Helicycle wide angle windshield

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
17,140
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
Colin Stevens sent me some pictures of his Helicycle windshield. He is checking into how much it would cost to produce...and how many are interested. I am!

This is what I was attempting but did not know what I was doing. Gary Goldsberry gave me some insight and offered to bend me a window if I brought a jig that fit my cabin.

Since then I just became used to moving my head around a little more.

After seeing these pictures......its nice! I was going to go to the problem of making the windshield flush...instead of an overlay like this one. But....that would be a lot of effort and I am thinking of putting a neoprene lip around the perimeter to blend it in.


Stan
 

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THAT....is what the Helicycle needs. I'm assuming that optic distortion is minimal...tough to tell what the actual view from the cockpit is in the picture as it seems a bit wide angle. I'm very interested in purchasing should some more be produced.

Thanks for posting the pics Stan.

Mylo
 
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Gary Goldsberry should be the "go-to" man on this subject. He's been "blowing" Brantly bubbles for years. Harold Jenkins came to my house once in 2007 with 2 of Gary's on his truck. They were very nice.
 
Stan, can you add a photo of a standard windshield so we can see the differences?
 
window

window

Stan, The clairity and optics of my window are second to none. This is not something that I have made in my back yard. It is made by pros who blow bubble windows for large helicopters. They know how to get the job done properly. I would NOT consider flying along at a 100+mph with a backyard special bolted on.

The wide angle look was from the gopro camera I was taking the picture with.
Bryan, I have carefully studied my Brantly bubble window and for the life of me I haven`t been able figure a way to make it fit onto my helicycle.

Colin
 
... Bryan, I have carefully studied my Brantly bubble window and for the life of me I haven`t been able figure a way to make it fit onto my helicycle...

Is yours a B-2b?

A helicycle with a butt-crack on top...Now there's an idea.
 
Colin- Your windshield cures the single biggest complaint I have had about my Helicycle......those 2 big blind spot creating pillars.

I just compensated for it by moving my head around more. I often wondered if maybe I wasn't actually paying attention more by over compensating my head scanning because of those pillars.....but nothing beats increasing your field of view.

Glad to hear about the clarity and little distortion.

I was trying to make a windshield mould that I thought could be used as a bending form for heating up and making a new windshield for myself and others. That's when Gary Goldsberry educated me that it would not work. I listened and chocked up my efforts to go into my lifes failures bin.

I would love to have this as a middle of the winter project.

You really have fixed one of the lower scoring opinions that go with the Helicycle....pilot visibility.

Stan
 
Tim- Here are some pictures you wanted showing my cabin pillars in comparison.

Colin added several inches of visibility on EACH side. Like I said....you get used to it and just deal with it by more head scanning.

Not saying the narrowed pillars are too weak....but I would consider placing an aluminum angle or channel on the inside of it to beef it up some.

Stan
 

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Aluminum Stan?

If you decided to reinforce the pillars a very small fiberglass doubler would work.

The factory team XRTT Harley Davidson road race fairings were made out of thinner material than the production ones and they had a small roll of foam near the edge with another layer of glass over it. It worked very well.

You could also use some wood under a layer of glass.

When learning about how to construct the empennage for Mariah Gale I learned a foam core made it much stronger and lighter.

Thank you, Vance
 
...I was trying to make a windshield mould that I thought could be used as a bending form for heating up and making a new windshield for myself and others. That's when Gary Goldsberry educated me that it would not work...

Stan,

I was at the Mosquito factory fly-in last year and one of their Gurus gave me a 1:1 tour. I saw their rig for forming canopies. It's a male/female wood form set that is covered with smooth, dense felt. They simply sandwich the heated Lexan or whatever they use, clamp it until it cools and it's done.

I don't "get it" how they do it like that without leaving felt fabric texture in the soft plastic, but it works.
 
Bryan- That was the direction I was going with my bubble....but Gary told me that I would have marks left in it.

I decided to jump ship and if someone else made one, then just buy theirs.

I would have had to make my own oven, and reinvent the wheel there also.


Some things are best to have farmed out.

Stan
 
I saw a custom windshield made for a motorcycle type vehicle where the guys just draped the heated Lexan over a male mold made of wood, no female part. They heat gunned the 'stubborn' parts a little until they fell into place.....c'est' tout. Of course, they made it look easy.....I'm thinking otherwise. The clarity (lack of optical distortion) of the final product being the tough part I figure.

Mylo.
 
Looks good Stan ..... but like you said ... ya' probably need some reinforcement to replace all the fiberglass that was cut away .

A slender piece of wood covered with fiberglass is very Strong and would make a good pillar .... but it also could act like a spear into the cockpit in a hard landing .... something like aluminum might be better ..... it would bend and crumple in an impact ....

I have always been curious about the strength of plexi compared to fiberglass .... ie: if we remove fiberglass and replace it with plexi ... what percentage of strength is lost ?? Maybe it's not much.
 
The best fix, appearance and visibility-wise would be a flip-up lid, sort of like the CH-7 has. The canopy doesn't have to add any structural strength to the aircraft. The tube frame supports the pilot and cockpit.

Helicycle wide angle windshield
 
The CH-7 has the best view, followed next by the Mini-500.....in my opinion.

I hovered Johns MH-1 and loved the view.

Stan
 
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I think a Helicycle would be a thang-0-beauty with a canopy like a CH-7 that is shaped exactly like the stock fuselage.
 
Bryan- I misspelled Mini-500. Typing on a cell phone in bed without glasses again!


The only issue I have with the CH-7 canopy is it would need doors in it to let in some air during most of the year. That thing would get hot inside. I am still flying with one door off....
 
These new-gen A/C systems are only about 10#.
 
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