Landing gear unique to Gyroplanes in contrast to fixed wing aircraft

Rowdyflyer1903!

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I recently emailed a photograph to a fellow pilot depicting a solution to my nose gear, a problem created by raising the forward portion of my Parsons based fuselage to more align the CG to thrust line. After much thought, or so I had convinced myself, I chose a caster style design, similar to a Grumman Yankee.

I had several goals in mind. First I wanted something more sturdy than some of the single strut nose gear found on several of the Center Line Thrust Configured builds. I felt that th machine would be confined to paved runways. Notably during take off roll prior to the nose lifting, operations on a grass strip, felt would be risky, if sand, soft spot, golpher or fireant mound might be encountered. A non braced support of the nose wheel will not resist folding and thus becoming a yard dart with a major wallet hurt soon to follow.

I also have chosen hydraulic toe brakes as my method of steering. I am experienced with caster nose gear plus in a formal life also an experienced taildragger pilot ( If 500 hours is enough tailwheel time ) I also intend to install a shock but, at this point of the build, what weight which will be born by the nose is uncertain. Because of this a fabricated piece of stream lined 4130 chromoly extrusion was installed.

My pilot friend replied and ask if my nose gear was suspended. I replied no not at the moment but most Parsons and other similar un modified designs we not suspended either. Understand, I first saw this person fly in 1982, give or take a year. I hold this person in high regard.

His silence was deafening.

Sometimes that is all it takes for a would be designer/ modifier to meditate a bit more. Of course the more you think about things, more questions than answers arise.

Back to the subject of my post, Gyroplane landing gear is very much different in its roll or transitioning from something which rolls to something which flys and hopefully back again.

One poster, I read stated that the design differs in the fact the main gear supports much more of the total amount weight than fixed wing. Consensus here had the percentage between 10 and as high as 18. Users results may vary.

We also discussed how much rocker is needed to rotate ( kind of) to allow the fuselage to get out of the way of the rotor as it seeks that sweet spot where she wants to fly. ( This was stated this way because if the configuration is wrong our own version of mast bumping aft can occur at the rotor head )

The hang test helps us with this problem as adjustments can be made to center the stick to assure the rotor, in her little world, can live her life semi independently of the fuselage, which should follow her through the air without complaint.

We dangle beneath the rotor with a wiggly u-joint of sorts. Everyone knows this. In the air, the offset gamble and tower mounted under slung semi ridged teetering rotor system is nothing short of genius. In the air the rotor does what it needs to do and the fuselage partners with her in harmony. All is good eh?

Not on the ground it isn’t.

If you have ever seen or better yet experienced a rough field take off, the stick can be very violent in your hand. All you can do is grip the stick firm enough but understand to allow the movement. What you are witnessing is difficulties in this early marriage of rolling vs trying to fly because the more immature of the partnership is now playing on a seesaw under the rotor because of uneven ground.

The stick moves back and forth and every bump the nose gear strikes rockets back to the mains and the wild ride begins. We are fortunate this last only until the airspeed increases and the nose wheel rotates free and clear where the bumps now are up and down. You still have to be aware of the bumps one of the main wheels may experience adding to the fun. Maybe the rudder is alive at that point because if not and you don’t have toe brakes to differential steer and you are now at some crazy angle, its time to pull power and get the nose wheel back down for control.

Whewwww, cheated death one more time.

A smooth runway sure makes being a gyro-naught a lot easier. No argument. Especially when the only suspension available is the cushion from air in the tires to smooth your departure and landing experience.

Can we all appreciate Steve McGowen a bit more? Let’s give that shirtless veteran of the military and the air a big hand of applause of appreciation of his skill and dedication to all of us.

GAWD ROWDY WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH ALL THIS!
Make your point!

Ok, whether or not your main gear is suspended, if you can spring mount or shock mount or coil over your nose gear to tame the seesawing motion in the beginning of your take off roll before the nose comes up and you lightly place it back down to balance on the mains as all worthy gyroplane pilots have done who has come this way before us.

Oh and when you do get airborne don’t get stupid. All that gyration will soon dampen. Don’t chase it. Lower the nose, build your airspeed, climb out, keep your eye peeled for the emergency landing spot and go enjoy your time in the sky.

The end.
 

Doug Riley

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I'm surprised that more people haven't copied the nose-gear leg on Vance Breese's Predator. From photos, it appears to uses a triangulated, non-swivelling truss leg, with the pivot at the BOTTOM. This gets away from the usual cantilevered single-tube leg -- which must either be massive (therefore heavy) or flimsy and subject to bending.

Cessna, et al, use the "massive" approach to create a sturdy nose-gear leg, but weight doesn't penalize them as much as it does us.
 

Rowdyflyer1903!

