Gyros, any questions

chrisk

Gyroplane CFI
The Ercoupe is a very interesting plane. I think you will find the modern two place gyros perform similar in cruise. The big difference will be in the dramatically shorter landing distance.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
So true Abid. The more I fly, the more I realize that it's about the love of flying, not about the machine. I need to get a ride in a trike. :)
You should come over one evening after work or on a weekend. You can fly in the AR-1, the trike and if you give me a heads up I can ask our friend Rand here who is a Pipistrel dealer to fly you in a motor glider.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
I still don't get it being a fixed wing pilot. I hear some of you say it would be better to have flown the Gyro on this gusty day yet others who fly Gyro's say they wouldn't have flown that day either. I'm very curious to learn from your experience if Gyro's are truly a little less bumpy in gusty conditions or are they just more capable of handling the chop but you still get bounced around? As someone "middle aged" I'm finding my tolerance for fun does not include getting bounced around so much anymore and unfortunately my airfield is gusty all the time so I find some hope that gyro's may be in my future. I understand the blades probably have a much higher wing load than a fixed wing aircraft but how would the instructor in the video most likely have felt had he been in a gyrocopter instead. Would he have been bounced around just as much? I hope I'm able to ask the question in a way that you understand what I mean.

I have yet to see a roll upset in a 2 seat gyroplane due to turbulence. I'd see it in my friend's Mooney or a Cessna 172 would be bounced quite a bit. A trike is different. It sheds loading but the hanging carriage moves with gusts while the wing usually remains rock solid. However, as an occupant of the carriage, your perspective is such that it feels like there is a big roll upset. In trikes, you have to realize this fact as internalize it as unnatural as it seems before you can comfortably fly in turbulence or you waste a lot of muscle trying to correct stuff that has no effect overall on the aircraft path. It is not easy to do and takes a lot of experience to get used to it.
I would say that if you are looking for the smoothest ride (not talking stick shake) but turbulence wise, the best aircraft is the gyroplane. The blades are moving at 400+ MPH, a 10 knot gust is not going to make much difference to them versus an airplane or trike going at 70 to 100 knots.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
The Ercoupe is a very interesting plane. I think you will find the modern two place gyros perform similar in cruise. The big difference will be in the dramatically shorter landing distance.
I think my trike and gyroplane are likely faster than the Ercoupe I flew in.
 

chipchap42

Newbie
I flew modern trikes (Air Creation with a 912 engine) for 10 years and this video explains all you need to know as to why I switched to gyros and ain't going back. I had a lot of similar experiences to that video and the big issue isn't so much when the airport is underneath you and you can just land (even if you get bumped around a bit), the problem is when you're a substantial distance from your target airport and you start getting bumped around like that. That's what prevented me doing long trips and why I love the gyro.

Paul.
 
I was into trikes, owned a trike then switched to gyros. Best decision of my life. Will never go back. This is soley my opinion and dont mean to offend any trike pilot. For a bystander looking at a gyro vrs a trike, they kinda feel the trike is more like a poor mans airplane with fabric wings and sorta like a toy. Everyone feels the gyro is some kinda helicopter, with a higher level of sophistication.They think you are a chopper pilot not an ultralight pilot with a death wish.They unanimously are amazed and puzzled at how gyros can fly. I fly anytime, all day without worries unlike most trikes where by midday, most trikes are parked. Love the high wing loading of gyros. I cannot stall, i can hover for sometime depending on conditions and if not, i slowly spiral down without issues, and eventually flop down for a landing, kinda like a helicopter. Pretty cool. In my opinion flying a trike is boring compared to gyros. Simply love the takeoff procedure of gyros and love the ability to land in minimal space. I tell everyone this, my gyro on floats is probably one of the safest aircraft bcos if my engine quits, i can land anywhere in a dime. On water or on land. With my wheels up or down. I can even land on water with my wheels deployed and its a non-event bcos of the beauty of the design. GYROS ROCK AND ROLL AND RULE and to me, the choice is a no brainer.
 
