Helicopters or Gyros..?

StanFoster

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Tim- You make some very valid points that I agree with, and some that I would like to add my input. I have always said that gyros are hands down the all around best rotorcraft to fly-in, and to go to a helicopter requires extra desires and the correct environment for flying a helicopter. I think you will find I am trying my best to be as unbiased as possible as you will see I mention the advantage a gyro has several times...alongside the advantages a helicopter has. In the end...a newbie should be more influenced to go with a gyro than a helicopter by reading the following.


1. Engine outs- autorotating. In my opinion, you are correct when you say gyros are easier to autorotate to a landing. I have personally experienced way too many gyro emergency landings and one in my helicopter. I was more likely to have bent my helicopter.

You mentioned being more reluctant to do low and slow...or low and fast in a helicopter. I agree again. No longer am I flying on the deck at 90 mph but rather at 50 feet instead. But.... Low and slow.....in this case I do this a LOT. I have a helicopter to do just this...and I feel my 90 plus videos on YouTube show I exercise this freedom a lot. But...you wont see me on the deck going fast as thats in the HV chart that is on the bottom of the chart.

I have to mention though that lets say you have a problem, oil pressure, overtemps, etc... instead of continuing on to the nearest road or unknown clearing terrain....a helicopter can just come down and do a precautionary landing and check out the problem before its gets worse. I had my main rotor transmission oil light flickering a few weeks ago.....I immediately landed right below me and was satisified it was ok...then lifted off and flew back to my stairshop. It was a pressure switch with with too high of limits....it was doing its job however and turning my light on in the dash.

2. Pilot workload Again Tim, you are exactly correct, during initial training. It is a whole lot of stuff dumped on your nervous system to get your brain hardwired to fly these dang things. Hands down the hardest thing I have ever learned to fly. NO QUESTION! But, what was my biggest surprise is that once my reflexes, butt g-meter, and other sensory inputs were all connected in my brain, I can honestly say a helicopter is the easiest thing to take off and land in. Hands down no question....while the engine is running of course! You just think and your feet and hands just do it automatically. Now...for camera work....a gyro is hands down an easier platform,,,NO QUESTION! ESPECIALLY low altitude work. You dont see a whole lot of pictures coming from my handheld camera on my Helicycle...but from a stationary skid mount. You are absolutely correct also about locking the collective. Even with your hand off that collective...it is still cocked and ready to get back on it instantly. I have no problem at altitude tightening the friction on my collective and taking some pictures...but flying a gyro and doing the same is MUCH easier.

3. Downwash- Thats a good point but anyone that uses the 3rd dimension capability of a helicopter "should" be aware of extra caution they need to exercise while using this priviledge of stirring air at low airspeeds. I agree that some dont, and they need their butts chewed out. I witnessed that R44 at Mentone last year moving that high wing plane on the ground. But I have to again agree with you that this is not a problem with a gyro.

4. Vertical take off and landings.............Now we are connecting why I have a helicopter. I have the environment to do such, and love having air as my runway. Being able to land at places that I have never been able to with 800 hours in gyros is just ecstatic to me. Having experienced it now, I find I am loving it more and more, the more comfortable I am becoming hardwired with my chopper.

To sum it up, it all boils down how bad you want to be able to take off and land from most anywhere....or let me modify this...having the ability to do so even if its seldom exercised. Or how bad you love to hover over muddy fields, whatever, that if you had to set down would be an adventure just getting it out of there.....yet you pull collective and escape the mud tenacles. If the above few sentences dont excite you,,,,then there is no reason to have this 3rd dimension capability. Or if your thing is low level picture taking.....or flying on the deck....and these are strong desires....dont get a helicopter. I would never say everyone wants a helicopter because that simply isnt true. I am sure many wouldnt want one if it was given to them, and their training paid for, if they had to give up their gyro flying.

I will finish here in saying that having flown both, nothing beats a gyro for all around funf flying...............................unless you are obsessed with hovering and being able to land and takeoff most anyplace.


Stan
 

barnstorm2

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I have to mention though that lets say you have a problem, oil pressure, overtemps, etc... instead of continuing on to the nearest road or unknown clearing terrain....a helicopter can just come down and do a precautionary landing and check out the problem before its gets worse.
Wow, that is an excellent point. I had not considered. that.

.
 

StanFoster

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Tim- I had too many points that I was in total agreement with you, so I had to throw that in. HA

I am still saying that there is less on your mind yanking a gyro around..if thats what you want to do....and most seem to love that ability.

I could list several more advantages a gyro has.....and I definitely could also for a helicopter...but then I feel I was giving these reasons as a bias.

Bottom line....I think most of us end up with exactly the machine that is meant for us. I rarely have told anyone that they should go with a helicopter, and the only times were when they clearly stated their desire to land and take off most anywhere.

