High Altitude Gyro Flying

Dukeinhaler

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San Isabel, CO
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KB-3
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Thinking about flying my KB-3 with Rotax power at Mineral County Airport. Elevation 8500 feet. Currently fly at Walsenburg Airport elevation 6055 feet with no
problems.
What do you guys think?? Any advice or guidance sure would be appreciated. Thanks !!

Tom Troy
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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The extra altitude is bound to degrade performance; more if it is hot.

Try it and see how you like it.

Be ready to abort the takeoff if it is not climbing out well.
 

PW_Plack

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The KB3 is a very light gyro, unless it's had lots of extras added. A 582 with proper jetting should work OK at your intended elevation. Just be prepared to head back to the hangar if your climb rate proves unsafe on a hot day.
 

ventana7

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Tom,

You can simulate your performance from Walsenburg. Just climb to 8500’ over 4V1 and then see what your climb rate is from 8,500’ to 9,500’. If you are better than 200fpm you have not reached your service ceiling.

My question is how do you get to Mineral County without flying over La Veta Pass which is 9,413’. I go over that at 11,000’

You could fly to Westcliffe (Silver West 8290’)without going over a pass, or continue past Westcliffe to Salida where I live at 7,500’ .

Rob
 

Dukeinhaler

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Location
San Isabel, CO
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KB-3
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920
Tom,

You can simulate your performance from Walsenburg. Just climb to 8500’ over 4V1 and then see what your climb rate is from 8,500’ to 9,500’. If you are better than 200fpm you have not reached your service ceiling.

My question is how do you get to Mineral County without flying over La Veta Pass which is 9,413’. I go over that at 11,000’

You could fly to Westcliffe (Silver West 8290’)without going over a pass, or continue past Westcliffe to Salida where I live at 7,500’ .

Rob
Planning on trailering to Creede. We go every year for a week. See lots of ultralights so I thought why not me !!! Thanks for the advice, makes perfect sense.

Tom
 

ventana7

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Planning on trailering to Creede. We go every year for a week. See lots of ultralights so I thought why not me !!! Thanks for the advice, makes perfect sense.

Tom
Just be careful out there. If it is windy at all you could have very strong downdrafts like 1000 fpm or more. You can phone the Wolf Creek and Monarch AWOS stations to see what the mountain winds are. If there are ultralights flying talk with them.

I also suggest you go slowly on the yankin and banking. To me it just feels like my rotors sort of have less grip on the air at higher altitude and don’t respond the same as lower elevations. The canyons just west of the airport are tight so give yourself extra room to turn

Have fun

Rob
 

ventana7

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Tom,

You might want to get a book on mountain flying if you have not done that before.

Lots of things to know: Always be in a position to turn toward lower terrain, fly up one side of the valley, not the middle, etc
 

WaspAir

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I whole-heartedly agree with that. My tip (that I share often whether solicited or not) is if you encounter one of those nasty 1500fpm sink areas, DO NOT, NOT, NOT (I mean it !!!!!) slow to best climb speed and try to over-power it with throttle as many airplane pilots are apt to do. You can't beat it that way, and you'll just be getting a rapid close-up view of the ground. Instead, speed up (it often helps to turn 30 degrees to your course, too, if practical) The idea is to get out of that sinking air as fast as possible, not prolong the time you spend in it (which is all slowing to best climb speed will accomplish). There will always be still or rising air nearby, so that's where you want to go, and soon.
 

BEN S

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Another thing I can add is when making your turns to final (or anytime your near ground) make very slow,wide turns not just because they have less air for the rotors to grip, but the sink rate of my machine at spanish forks was 3 to 1 MORE than usual....
Turning to final at pattern altitude was almost a swampy experience. If you want to talk to someone with relevant experience, reach out to Dave Bacon, he was in his KB3 with a 582 greyhead there with me.
 

WaspAir

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stopped caring at 1000
True airspeed increases for a given indicated airspeed when the density altitude is higher, and that works for vertical motion (sink rate indicated on a barometric VSI vs. true sink rate) just as much as it does for forward speed. You can get the same glide ratio in thin air at a given indicated speed as you would at sea level, but you will travel down that angle faster, with higher forward and vertical speed.

Meanwhile, I found this announcement in my e-mail inbox:

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To view further details and registration information for this seminar, click here.
The sponsor for this seminar is: Colorado Pilots Association
The FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) is committed to providing equal access to this meeting/event for all participants. If you need alternative formats or services because of a disability, please communicate your request as soon as possible with the person in the 'Contact Information' area of the meeting/event notice. Note that two weeks is usually required to arrange services.
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Click here to view the WINGS help page
 

Jean Claude

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The increase in airspeed does not appear on the indicated speed because of the operating principle of the anemometer. While the increase of the speed of the blades appears clearly on the rotor rpm.
The propeller rpm increases for the same reason, and you have to accept that, as it does not cost the engine extra effort.
Do not exceed the limit allowed by the engine manufacturer, of course
 

Udi

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One thing nobody mentioned is your rotor. Rotor speed increases with altitude, for all the reasons mentioned above. Rotor efficiency goes down with RPM due to higher drag. So... if you are able to get a longer rotor for this trip, that would help performance. How long is your rotor and how fast does it spin at 6000ft?
 

ventana7

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One thing nobody mentioned is your rotor. Rotor speed increases with altitude, for all the reasons mentioned above. Rotor efficiency goes down with RPM due to higher drag. So... if you are able to get a longer rotor for this trip, that would help performance. How long is your rotor and how fast does it spin at 6000ft?
Udi are you still flying out of Ft Collins
 

Udi

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Fort Collins yes, flying no. Took a break due to work/family loads but I've just retired so hoping to start again soon. Are you still in Salida? That's one of my favorite places in CO, especially for offroading.
 

ventana7

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Fort Collins yes, flying no. Took a break due to work/family loads but I've just retired so hoping to start again soon. Are you still in Salida? That's one of my favorite places in CO, especially for offroading.
Yes we love living in Salida. Great skiing all winter and summer is mtn biking and river running.
 

Jean Claude

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Rotor efficiency goes down with RPM due to higher drag.
The rotor drag remains the same at the same indicated speed.
The power absorbed by the same drag is simply increased because the true forward speed is greater.
 

Udi

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The rotor drag remains the same at the same indicated speed.
The power absorbed by the same drag is simply increased because the true forward speed is greater.
Are you saying that a longer rotor is not going to more efficient in thinner air, i.e. provide better performance for same HP? Asking the same question another way - what are the consequences for a gyro flying with a rotor that is too short for it’s weight...
 

Jean Claude

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Are you saying that a longer rotor is not going to more efficient in thinner air, i.e. provide better performance for same HP? Asking the same question another way - what are the consequences for a gyro flying with a rotor that is too short for it’s weight...
A longer rotor is always more efficient, in thinner air as well at sea level.
So, why not to choose a longer rotor, even for the sea level flight?
 
Last edited:

XXavier

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A longer rotor is always more efficient, in thinner air as well at sea level.
So, why not to choose a longer rotor, even for the sea level flight?
Less angular speed, hence less 'centrifugal' rigidity... Longer mast, bigger hangar...
 
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