Helicycle wide angle windshield

StanFoster

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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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Mylo

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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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bryancobb

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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.
 

Timchick

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Stan, can you add a photo of a standard windshield so we can see the differences?
 

heli49north

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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
 

bryancobb

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... 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.
 

StanFoster

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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
 

StanFoster

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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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Vance

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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
 

bryancobb

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...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.
 

StanFoster

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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
 

Mylo

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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.
 

Arnie Madsen

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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.
 

bryancobb

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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.

 

StanFoster

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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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bryancobb

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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.
 

StanFoster

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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....
 
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