Gyroplanes vs Bush Planes

Resasi

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London/ Kilifi Kenya
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Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
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100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Great post Pete. Back country flying to the max, together with some great tips on rough field operations with a gyro.

The intention of the GT-VX2 has been with this sort of flying in mind. There is plenty of similar terrain in the US, though almost none in the UK, and certainly far more regulated here with regard to off airport landings.

Have always thought of the Sport Copter as being a pretty rugged machine, and it certainly seems as though you are utilising this to a far greater extent than a huge percentage of gyro pilots.

Look forward to seeing any photos and videos of your flying excursions.
 

wolfy

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western australia
Absolutely amazing post Pete, hit the nail on the head and summed it up perfectly.
Gyro's are more capable of air port than most realize, once you have a powerfull spinner for high rotor rpm to stabalize things and naturally shorter take off.
Just one thing, you mentioned it was said about all that spinny stuff up top maybe being a hinderance but without all that spinny stuff stabalizing a high c of g trike you couldn't use it like you are.

wolfy
 

Eric S

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Dec 22, 2012
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155
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Kingsland, TX
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Sport Copter Vortex & AAI (Sparrowhawk) RAF
Wow, Pete. You win. You are having the most fun.

One of my concerns with large tires on a gyro is if one gets slashed by a sharp something and goes flat. Especially with tires the size of ABWs. If one on the mains were to go it would cause a lot of drag on that side and it's really going to lean over. Maybe try having someone pull a valve stem while you're sitting in the seat and ride it down so you know what the sight picture will look like if it ever happens?

I have 21" mains on a Super Drifter amphib. taildragger. I run them at 8-10 PSI which I found out is too low to run them tubeless. I had an instant flat once while taxiing and it took a hard right and stopped. Now I run them with tubes so I can keep the tire pressures low.

Eric
 

Jungleman

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Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
A few pics in relation to my previous post.

