Helicycle-- Hoverings & Happenings

StanFoster

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The" Prez" called me

The" Prez" called me

The president of the "Flying Farmers" called me today , kind of holding his breath if I was still flying in on Saturday. I told him "the weather is looking perfect, the chopper is full of kerosene, its all preflighted and sitting there trembling ready to go". He was ecstatic as he has a bunch of the farmers all lathered up about the turbine powered helicopter. He kept thanking me and then said the Beef House is catering this meal. If anyone here knows anything about the Beef House in Covington, Indiana, you will know it was voted the best steak house in Indiana. If you think I am nuts abour pig ribs, wait till you see me filet out the side of a cow. Will trade kerosene for a filet-0-cow anyday. After we eat, everyone is gathering around the Helicycle while I explain the turbine and the systems. Then i will demonstrate some flying in it. They are expecting a huge turnout of around 80 airplanes from several states. I will post pictures. I will try to get someone to take my camera and shoot some videos. Stan
 

StanFoster

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Saturdays flight to the Flying Farmers convention in Danville, Il was a big success. I entered the co-ordinates in my GPS and enjoyed the cross country flight. An interesting note about this particular airport....the last time I had flown there was on Dec. 19th, 1983. I was taking my checkride in a Piper Tomahak. It was a very cold day at only 5 degrees. I can still remember my examiners remark when I called him and said I was about to leave for the airport. He said "you still coming in these cold temps? You must want your license bad! " Of course I wanted that license. I find it interesting that that was the coldest day I had flown a fixed wing...and now this was the hottest day I had ever flown anything , it was 98 degrees.


It was very hot and humid... and like I just mentioned...the highest temps I have flown in a helicopter at 98 degrees. I was pulling 100 mph and was pleased to see my main transmission temps reaching 132 degrees at their highest....and the turbine oil temps reached 148. I am placing a small yellow marker on my instruments for a bench mark. Of course if I were hovering at 98 degrees for awhile...these temps would climb. But the main transmission is the one I added a Morosso oil coooler and it has read 160 degrees last year when it was 90 degrees out.

There were about 60 flying farmers attending and as usual with a gyroplane or a helicopter, everyone gathers around the rotary wing craft and maybe just a stray going down the flight line of the fixed wing.

My dad was a flying farmer and at age 90, was the oldest one there. He is pictured with my step mom and myself by my Helicycle.

I was asked to talk about the Helicycle , building and flying it. I gave a brief outline of both and then opened it up for a Q&A session. Hands were going up everywhere....and questions like .....how fast?, how high? how far? how much? etc.......there came the expected question....."What happens if the turbine quits?" I pointed to Dr. Meyer, who I have pictured next to his Cessna. I just commented as I was pointing....."ask Dr. Meyer what happens when my turbine quit last Veterans Day." I went on to explain that he was the only witness to myself ending up in the HV curve out of enough speed and enough height to do a proper autorotation, and I chose my best option to do a run on landing. I told the story how it was Dr. Meyers fault for being a catalyst in me to show him how this thing can really climb out. Of course they saw my tongue-in-cheek mockery and blame of Dr. Meyer as being directed at myself, and they all burst out laughing. I had no idea how being open and honest in front of a crowd of experienced high time pilots would turn in my favor.

I went back into the past and talked about some of the engine outs I had in gyros. I focused on my Mac powered Bensen and the 10 forced landings I had just with that one machine. I told them I was considering having a plaque for it that said....."Made In Hell". I thought the crowd was going to lose it.


I had one pilot come up later and thank me for admitting my pilot error that contibuted to my forced landing in the helicopter......and that he had several stories himself to tell.

Even though it was 98 degrees out, I invited any that wanted to come out to the tarmac, to come on and listen to a walk around....see the startup, then watch hovering, quick stops and a NORMAL departure.

Most came out and the rest stayed in the air conditioning...but were stuck to the windows like bugs.

The last picture is a turbine powered spray plane. It must have been showing off in front of my turbine by letting off some smoke.

I came home to receiving nice messages of several that enjoyed the talk and the flight demo.

I was invited to join the Flying Farmers, and I would if I were a farmer. I am waiting for a Flying Stairbuilders chapter to start...but that would be about as impossible as anything.

I flew home just letting the landscape roll under me that matched my GPS screen. A GPS just takes the workload off flying anything. If this had been a cross country flight to unfamiliar territory, I would have had a kneeboard strapped on and checking off points on the chart so that if the GPS lost signal, I would just continue on. This flight I did not need any navigation except what was in stored in my head.

