tough vinyl enclosures to his "SHREDDO" door openings, which is a SparrowHawk gyroplane, several years back. He posted a thread of that project. He was happy to be able to unzip as needed, w/out using the SH doors. The clear doors had metal snaps, which allowed to be easily removed in warmer weather.

Brock also was a prior owner & flew two other gyros, A SC Vortex & a McCulloch J-2.

Doug's suggestion of adding leverage to the tail feathers could easily be done by making a longer keel tube on your Vortex, say, another 1-1/2'-2' longer. That is one of the changes JV did on the M-912 gyros that so many like to fly. They are a biggie-sized Vortex. You could also biggie-size the outboard stabs on your Vortex, like the M-912s & the new M2 have. Either make your own or I'd bet SC would be glad to have some additional parts sales.

If a curve was added to that longer keel tube, you also might be able to go w/ a slightly larger prop diameter, gaining some additional thrust vs. the stock 68". You could also raise the entire tail section a few inches to place more of it in the prop blast. It'd also allow more ground clearance for taking off & landings. IE: more aggressive flairs.

Another one of our chapter members added a couple of clear lexan spats on each size of his SC Vortex fairing, about chest-to-head height to you as you pilot your gyro. They attach to the fairing fiberglass & are about 12" X 18", with a slight bend in them. Doing so stopped the slight nose-wandering he was experiencing in straight flying.

I have 75 hours of flying a Vancraft Rotor Lightning (which was Jim & his dad's company when it was a welded air frame), so I understand about the cold, even though the wind blast is virtually non-existent since that is almost identical fairing that SC uses on their single place machines.

I have another couple hundred hrs. flying a SC Vortex w/out the fairing. I found I like the open cockpit view better, but then I avoided cold-weather flying entirely. I tried wearing two layers of socks (one being thick wool), as well as wearing snow boots. The boots made it hard to effectively use the rudder pedals...

I suspect you could add cabin heat through use of an automotive heater to your radiator for your gyro. My feet were all that got quite cold when flying that VRL for an hour when the temps were below 50 degrees.

I added the lexan spats on my prior Sport Copter Vortex without any issues. This helped keep the wind off me. I flew it a couple times in the winter but had to dress warm. It's better but not like a full enclosure. Unless I find someone who has done this I probably will not pursue it. Sounded simple at first but am starting to think there is more to it than simple. HA!!!
I really appreciate all the advise here. Great group.
 
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