Below. Two fine beasts.
This is a tidal river bar. Great surface although some soft patches that have claimed the odd fixed wing. The area gets covered completely each tide. Probably the best coastal surface in the 150 miles of our Fiordland National Park coast line.
No sun in the winter though. This is 2pm.76A1D9F2-531F-43D8-BD09-3D99AE5C3499.jpeg
Below. One of the many Fiords in the area. Named by Cook as Doubtful Harbour & he did not venture in far as unsure if could navigate under sale. Later called Doubtful Sound but technically a Fiord as caused by glacier erosion not river.
A number of these are 20 miles long and absolutely stunning on a glass calm day. Tour ship tracing some of Cooks routes. Winds can fair rip through these Fiords creating some very un pleasant mechanical turbulence Time then to head back out to the coast and enjoy a good afternoon 25 kt SW tail wind back north to home. I find gyros give a good ride in general wind & thermal conditions but in sharp country are certainly not immune to severe mechanical turbulence, I do not think any aircraft is. Also with a well laden gyro the ability to out climb down draughts obviously decreases substantially.42C7A29B-DBF8-4861-9D93-7E966E4DE1BE.jpegSnoopy enjoying a nice day out & sporting brand new bush tyres. A nice little bar, although not very long before it turns to soft sand. Goes under with every flood so changes alot. Today smoother than alot of grass runways.B8227E3D-C6A2-4C9B-98D4-D707FC3D3348.jpegBelow, Snoopy on some bigger gravel. Back country ops with high numbers of landings & take offs on sand & gravel will increase the prop & rotor wear & also the chance of something bigger causing severe damage. Seems one of the main causes is the nose wheel flicking stuff up and then into the prop. I have experimented with various guards & flaps that come up in flight to reduce drag but not satisfied with any yet. Have run blade tape on the props & main blades for this as well as rain erosion. Not so happy with that as well so at the moment running clean. But still working on something.
Depending on many variables & luck I seem to get about 400 hrs out of the Magni props.
Interesting with the increased ground clearance with the bush wheels the tail plane on my Magni for 1,000 hrs and a heck of alot of off field landings only has a few chips on it. Nearly all on its left side. Tells me from the prop swirl maybe.
Also find by keeping the rotor disk flatter for the first few meters of ground roll and not gunning the throttle too much initially helps reduce the chance of the main blades taking a hit from a stone. Remembering of course to then bring the stick back.
Cow dung or mud or simply water on the mains can cause stones to stick & then be flicked off during take off, so bit of a luck game as far as that goes.
6CA6DA5B-2CFA-42C5-AAB5-0B27BF99DCBB.jpegThis fiord is actually a marine reserve. Quite shallow. At 2 hours before low tide the gray sand bar on the mid left of the pic emerges,as an island. Fixed wings sometimes land on it. I dont as there is a good beach not far away.
Well 3 months ago one dug in & up onto its nose & then a mad scramble to get it lifted out before the tide got it.
Up around that snow peak in the distance are some beautiful glacier valleys. I can burn 2 hrs of gas just in this watershed alone.
With the high rainfall apparently there can be up to a 5 meter layer of fresh water on top of the salt water in alot of the fiords.
C75EFB49-334C-4520-A1F9-0F2BD760835C.jpegThe height increase with the bigger tyres really requires a step. Especially when dressed to the max.
Note the decal to pacify the greens.2022D837-C171-48F1-A408-D6108436D983.jpegBelow. This beach is at times ok to land on. It varies with degree of slope & sand waves from time to time. The white flat is verry soft and in the wilderness anyway so forbidden. And guess what a gyro leaves in the sand, plenty of evidence.
A little below mid tide at this time.
205CE2A6-CDF8-47B7-8E9B-C8F408A39FE7.jpeg
This area is north of the main Fiords and a change in country. A well known beach with alot of aircraft activity during spring due the White Bait season. There are numerous huts up in the bush. It sells for 80 to 120$ kg. Many tons are flown from here each season.
There have however been numerous incidents. Soft sand and also at times very strong cross winds, both on shore & off.
This is taken at low tide. The wet sand usually ok. The semi dry possibly, the white no.
One evening a few months ago I was parked here sitting on the tyre eating my last vegemite sandwich of the day and a fixed wing circled and landed. First aircraft I had seen all day. When introduced I then realised who he was and knew he had been flying fish out of there since almost back when Jesus played fullback for the All Blacks.
He was very intrigued with the gyro. He was very forthcoming with tips gained from his years flying off sand which I appreciated.He also pointed to an area close and said last season he put his plane on its nose right there. Reason he said was just being sloppy. Taxing too fast with a good tail wind and one wheel sunk in and up onto its nose it went.
Added salt to the wound was the engine was only a month out of overhaul & a new prop also. Whilst being slung out by helicopter further salt added as it suffered quite a bit of skin damage.
They did notice a large rock just beneath the surface beside where the tyre sank. Their thinking was this was causing the sand on the upslope side to hold water after the tide receded.
I flew away from there with even greater respect for the sand.
1BB4258A-4C4C-4C2F-9C72-645DFD6FA9AE.jpegBelow. In this one you can see where I have taxied on the soft. The turn is not as sharp as it looks. The nose wheel rut is deeper than it looks. Light on fuel and still took more than 3500 rpm to get through. Check under the gyro, now thats my nose wheel trench from taxing the day before. It has had two tides over it so filled in a bit. But now that area is very hard packed. Go figure.
Goes to show, gravel & rocks are rougher but what you see is what you get. Sand and long grass often more tempting but can be hiding numerous surprises.681A406F-F53C-4B8B-8715-B6F30F0E9265.jpegBelow. Usually my back seat pax is a non talking drum of fuel. This day was my mates 70th birthday. So the day before I pre staged some fuel and then flew him through the fiords for 10 hrs. It was an area he had fished & hunted in his youth.
Incidentally the point behind the gyro has been deemed to be the most remote part of NZ mainland being the furthest from any man made structure track etc. This beach is the only spot that you could land on and take off in an 80 mile stretch of coastline. However it cannot be counted on as sometimes chocked full of wood & sand waves. Also some very soft black sand in places so only really firm an hour either side of low tide. So fuel management top priority. Especially if you encounter an un expected head wind when home bound.
He told me in confidence that that was without a doubt the best day of his life. I got a kick out of that.
When he got home & talking to his wife of course it had to be changed to one of the best ten days of his life.B73AE103-C047-4CC1-BF75-E3A51F2F3863.jpeg
 
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Resasi

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London/ Kilifi Kenya
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Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
Another great post Pete with some spectacular scenery. Loved your decal for the ‘Greens’.

How much fuel do you have in the SportCopter, size of tanks, and what sort of endurance are you getting?
 

Burrengyro

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Ireland
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ELA07S and Montgomerie Bensen (project)
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Another great post Pete with some spectacular scenery. Loved your decal for the ‘Greens’.