Stan
 

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All_In

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Very, very cool!!!

Thanks for sharing!!
 

StanFoster

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Had a ball today flying and forgot I had the skid cam on. I got caught being myself. This ended up being my 2nd favortie video I have made.....2nd only to the flame out one last Veterans Day. I gave this video its own thread...but still want to archive it here in this thread.


YouTube - ‪June11 004‬‏


Stan
 

StanFoster

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My 100th YouTube video

My 100th YouTube video

Heres another video of a flight from my shop...messing around hovering....flying the interstate....then stopping at a friends place.

This is my 100th video on YouTube.


YouTube - ‪June11 002‬‏


Stan
 

StanFoster

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Honey happenings

Honey happenings

I titlled this "Honey Happenings.....because the last two days were just beautiful temperature and humidity wise. We had a lot of "happenings" going on around the yard. Barbara and I love to work around our yard together.....and I love to fly to work. What better situation than to fly to our heli-lot next door and walk over and work on the landscaping and Koi pond this weekend.

Barbara and I are changing our cyprus mulch to red/black lava rock. I told her having the helicopter next door ready for an immediate escape keeps my work ethic high....ha.

Here are some pictures of my Helicycle sitting on our heli-lot next doors to our home. You can make out my sweet corn and potatoes I have in my small garden. You can make out the trailer behind the garden that was full of lava rock.

I did an aerial shot as Barbara watched from the sidewalk.

Our Koi pond that I was cleaning the pump and filters on....some of our Koi fish and the water lily that is blooming in purple right now.

I had an excellent weekend with Barbara....we accomplished a lot and really enjoyed it. As a bonus, I had lots of "escape" flights to keep my adrenalin up for the yard work.....(thats my story and I am sticking to it! ha). I flew almost 3 hours this weekend and had the most fun yet with my Helicycle.

I had Mentone entered into my GPS and started on a mock flight to Mentone. My GPS was showing around 92 mph when averaged over a 180 degree course....and my ASI was showing around 98 average. So I opened up my bleed air on my pitot line.....I have a screw in my instrument panel that I simply bleed off a little air pressure out of my pitot line, making my ASI read correctly. I never really adjusted mine till yesterday. Now it should remain very close and I probably wont touch it again.


Stan
 

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StanFoster

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Out checking my new power lights this morning Full fuel...though it wasnt hot out, my left light would come on just while hovering, or brislly accelerating, or going 80 mph. So, I set it to a little higher threshold and am going for a test flignt now.

YouTube - ‪June18 003‬‏


Stan
 

StanFoster

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I had a complete stranger stop by my shop a week ago and was asking if I could give his son a ride for his birthday. He had seen my helicopter around my hometown and followed me into my woods. I had him come out in the next room and look at the helicopter. He goes..."oh, no 2nd seat" I told him maybe he could riide on the skids, but just dont wave as I dont like blood on my rotrorblades.

I asked him where he lived and told him I would fly in and land after I did a high and low recon flight.

So, today was the day. I flew to his home and there was just a small clearing in his yard with an egress over some small trees. I thought to myself, why not? and did a steep approach into the hole in his yard. I picked out a nice steep approach and rode the rails down to my target point. It was about a 50 foot by 70 foot hole I was in My main problem was keeping the herd of people that was comng my way back from my spinning rotor.

All went well and the one picture is the guy in his 20's having the birthday party. They tried to pay me with a beer and cake...but I said I dont drink and fly....ha.

The whole group was having a cow looking the helicopter over. One guy was an A & P for over 35 years on helicopters. He was really interested and asking all kinds of questions.

I soon had everyone step back, and I lit the turbine....got the blades to flight rpm, pulled collective to a nice one foot hover, then did a max performance takeoff till I cleared the trees. Translational lift was soon experienced and I was gone. What a rush. This machine is my buddy.



Stan
 

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StanFoster

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Ended up finishing fathers day with an hour evening fight last night. You can see its not far from my chopper channel to my hel-lot next to my house. I made different approaches...high...low....low and with a quick stop, etc. All systems are working great.


YouTube - ‪June19 004‬‏


Stan
 

Dirtydog

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StanFoster : Glad to see you enjoying yourself, I did some fly yesterday day also burned up 15 gallon of fuel. Get day but it got hot, even at 1,500'
 

StanFoster

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I flew a short cross country to a former clients home that I did some railing work on last year. I had an open invitation to fly in and land anytime.