BTW, that is indeed Gary, a buddy of mine. He is an awesome trike pilot and instructor and we live and fly around the same airspace.Great videographer and camera man also. Hope to link up with him soon after i receive my new 8.8m wing due to arrive in February. Cant wait..
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
No exaggeration.

No exaggeration.

I flew modern trikes (Air Creation with a 912 engine) for 10 years and this video explains all you need to know as to why I switched to gyros and ain't going back. I had a lot of similar experiences to that video and the big issue isn't so much when the airport is underneath you and you can just land (even if you get bumped around a bit), the problem is when you're a substantial distance from your target airport and you start getting bumped around like that. That's what prevented me doing long trips and why I love the gyro.

Paul.
Having landed and taken off as a flight of two from Santa Paul in wind that had most aircraft grounded I can state that Paul is not exaggerating his willingness to fly in the wind.

In my opinion that flight back from El Mirage would have been less fun in any other light aircraft. It was a lot of fun.

I was ready to wait it out because I was expecting mountain wave activity near Santa Barbara but Paul wanted to press on.

We lucked out and it worked out.

In my opinion it was still a poor aviation decision driven by and unreasonable desire to make it home for work the next day.

People are still shaking their heads at Santa Paula over the crazy guys with the gyroplanes.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
I flew modern trikes (Air Creation with a 912 engine) for 10 years and this video explains all you need to know as to why I switched to gyros and ain't going back. I had a lot of similar experiences to that video and the big issue isn't so much when the airport is underneath you and you can just land (even if you get bumped around a bit), the problem is when you're a substantial distance from your target airport and you start getting bumped around like that. That's what prevented me doing long trips and why I love the gyro.

Paul.
Air Creation always made very stiff handling wings. You needed super muscles to fly their trikes in even mild turbulence IMO. I never got what their philosophy was about that.

Anyway, here is a couple of videos
First watch, after landing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrvBp_8gDwE

Now watch the landing by this girl in the above winds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU3tmSm-oFQ

It takes real men to fly trikes in turbulence :). JK.
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
...I understand the blades probably have a much higher wing load than a fixed wing aircraft...Would he have been bounced around just as much?
Paul, welcome to the forum, and to the sport!

It's true that the gyro's rotor is a wing with very high loading and a tip speed much higher than whatever gusts are happening. But perhaps the most helpful characteristic is that the blades simply cannot generate much more than about 2G of acceleration in a hard turn or wind gust. When a 172 or your Ercoupe would be bouncing you off the headliner, the gyro just makes you feel light in the stomach.

And you needn't worry about rotor RPM loss in gusts if you're at or below max maneuvering speed. If the rotor slows down appreciably, the gyro starts to sink and quickly restores the angle of attack required to preserve RPM and continue autorotation.

Gusty winds that would be a lunch-tosser in a 172 can actually be entertaining in a gyro!
 

SandL

Newbie
I have heard of wing loading being described as the total swept area of the disk , any truth in that ? meaning is that a valid calculation ?
 

Smack

Re-member?
The last 777 that I was on had a wing traveling much faster than "400" mph and I would suggest that its wing loading is in the 'high' category. We hit some turbulence and that big 'ole jet bounced around quite a bit even with its much, much higher mass (than a gyroplane).
Perhaps it is also the rotor RPM variation that damps the bumps.
Anyone have experience with light (low inertia) vs heavy (high inertia) blades in turbulence or gusts?
Brian
 

thomasant

Member
Basically the rotor disc is not solid like a typical wing. The actual blade (wing) area of rotor blades is small compared to an airplane or trike wing (higher aspect ratio). Hence there is more surface on a conventional wing for the air to act upon, and so has greater effect due to turbulence. Rotating rotors therefore "cut through turbulence".
 

giro5

Senior Member
trikes/gyros

trikes/gyros

Air Creation always made very stiff handling wings. You needed super muscles to fly their trikes in even mild turbulence IMO. I never got what their philosophy was about that.