How much fuel do you have in the SportCopter, size of tanks, and what sort of endurance are you getting?
Hi Jungleman Pete,
Fantastic scenery and great photos of the gyros too! Do you use much more fuel with the bush tyres compared to the original small wheels?
Thanks for sharing the gyro photos and the photos of your country.
John H
 

DavePA11

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Nov 16, 2015
Messages
854
Location
USA
Jungleman Pete - Did you add a step to the Sportcopter M912? Really great photos. Wish I added big tires like that! Can you replicate what the M16 did for larger front tire?

How does the Magni M-16 perform compared to the Sportcopter M912? Can he get off the sand/gravel about the same take-off distance as the Sportcopter? Does the M16 have independent brakes to help steer if one tire hits different surface type like wet vs dry sand?
 
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Ott Thiele

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Feb 22, 2021
Messages
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KRZT Ohio
I was flying with my pilot friend two days ago. He was flying a Aeronica Champ bush plane and I was flying my Magni M24 Plus Gyroplane. His glide ratio requires that he flys just above the trees to land short on a grass strip. My Gyroplane has a 4:1 glide ratio and can spiral down without worrying about stalling ( at zero forward my Gyroplane desends at 500’/ min). At zero airspeed a fixed wing airplane descends like a rock. I can land as short as a bush plane. Take off distance depends on rotor pre rotation speed, headwind, and engine HP. My Gyroplane has a 141 Hp engine for a 654 lb aircraft.

My fuel burn in cruise is about 5 gal/ hr for 85-90 mph forward speed. My friend burns about the same for a cruise speed of 80 mph.
Each aircraft is designed for it’s mission. A bush plane with big tires can land in rough terrain that I would not take my Gyroplane Into. In a 25 kt headwind the bush plane and the Gyroplane can take off almost vertically. In 25 KT headwind I have taken off vertically and landed with a 2’ takeoff and landing roll. I sold my Cessna Cardinal and bought my Magni for safety, low fuel consumption, and fun factor. My Gyroplane can fly in 50 KT winds and easily land with 25KT cross winds. Wind gusts and thermals are barely felt. My fixed wing flying friends are on the Ground while I am flying all over the place.
 

Jungleman

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Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
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S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Great post Pete. Back country flying to the max, together with some great tips on rough field operations with a gyro.

The intention of the GT-VX2 has been with this sort of flying in mind. There is plenty of similar terrain in the US, though almost none in the UK, and certainly far more regulated here with regard to off airport landings.

Have always thought of the Sport Copter as being a pretty rugged machine, and it certainly seems as though you are utilising this to a far greater extent than a huge percentage of gyro pilots.

Look forward to seeing any photos and videos of your flying excursions.
.Great post Pete. Back country flying to the max, together with some great tips on rough field operations with a gyro.
Resasi.
Thanks.
Copy that on the restrictions up there. A few years ago I bought a 500 ( the one in my avitar actually) from just south of you at Shoreham by Sea. With the bit of flying we did and in talking with the guys there I hear what you are saying.
We possibly have the thin end of that wedge being inserted here in NZ. My motto is to give it heaps while we can & if I can & just hope to at least get 20 more years of the current freedoms, but am doubtful.
The intention of the GT-VX2 has been with this sort of flying in mind. There is plenty of similar terrain in the US, though almost none in the UK, and certainly far more regulated here with regard to off airport landings.
Have always thought of the Sport Copter as being a pretty rugged machine, and it certainly seems as though you are utilising this to a far greater extent than a huge percentage of gyro pilots.

Look forward to seeing any photos and videos of your flying excursions.
Absolutely amazing post Pete, hit the nail on the head and summed it up perfectly.
Gyro's are more capable of air port than most realize, once you have a powerfull spinner for high rotor rpm to stabalize things and naturally shorter take off.
Just one thing, you mentioned it was said about all that spinny stuff up top maybe being a hinderance but without all that spinny stuff stabalizing a high c of g trike you couldn't use it like you are.