So today I flew there, took some pictures and found out this estate is just being put on the market.....very high dollar place. Of all the mega million dollar homes I have had the opportunity to work on....this has the most picturesque view out the back of the home I have ever seen.

I had to ask what there plans were when it sells. She told me they have an even nicer lake...and they will be building another large home that will have a very huge curved stairway in it. She said an extra fancy stairway. They will start on the new home immediately after the sale of this home. It may be next week, next year, who knows. These people are high rolling CPA's that work out of Chicago, but then escaped to the serenity of the rural Illinois landscape out of Chicago.


I hope I didnt leave a burnt spot on the their beautiful front lawn.


Stan
 

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StanFoster

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Yesterdays cross country flight left a few impressions with me. It was a very calm day, no wind, very stable air. It made me pay particular attention to how smooth the turbine and rotor was. I could take my hand off the cyclic and had my collective friction on. The cabin was extremely smooth, the cyclic just sat ther not moving. I had my GPS set as if I were headed to Mentone. I then noticed my groundspeed was 104 mph on my GPS. A quick check of my ASI showed it was right on. My ASI used to read about 10 mph too fast. My RAF and SparrowHawk also indicated much faster than I was really going. I don't like that and that's why I came up with my bleed air modification to my pitot air line. It isa satisfying to have an ASI read very close now and I don't chase the adjustment. So far one calibration run was all my SparrowHawk needed, and the same with my Helicycle. Now when my ASI reads 100 mph, that's how fast I am moving through the air. Yesterdays flight had me going 110 mph both ways and my GPS verified it as the average came out exactly. Can't wait for my flight to Mentone soon. It has been 4 years since I have flown there. Stan
 

NoWingsAttached

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Since the problem with ASI reading wrong is the negative pressure in the instrument pod, it is easily remedied either by the method you have implemented, which is pretty neat since it is an adjustable deal using a simple valve, (right?) or by running a plastic pipe extension from the "exhaust" port on the instrument to an area that is not subject to the drag which produces negative air pressures around the outlet. Of course you already know all of that, I was just wondering when this thread will reach 50,000 hits and thought I'd throw in my two cents to go on record as still being a subscriber.

Yesterday was wonderful in GA too, Stan, and I had a very relaxing, enjoyable flight at 2300 MSL as well. Got a new sunburn on my thighs to show for my hour-long cruise around the lake, dive bombing Zellie's grass strip, then the 1500 ft-long dam (practicing engine-out approaches should I ever need that while doing figure eights over the water skiiers), then off to the granite quarry, down the expressway over to the next lake, wagging my tail over the tank farm, then finally heading back down Hwy 27 to the airport for a touchdown in front of my hangar.

I learned from Zellie's son at EAA 976 meeting last month that Zellie passed away in December. I had last stopped in to chat with the old Navy WWII pilot in November, and he was looking very ragged then. I'm going to miss dropping in on him on my way to/from Carrollton West GA CTJ.
 
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StanFoster

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Nowings- You make a good point on the static porrt which I totally agree with. But, I fly with full doors in the winter, one full door and a half door on the left side when its chilly, and half doors on both sides in the warm times. I can just imagine the exact static port position needing to be different in each situation of different door combinations. So, I simply adjust one time my bleed air while I am flying with that one of three combos, and it works great! I experienced the same successful calibration with my sparrowhawk as I flew it with 2 doors, one door, and no doors. I hate ASI that make me think I am frying the sky, but when I fly two courses 180 degrees apart into and with thee wind, and average my GPS actual groundspeed, and find I am going 10-12 mph slower, then its disappointing. My Helicycle was reading 8-10 mph too fast at 100 mph. My redline is 110 mph, "actual", and now I can confidently say that I can indeed fly 110 mph whem my ASI says I am, and I feel it is very important knowing my actual airsoeed so that I don't exceed the companies suggested speed limit on my Helicycle. Stan
 

StanFoster

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Flameout last night....runon landing...

Flameout last night....runon landing...

I could not tell this story till I had all the facts thought through and I talked with the turbine expert....Doug Schwochert. I tell all both good and bad, but I just didnt know who or what to blame this forced landing on this time. The first one I experienced last Veterans Day was definitely pilot error with my over aggressive collective arm. But if you read further into this post, one simple adjustment more than likely would have prevented even that flame out, and the one that I am writing about here.