If say I lived in a town and had no shop out in the country...and had to drive to an airport to get into my rotorcraft....it would most likely still be a gyro.

But in MY case, the dang thing is sitting there in the next room while I am trying to not think about it and work on my stairways.

So wel all have different situations. But if I were getting back into gyros, I would strongly consider having a Lycoming or another certified engine in it like yours Tim. I watch how you and Vance just have an engine out minimized to about as small as it gets. I feel with my upgrades to my turbine support equipment, such as redundant governor power, NO main fuel solenoid....that I have approached very closely the realibility that certified engines have. Any can still quit of course....and thats why I practice autos....besides...they are fun.

Stan


Stan
 

MichaelLabib

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I was always fascinated by the simplicity of the Gyrocopters. Although Gyrocopters similar in looks to Helicopters but it is a completely different aircraft and I personally think it is sad that Gyrocopters didn’t get their share in research and development like helicopters although gyros are much safer and with modern technology I believe hover and vertical takeoff could be possible. The lack of development resulted in no change since Juan de la Sirva flew his first one and they are still UGLY.
I also think that if it wasn’t for people like you guys gyros would have been forgotten.
 

All_In

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For me I want a single place rotor craft to twist and shout, yank and bank and a two place open frame to fly low across America/ the world to share a prospective of the country with another friend that few will ever see.

I wish to fly up dirt roads and fly over the locked gated and see what is on the other side without limits and fly over and video my friends racing the Baja 500 and mint 400.

I have posted many times regarding the selection of an aircraft is like selecting the right tool.

I can take 10 people in the Navajo and fly over 220kts per hour, or take 6 in a P210 or Cherokee 6, or 4 in our Archer when we wish to travel from airport to airport and I still enjoy flying FW's but it just to get to the fun.

For what I wish to do a gyro is the only tool for this mission.

However I can see a Helicopter / Helicycle in my future if only for a few missions like following the pony express routes and marking the GPS location while hovering over the native and European archeological sites clearly visible from the air and filming races would be easier in a helicopter too.
 
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barnstorm2

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However I can see a Helicopter / Helicycle in my future if only for a few missions like following the pony express routes and marking the GPS location while hovering over the native and European archeological sites clearly visible from the air and filming races would be easier in a helicopter too.
I would LOVE to have a helicycle too!

GPS waypoints a heli can not be beat.

However, as addressed earlyer filming maybe not so.

Every year I am invited (over the FW and Heli volunteers ) to film the big paddling event in this part of the country because they say my gyro is quieter (the race goes through nature sanctuarys), less obtrusive (I don't know what they mean by that), gets closer and does not require both a pilot and a photographer.



 

StanFoster

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Tim- There is no doubt you are flying exactly what you should be and its a lot of fun watching you do so. Anyone having you as an instructor will be a lucky student.


Stan
 

All_In

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I agree Tim for the majority of the race.

However I was thinking of 3 or four jumps in the Baja 500 where it would be nice to hover and get most/many of the rides jumping them. I would have to circle in my gyro and would miss some of them.
 

barnstorm2

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I agree Tim for the majority of the race.

However I was thinking of 3 or four jumps in the Baja 500 where it would be nice to hover and get most/many of the rides jumping them. I would have to circle in my gyro and would miss some of them.
True, you would have to circle to video action at fixed spot in a gyro.

Be-careful not to make a dust storm! ;)

.
 

StanFoster

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John- You would not want to hover very long over sand in a Helicycle. The air filter consistts of a mesh screen with about 1/8 inch openings. It has a tremendous appetite for air and sand! The efficiency of the turbine goes down with the turbine wheel slowly being ground down by sand ingestion. NOT GOOD! Stan
 

All_In

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Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
Then the sand dunes are out!
OK thanks for the education Stan. I love this site learning without having to learn it the hard way.

So it is a Genesis for me!!! Yippee, Gillespie tower experimental 337RW requesting a twist and shout landing above the taxi-way please. Thank you, now landing!!!
 
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turbo

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if you got the $$$$$$ then you need both.

helis burn up the $$$$$ unless you are flying a single seat mosquito with a 2 stroke. can wait for a 4 stroke on that thing.

gyros are definitely the poor mans helo. i have 1.5 hrs at benson days and will have one some day. they are the dirt bike of the sky.

helis, when in dough, auto out. not such a big deal with some practice, just get the collective down or your dead meat. who cares about maintaining rpms with collective on the way down in the real deal, pick your spot, get there, flare, keep it straight and pull that dam collective and cushion the landing. you wount have much time to think about it because you are probably cruising at 500' or so.

for now i am a R-44 addict. dad owns it, i fly him and whoever wants to go in pure comfort. 4 up ipod singing, you need to get your 3 best friends and try it. open invite here any time. will be in ct all summer burning lots of 100LL.

as far as faa 'safe' altitudes, i stay above 300' whenever i see people below. if you are low and someone dosent like it then you might be in hot water. there are too many cameras around. if they are waving at you it is either that single finger salute or they really like what you are doing.

the north east has some spectacular flying between the mountains, citys, rivers, islands, and coastline. best seen in a heli. seems we dont give away the places we work so hard to get permission to land at. hope you all get a chance to fly with us some day.