wolfy
Hey Wolfy
Glad you liked it. I am sitting on a fire contract on your east coast. Our Crane crew in Perth are well entrenched so I
could not get there this season. A pity as I would have enjoyed coming and seeing your build. Have really enjoyed following it along, thanks for sharing.
I hear what you are saying about the gyroscopic rigidity of the head & blades, I had not fully recognised its aide in
stability on the rough ground. Must admit the higher pre rotation does seem to make the take off roll on undulating ground more tidy. On another note I do find though that there is not a huge difference in take off roll distance between say 220 & 300 rpm. On say 60 meters then maybe 6 meters. I suppose a bit to do with the larger drag down of the rotor rpm from 300 to 260 & 220 to 215 before building. In fact with some finesse can almost get off in the same distance.
With a head wind I think the gap may be larger. Would appreciate thoughts on that.
Pete
 
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Tyger

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Nov 25, 2017
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Germantown, NY
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Magni M16
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On another note I do find though that there is not a huge difference in take off roll distance between say 220 & 300 rpm. On say 60 meters then maybe 6 meters. I suppose a bit to do with the larger drag down of the rotor rpm from 300 to 260 & 220 to 215 before building. In fact with some finesse can almost get off in the same distance.
With a head wind I think the gap may be larger. Would appreciate thoughts on that.
 

Jungleman

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Another great post Pete with some spectacular scenery. Loved your decal for the ‘Greens’.

How much fuel do you have in the SportCopter, size of tanks, and what sort of endurance are you getting?
Jungleman Pete - Did you add a step to the Sportcopter M912? Really great photos. Wish I added big tires like that! Can you replicate what the M16 did for larger front tire?

How does the Magni M-16 perform compared to the Sportcopter M912? Can he get off the sand/gravel about the same take-off distance as the Sportcopter? Does the M16 have independent brakes to help steer if one tire hits different surface type like wet vs dry sand?
Resai
35 lits in the main & 20 in each of the ali aux tanks. So 75 total. Solid cruise at 5250 rpm & 67 kts burning 21 lits hr.
Playing around about 18/hr. So 2.8 to 3.2 hrs. Remembering by treating 1/4 as empty then you never run out right.

Dave.
Yes made up that step for the Sportcopter . With the added height it is otherwise a bit of a mission to get in with what I wear and with the wind deflectors fitted as well, now super easy in and out. Even for an old 3/4 worn out guy like myself.
Tyler correct, one on the Magni also. Its more of a rail & works really well, for front & back seat, also a plate for stepping onto to inspect the head. I cringe a bit at the added 2.7 kgs for it though.
As they say with regards to adding mods etc to aircraft weight goes on to them the same as us,” one cookie at a time.”
To answer on the performance between the Magni & SC to be fair I really need to do more in the SC for a better comparison. So I am sure my thoughts will change in various areas as I become more current & proficient.
As those who have flown both will know, they are very different machines, and possibly designed with slightly different end uses in mind. Which I appreciate. I have no axe to grind as I own both, but so far with me driving neck & neck on take off distance, with similar fuel. Remembering the Magni is a 914 but a bit heavier too.
Landing I find the SC easier to zero speed, and quite forgiving with the full caster nose wheel with strong cross winds.
Not that I have issues with the linked assy on the Magni as we are supposed to keep it off until almost stopped right, & I find that not too difficult to do & just before it touches relaxing on the pedals helps it trail straight. However if say I do a bunch of take offs in a good cross wind in one then jump in the other the difference is apparent for sure.
Castoring also great for tight taxi turns. Can always jump out of the Magni & turn by hand if necessary though. As I said in my above post am still undecided on which system I prefer. Taking into account my current skill level in the SC I have more confidence dodging rocks, logs & the occasional flight path transiting seal or cow with the Magni linked system especially if up close to the trees or cliffs etc. The pics in my post are mostly out in wide open country. I do get into rather tight areas at times. Both ground track wise and blade clearance where absolute positive track is essential. As I said yet to explore steeper slope ground ops with the SC.
And no the Magni does not have independent braking, just combined finger operated on the throttle. If I do go independent in the future I have considered split finger lever but think maybe a bit tricky to operate so probably feet.
Airspeed wise, both with the big tyres and 5250rpm Magni 73 kts & SC 67
Rate of climb say full fuel on both Magni 900 fpm & SC 700
Remembering the tyre mod complete has added close to 20kg. So that is a significant weight gain many would not want to accept.
Stability, Magni ahead there. Manoeuvrability SC ahead.
Mates ask me how I decide which one I take out. If windy in the mountains then probably the Magni. Not saying the SC can’t handle wind but when in the mountains with lots of vertical happening then I feel more comfortable in the Magni. If going way south and & need lots of fuel then the Magni. Do at times ferry fuel with it to then later use in the SC though.
If mustering some of the locals cows then the SC, it really shines there.
Can make an inflight sandwich in the Magni no problem. The SC not a chance, its very much a hands on machine.
Other than that it is who is closest to the hangar door.
Not sure what you are meaning with regards to the nose wheel assy. Sportcopter were kind enough to sell me one for the Magni. Needed quite a bit of modifying to adapt it. But from the swivel discs down they are the same.
As I said before am making one up with adjustable shock etc that hope to have on the M22 Plus in a couple of months.
Am overseas in the land of Wolfy at the moment but should be back in NZ April through July and expect to do a bunch in both gyros and get the 915 up and running. Happy to report back if you wish.
Sorry for the long winded reply.
Pete
 
