How heavy is your tail?

Barney Bahle

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
483
Location
Crossville, TN 38571
Aircraft
Rotorway 162F
So my Bensen came with a rag and tube T tail. Pulled it off today to clean it up and paint it and figured I'd go ahead and weigh it. It came in just over 9 lbs. and now I'm curious how it stacks up against a stock Bensen tail and/or any other options.

I'm sure I could spend hours digging around in the archives to find out but sometimes it's just more fun to ask.
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,560
The Bensen plywood tail, with 1-1/2 lb. lead counterweight, runs at least 15 lb.

The Bensen plate-metal ("stopsign") tail wins the lead-sled award at over 20 lb.

A Gyrobee foam-and glass tail weighs 14 lb. or so. It's built with simple, Rutan-style "paintbrush" composite techniques. A more refined, molded composite tail could do better.

A more sophisticated, built-up sheet metal tail (thin skins, formed ribs and spar) can be brought in around 10 lb.

Your number is competitive with the best.
 

phantom

Newbie
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
1,415
Location
Eagle River
The lightest fin rudder that I have built was built with aluminum tube and superflite 1.8 oz covering, it was three pounds.
Norm
 

NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
4,871
Location
Columbia, SC
Aircraft
Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
Total Flight Time
>350
An Air Command Tandem came to me from a certain retired AC dealer in south FLA who built a tall flying tail for it out of wood. When I (totally) dismantled and rebuilt the gyro several years ago, I came to the part of removing it. I was expecting it to weigh more than an RFD tall tail, and as I bent over and grunted to lift the (enormous) weight of it I was shocked as the tail nearly catapulted out of my hands into the air due to my over-exertions! The whole thing weighed something like 4-5 pounds, and it is "huge" by most gyrocopter standards!

If you want light, perhaps a luan plywood skin such as this one is what you want. It is much lighter than aluminum, fiberglass, cloth, carbon fiber, etc. and it is STRONG.
 

Hosko

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2014
Messages
144
Location
Narrabri
Aircraft
RU-X8 Rotor Ute
Total Flight Time
1000
72"-74" tall tails with 20mm 6061T6 tube full length of tail for pivot - 5.5kgs.
 

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