YouTube - home LZ robinson R-44


 
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RotorTom

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You have confused apples with oranges...


My Gyro is faster then all of the local Brantlys and Bell 47's and every other 2-place piston powered heli I have come across.

Gyros (all things equil) are faster then heli's. That is the attraction for making a heli / gyro hybid like the Rotodyne, Carter copter, XV and many others.

You can take 2, 3 or 4 passengers in a gyro. You just have to get a multi-seat gyro like the Hawk-4, Parsons 3 place, Rotodyne, Xenon 3 place or others.

.
Good points ... but I must disagree when you say most gyros are faster than helicopters. I'll guarantee you that no mainstream gyro could beat my R44 or my 480B. And what about 500's and Jet Rangers? And Eurocopters?

Yes .. some gyros will beat some helicopters ... but fleet to fleet there is no comparison.

Oh, oh ... I feel races coming on. Could that be a new event at B-days or Mentone?

And you must admit 3 and 4 place gyros are few and far between for practical cross-country comfort.
 

helicopter ed

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Hey good friend Stan, 2 things, no 3, that I would like to have. A cheap lost interest project like you have, A cabin like on yours to put on a gyro, [wouldn't that look prestine], and a wrecked R-22 for reasonable. No matter what is broke, I could fix or make. Between you me and Homer, you are building the right helicopter now. The Scorpion taught Homer and me a wealth of information and skills but we learned real quick when we started logging hours it was not a long lived bird. We did beef up all weak areas. I flew mine 15 years, Homer flew his hybred [Scorpion into Exec] Coast to Coast. Come to think of it, that article Homer wrote on his trip is in old issues of PRA.
I need to put that on my TO DO list and get it on the forum for eternity. Homer never got the recognition he deserved for that. That is right up there [to have the guts] with
Charles Lindberg crossing to France. His story is great. I can't say it enough Stan, what we all want is a helicopter...

This photo is nearest thing I have right now to a helicopter, [with wheels]. 29 years old and still looks good.
Helicopters all should have wheels, with handle just like mine. Alot of unneccessary wear is used up hover taxing.
One more thing and I'll quit. TURBO, the R 44 is the most beautiful helicopter ever. I repeat ever, bar none...
Just watched the movie on Turbos reply, in this digital age we need lots more flying movies like that one to let our guests[and us] to feel the magic carpet freedom we all are hooked on, it is like being there, Strap on a camera somebody and make lots more...
 

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StanFoster

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Ed- let me say that without B.J. Schramm, Homer Bell, Doug Schwochert and you , I would not be flying a helicopter that I built myself. You all were pioneers that made my path easy. I am forevwr in debt to you all. Stan
 

StanFoster

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Turbo- Your picture of the R44 on the little peninsula says it all. If landing there doesn't speak volumes about helicopters, then they are not for you. Way to have the good life with that beautiful chopper. Stan
 

helicopter ed

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I can't say it enough Stan, what we all really want is a helicopter...
 

StanFoster

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Ed- I can't and won't speak for others, but I am definitely one of the "we". Stan
 

barnstorm2

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Good points ... but I must disagree when you say most gyros are faster than helicopters. I'll guarantee you that no mainstream gyro could beat my R44 or my 480B. And what about 500's and Jet Rangers? And Eurocopters?

Yes .. some gyros will beat some helicopters ... but fleet to fleet there is no comparison.

Oh, oh ... I feel races coming on. Could that be a new event at B-days or Mentone?

And you must admit 3 and 4 place gyros are few and far between for practical cross-country comfort.
again, apples and oranges.

You are mixing size classes. In the same size class gyros are faster.

You can say there is a much bigger fleet of helis and more larger models that is completely true.

However, gyros are faster then helis in the same size and engine class.

That is the whole reason for the research done into compound helicopters and rotodynes, to bring the speed of the gyro into the helicopter world.

That is why when the rotodyne was flying it was the fastest rotorcraft on earth and why the 2 fastest rotorcraft on earth today are compound helicopters.

In general, helicopters come in last in the speed race, gyros second and gyro/heli hybrids come in first.

Gyros have broken the Mu barrier, so far no helis have.

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?printable=1&ContentBlockID=54d25f84-7c1f-4c7b-8f5a-65b240b70354&usg=AFQjCNHtmBaihDXISD59sEzInCJaVzbEUg

http://www.cartercopters.com/mu-1.html

.
 
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