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DavePA11

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Nov 16, 2015
Messages
854
Location
USA
Pete, you have a Magni M16, Sportcopterr M912 and getting a Magni M22 with 915? That isn’t fair...

I thought the nose wheel assembly was bigger on the Magni, but it’s the same as the Sportcopter. Thanks for all the comparison information. Do you have the trim system on the M912? I think it’s a must for safety. Mine didn’t have it. Check the brackets holding the horizontal stabilizers on the SC during preflight. I mounted antenna in same spot and worked good. Had to rewire most of the avionics And power to resolve noise issues with radio. The stick is much lighter in the Sportcopter compared to Magni isn’t it?

Dave
 

Jungleman

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Jul 1, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
Aircraft
S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Pete, you have a Magni M16, Sportcopterr M912 and getting a Magni M22 with 915? That isn’t fair...

I thought the nose wheel assembly was bigger on the Magni, but it’s the same as the Sportcopter. Thanks for all the comparison information. Do you have the trim system on the M912? I think it’s a must for safety. Mine didn’t have it. Check the brackets holding the horizontal stabilizers on the SC during preflight. I mounted antenna in same spot and worked good. Had to rewire most of the avionics And power to resolve noise issues with radio. The stick is much lighter in the Sportcopter compared to Magni isn’t it?

Dave
Dave.
Ha no the M22 915 is for a mate, one of my old helicopter students who I have sold helicopters to over the years. A 500 being the last one, poor guy is trying to make a living with them & seeing how much fun I am having with gyros in the south has decided he has to be part of it. He lives a long way from me but I will look after it and probably see him 3 or 4 times a year. So I will of course have to keep the cobwebs out of the engine weekly.
My SC is only 4 years old and 40 hrs on it when I bought it. It has the bracket mod done. My radio is quite good, although can go days without talking to someone.
Yes got the 4 way trim, works very well.
The only thing with the 912 as to 914 is I cringe every time I shut it down with the higher compression stop.
I did also fit the carb heat water jackets as did experience carb ice a few times. Very high humidity here at times and 4 to 22 degrees.
Yes the stick is extremely light compared to the Magni. Great for manoeuvres but I do find care is needed in turbulence to avoid un wanted pilot induced inputs.
 
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Jungleman

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Messages
64
Location
Jackson Bay. New Zealand
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S64 Crane, MD 500 , Magni M16 & SC M912
Wow, Pete. You win. You are having the most fun.

One of my concerns with large tires on a gyro is if one gets slashed by a sharp something and goes flat. Especially with tires the size of ABWs. If one on the mains were to go it would cause a lot of drag on that side and it's really going to lean over. Maybe try having someone pull a valve stem while you're sitting in the seat and ride it down so you know what the sight picture will look like if it ever happens?

I have 21" mains on a Super Drifter amphib. taildragger. I run them at 8-10 PSI which I found out is too low to run them tubeless. I had an instant flat once while taxiing and it took a hard right and stopped. Now I run them with tubes so I can keep the tire pressures low.

Eric
Eric.
Yes have thought quite a bit about a flat. A friend in a heavy laden Cub a few months ago very nearly ran over a cast deer antler laying pointy side up on a river bed strip with late summer grass.
Trick being if I know its flat or not. Visually hard to tell. Usually always try and touch down with as little ground speed as possible & the bigger tyres do allow for a good flare.
I do carry a repair kit & a small pump at times.
Have looked at those transmitting valve caps but cant find any that go down to 5 psi. I would want to make sure they are reliable though & not leak.
If I knew I suppose I could then lean back & with my Crocodile Dundee knife pop the other one, but hesitant as in Kiwi dollars are wickedly expensive, but wickedly good.
Pete
 
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