Last night I was doing an aggressive takeoff, mind you, well within the capabilities of this machine, and nothing like I was asking it to do on my first flameout last November on Veterans Day. My first warning light came on that shows my fuel control arm was near max. I was going 70 mph and about 20 feet off the ground over a lot of grass. Nothing urgent, but I lowered the collective to lighten the load, even though continued application of the same collective would have been fine. But when I lowered the collective, I had to add some right pedal, but it didnt feel right,...it was more right pedal than I should have needed. I had a 2nd flameout, and my situation ahead of me was welcoming a runon landing. About the only warning you have when this turbine quits is a left yaw, as it is a very quiet, constant pitch whine in the cabin. Having 70 mph gave me two comfortable options....a normal quick stop, get her to 0 mph, do a slight collective check, and level the skids.....apply collective and land softly......or do a nice runon landing in the abundant grass ahead of me. I went for the run on landing. So, I got down to about 30 mph, leveled the skids, and actually watched my rotor rpm decay as I was bleeding off airspeed at one foot alitude. I was actually enjoying this forced landing as all I had to do was keep the skids straight, and I actually just flew it on to the ground with decaying rotor rpm. I held the collective up as there was plenty of skid room ahead of me. I could have braked harder by lowering the collective but it wasnt necessary to stop quicker. Had I been short on space, then my best options would have been to do a quick stop, level the skids and do a 0 mph auto to the ground. My 70 mph gave me these two options.

I just skidded to a gentle halt as the turbine was spooling down. This time I knew it wasnt pilot error as even though I was doing an aggressive takeoff, it was well within the capabilities of this machine. It had to be something not set right.

I called Doug Schwochert this morning, and the clues I had given him had him tell me he knew what the problem was. One clue I told him was that when I shut the governor off, it just dies like I shut the MFS off. This is not the way it should be. Doug told me that when the governor shuts off, the rpm's should slowly decrease, not rapidly. He thought my minimum fuel stop was too low. I went out and ground run it and turned on the minimum fuel quite a bit. The governor now when shut off sees a slow rpm decline, instead of a rapid one.

This was probably a key player in why my turbine stalled the only other time on Veterans Days. Both last night and that day I lowered the collective while having a high load on the fuel control lever. Doug says it when the collective is lowered, the fuel control lever snaps shut, and mine was just enough that it starved it for fuel. Had I not lowered the collective, nothing would have happened.


I found I had to move the stop screw quite a bit. But now it is set to act like its supposed to, and I learned a little bit more about this turbine that I didnt know yesterday.

Doug had is set right from the beginning, its just that the adjustment needs to be checked and kept on top of. Its a simple adjustment, easy to verify, and keep set correctly. I just have been flying around with a way too low minimum fuel stop setting.

I seriously doubt either flameout would have occured had I known what I know now. You can just tell by snapping off the throttle it doesnt spool down like it used to. It was simply just the collective unloading the turbine causes the fuel control arm to hit the low stops, and if these are set too low, it will starve for fuel.

The machine is very well designed, I just havent been up to par on the adjustments of this thing. If I could go back and talk to myself 9 months ago when I started flying this thing, I could say a lot.

This machine is one heck of an autorotator. I could not believe the momentum I was getting out of those blades. Those tip weights are fabulous buckets of energy to grab when needed. I had a witness.... Mark Anliker watching and he knew it was a flameout, as he saw a lot of smoke coming out of my exhaust, and then he said I landed it like it was an ultralight.

I never got out of it....looked out the doors to see if there was much grass on my skids, looked at the tail rotor even though I knew it was kept out of the dirt, then lit the turbine and flew away. I mulled this over in my head all last night, and could not wait to call Doug this morning.

I should not be having that problem again that has most likely been the culprit of my two flameouts.

Thanks Doug for your excellent advice. I will be on the uphill side of the learning curve for quite awhile.


Here are some pictures "AFTER" my flameout. I flew around and spotted a deer and got her. My camera was zoomed in and I was quite a ways from her.


Stan

Stan

Stan
 

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choppergabor

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Wow I am glad you had executed the run on landing so nicely. I told you before this, you are a natural. I am also glad Doug had figured out the simple but oh so important solution for the problem :) Wow. You keep us on the edge! Good job Stan!
 

Chuck Roberg

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Boy, you kept me on the edge of my seat as I was reading about your flameout. Really glad for you it ended well and you found out the cause.
 

ylf

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Stan - Glad to hear you had a good outcome on a second forced auto. Has your turbine always shut down when the governor is switched off or had this just started happening? I wouldn't have thought the stops on the fuel control would need readjusted too often.

Again, good job!
Mike
 
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