How many Little Wings are flying?

13brv3

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Greetings,

I've always thought tractor designs made better sense in a lot of ways, but they also have some disadvantages. I know that Little Wings still sells plans, and I have a set, but I'm wondering how many are actually out there flying these days? Does anyone have one near East TN I could look at? I'm considering another gyro project, and the Little Wing (LW3) is something I've been thinking about for years.

Cheers,
Rusty
 

okikuma

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Santa Clarita, CA
Good question Rusty. I've asked that question to myself. We don't see many flying around with regularity on YouTube. Granted the build time is greater with cutting and welding 4130 than assembling a kit.

If built light as Ron Herron has intended, the aircraft can possess fine performance.



One of the limits is small fuel load. 6.5 gallons behind the firewall, and 13.5 gallons if one adds a seat tank.

Wayne
 

Steve_UK

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I'm not a pilot but have been lucky enough to fly in Mi-24 Hind, Mi-2, Mi-17, Lynx HAS3, Gliders, GA
My wild guess. Regular flyers worldwide hmmm less than 20. Maybe less than 10. But I might be wrong.
 

13brv3

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Thanks for the comments. I've seen every YouTube video that can be found, which really isn't that many. I'd be more interested in the LW3 "short" version, or the UL version, but I don't think I've ever seen one of those in pictures or video. As neat as it would be, this is likely something I should avoid. I have lots of experience building different aircraft, but very little with gyros.
 

13brv3

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I still haven't entirely shaken the idea of building a Little Wing. I'd probably go for the LW3 "short" which is essentially an UltraPup, and use my existing HKS 700E engine. Is anyone else building or flying a Little Wing?
 

okikuma

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Hello Rusty,

On Ron Herron's Little Wing Autogyro website, there's pictures of Toru Ito's very nice looking LW-3S. I especially like the contour lines of the fuselage. The razor back of the upper fuselage blends in nicely into the vertical stabilizer and rudder.

http://littlewingautogyro.com/pictures/ito/ito001.jpg


http://littlewingautogyro.com/pictures/ito/ito010.jpg


Jim Sharer built a LW-3S. If my memory is correct, he started with an HKS 700E engine, however he soon found it was under powered so he upgraded to a Rotax 80 hp 912.

http://www.littlewingautogyro.com/pictures/sharer/sharer001.jpg


Here's several videos of Jim Sharer's Little Wing.






As well as you have, I too have been dwelling on the idea of building a Little Wing LW-3S (short version). I live and fly in a high density air traffic region with multiple Class D, C, and B airspace. A good panel mounted tranceiver and transponder with ADS-B out is a must. I also would need a minimum of 15 gallons of fuel to have any decent cross country range. I'm also a large guy so my Little Wing would require at least a 100 hp Rotax 912 for power. It would be built and flown as a single place aircraft.

Wayne
 

13brv3

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Thanks for those hidden videos. They gave a few more looks of several areas. I had just downloaded the customer pictures from Ron's page a couple hours ago, and was happy to see the LW-3S on there.

I had also feared my HKS would be underpowered, so I guess it's good to confirm that. It would be interesting to know how long he flew it with the HKS, and just how under powered it was. I'm 180 lbs, and we're at 800 ft elevation, so it might still be OK.

My biggest concern is still that my limited gyro experience would be a factor in testing something like this. I've always enjoyed flying new aircraft that have been built in large enough numbers to allow others to find out all the bad habits. I'd love to stumble across a SC Vortex at a reasonable price, but my definition of reasonable may not match the SC market.

Rusty
 
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wolfy

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I believe there are only two flying in Oz, the one above and a radial powered one.
I have a set of plans also, one day maybe.

wolfy
 

13brv3

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Thanks for the info and link. If you can stand the weight, and cost, it's hard to beat the 912. I'm putting an 80HP (wish it was 100) on my Sonex Onex. The HKS is a neat engine, but never found wide acceptance it seems. It's just a little heavy for the power, and maybe falls into a power range that just isn't quite enough for many applications. They're smooth, quiet, and efficient, so I'm determined to put it on something other than my test stand. I do fear it's not enough engine for a LW-3S.
Rusty
 
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The first video that was linked was of my father and his lw-3 design. He flew it quite a bit and enjoyed the flight characteristics quite a bit. He first flight was with a Rotax 503 but then quickly moved to a Rotax 582. He also used a very stiff rotor blade that was made down in North Carolina. He did try using the lighter fiber glass rotors but broke several pair on take off from our grass strip.

My father Fred past a way a few years ago, and he sold his little wing simply because he had yet another gyro project that he wanted to build and fly which he did before his passing. I currently have his current design which is also a tractor in my garage at this time.
 
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He lw-3 he sold went south around Alabama I think and I heard the owner changed to the fiberglass rotors and changed the prop and wasn't happy with it and sold it again. I have many video's of him flying it and he said it was very dosele and enjoyable to fly.
 

13brv3

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Tellico Plains, TN
I have to admit that I haven't shaken the idea of building, or at least owning a LW-3S. Over the last couple months I ended up selling the HKS engine, and bought a 912UL to replace it. I'm setting that up on a test stand to make sure it's running OK, then I'll certainly be trying to find a home for it. From the comments above, it seems like a good choice for the LW-3S. I'd love to find one of these to look at, but I'm sure that's easier said than done. The one that went to Alabama would be relatively close, but if it was sold again, then who knows where it is.

Rusty
 

Hosko

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Murray Barker's Rotec radial Littlewing.
 

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