Anyway, here is a couple of videos
First watch, after landing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrvBp_8gDwE

Now watch the landing by this girl in the above winds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU3tmSm-oFQ

It takes real men to fly trikes in turbulence :). JK.
Interesting, my first trike ride was an Northwing Apache and Northwing strutted wing definitely felt like I had been weight lifting when I got down. Next ride was with a Northwing king post wing and it was light as a feather then my Air Creation fun racer was also light as a feather. No matter what trike, the wing makes all the difference. I always avoided much wind with my fun racer. Although I have only towed my gyro on a rope - in some pretty good wind it obviously handles wind and gusts much better than a trike. My quicksilver mx fixed wing was really sensitive to wind and gusts. Thought it was going to toss me out of it one day. Very little wind on the ground but up at 300 ft the air was rolling. Made one quick pattern and landed like the trike guy in the video.
 
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WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
I'm glad all you folks like weight-shift trike flying so much, but I won't be joining you. Since the Bleriot VIII over a century ago, the advantages of joystick and pedals for aileron, elevator, and rudder have become pretty clear, and I'm a big fan of those technologies for fixed wings.

This might not be a surprising admission from somebody who likes swashplates on his gyros and helicopters. I also have my share of balloon, airship, and parachute time with very different control schemes, but I like my fixed wings to have three axis aero-surface controls.
 

chipchap42

Newbie
Air Creation always made very stiff handling wings. You needed super muscles to fly their trikes in even mild turbulence IMO. I never got what their philosophy was about that.

Anyway, here is a couple of videos
First watch, after landing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrvBp_8gDwE

Now watch the landing by this girl in the above winds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU3tmSm-oFQ

It takes real men to fly trikes in turbulence :). JK.
Abid,

then Amy's definitely a real man - that's quite a video, particularly that sudden gust from the right that makes her turn left. I was never in anything quite that extreme but it certainly reminds me of a few days.

Thanks for the videos - nicely done.
Cheers,
Paul.
 

chipchap42

Newbie
Having landed and taken off as a flight of two from Santa Paul in wind that had most aircraft grounded I can state that Paul is not exaggerating his willingness to fly in the wind.

In my opinion that flight back from El Mirage would have been less fun in any other light aircraft. It was a lot of fun.

I was ready to wait it out because I was expecting mountain wave activity near Santa Barbara but Paul wanted to press on.

We lucked out and it worked out.

In my opinion it was still a poor aviation decision driven by and unreasonable desire to make it home for work the next day.

People are still shaking their heads at Santa Paula over the crazy guys with the gyroplanes.
Vance,

ha! That was fun (though I confess I'm definitely glad we didn't hit wave near Santa Barbara). And I know you're right about the questionable nature of the decision. Looking forward to flying down that way again with you sometime soon.

Happy New Year!
Paul.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Abid,

then Amy's definitely a real man - that's quite a video, particularly that sudden gust from the right that makes her turn left. I was never in anything quite that extreme but it certainly reminds me of a few days.

Thanks for the videos - nicely done.
Cheers,
Paul.
That first sentence made me spit my coffee out my nose. LOL

They were going from Florida to Oshkosh on 3 trikes. She was flying one solo. All 3 of them landed in Chicago when a tornado was bursting by nearby. Those are not conditions anyone in any aircraft should deliberately fly in. I do not think it was a wise decision to fly that leg knowing the possibility of thunderstorms. It was bad ADM. Could have been really bad. Me and Greg were flying behind them I think. Me in the trike and Greg in the gyro. We waited a few hours and then bursted all the way close to Oshkosh at 90 to 100 MPH in very nice conditions with just a tiny drizzle in one spot. I usually would fly these long cross country legs at 6500 to 8500 feet MSL but Greg would not go over the clouds on the way there or back so I had to deal flying at less than 1000 feet AGL the whole way even over mountains in TN getting knocked around behind him. What a goof.
 
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