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This is true. I am hoping that 0320 is going push it along at least single seat mode ok. It is a gas guzzler, no doubt. 7 to 10 gallons per hour and I’m hoping for 7 to 8 1/2 gallons per hour throttle back at 2300 RPM. planning for cross country, I used 10gph. So I’m hoping at 2300 RPM I can see 65 miles an hour. Doing the math on the prop which is a 68 x 46 Tennessee prop, maximum rpm at 2700 is supposedly 88 miles an hour. I would be lying to myself to expect this to be. It should climb well with the 29’ sky wheels. Attached is the trial fitting. She still sat on her tail which gives me hope that the gear will not have to be moved. I am expecting to have to redo the cheek plates when I do the hang test. Such is life. 100 LL is going bye bye soon. I can run the engine on 92 octane but finding some one who sell fuel with no corn squeezing in it is the problem.
 

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Rowdyflyer1903!

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
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Bryan, Texas
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Cessna 140, Stinson 108-1, Culver V, Parsons Trainer
Total Flight Time
1000 hours
I'm surprised that more people haven't copied the nose-gear leg on Vance Breese's Predator. From photos, it appears to uses a triangulated, non-swivelling truss leg, with the pivot at the BOTTOM. This gets away from the usual cantilevered single-tube leg -- which must either be massive (therefore heavy) or flimsy and subject to bending.

Cessna, et al, use the "massive" approach to create a sturdy nose-gear leg, but weight doesn't penalize them as much as it does us.
We seem to be happy with a 2x2 “ metal tube fuselage being constructed of Aluminum or steel or titanium. This narrow real estate does not allow much width to triangulate from. Vance’s steed, as I have been told, is built from, welded mild steel. I have not seen her up close but I expect the main structure under the rudder peddles is wider than two inches.

I worried about side loads even though I hoped that the castering nose wheel will yield before any damage is done to my 2x2 double walled tubing stick of a fuselage. I chose to cap the tubing on the sides with a thin walled strip of mild steel which I hope will take care of some of the stress and form a triangle of sorts.

Any extreme stress will travel where the steel ends and break at that point. Nasty thought. But impacts addressed straight forward should be fine and shared by the whole structure beginning at the front member and travel to the rear pivot hinge point.

The steel/aluminum sandwich will have to be separated by a thin rubber or otherwise covering to prevent galvanic corrosion between the dissimilar metals. I like the fact the nose gear is a unit and can be removed as such. It serves also as the mount for the rudder peddles and the whole unit can come off to be fabricated and assembled off of the fuselage inside the shop.

The windscreen, insturment panel, throttle quadrant is a point of frustration but, the nose gear had to be solved first. I expect lots of items will be supported by the nose gear structure as this Frankenstein comes to life. I have large blocks of foam which could be mounted, shaped and glassed.

One of my talented freinds is suggesting cedar strips pulled into a useable shape then sanded glassed and painted. The Sport Copter canopy/cowling shape is very practical and functional. The engine having mixture controls requires a bit more monitoring manually becua it is old School. Strictly a day/VFR machine one can do away with a lot of but arrrrrreeghhhhh do we go with the new stuff and sink another 7k into Garmin Glass? So the instrument panel shape will partially determine what I see around where I sit.

To complicate matters even more, I’m left handed. Do I layout and build the throttle on the left or right? Do I build it for me or to make it easier to sell later? I am well adapted to the Right hand world. Most of us drive with either hand but jam gears with the right. Magni’s are built for right handed people no doubt. I find myself switch hitting with those and it awkward. I expect I will dummy something up, sitting in it dreaming and making airplane noises till I feel comfortable.

long long way to go yet but I have the full support of my wife. In order to do this, the garage has to be clean and organize. A plus. She likes to see me happy and busy. Another plus. I might share some of my shaky mechanical talent with my grand kids. My batting average is looking up. And she knows I will be safe mainly because I never finish anything and it will never fly…..she is a crafty one my Mrs.
 

Burrengyro

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We seem to be happy with a 2x2 “ metal tube fuselage being constructed of Aluminum or steel or titanium. This narrow real estate does not allow much width to triangulate from. Vance’s steed, as I have been told, is built from, welded mild steel. I have not seen her up close but I expect the main structure under the rudder peddles is wider than two inches.

I worried about side loads even though I hoped that the castering nose wheel will yield before any damage is done to my 2x2 double walled tubing stick of a fuselage. I chose to cap the tubing on the sides with a thin walled strip of mild steel which I hope will take care of some of the stress and form a triangle of sorts.

Any extreme stress will travel where the steel ends and break at that point. Nasty thought. But impacts addressed straight forward should be fine and shared by the whole structure beginning at the front member and travel to the rear pivot hinge point.

The steel/aluminum sandwich will have to be separated by a thin rubber or otherwise covering to prevent galvanic corrosion between the dissimilar metals. I like the fact the nose gear is a unit and can be removed as such. It serves also as the mount for the rudder peddles and the whole unit can come off to be fabricated and assembled off of the fuselage inside the shop.

The windscreen, insturment panel, throttle quadrant is a point of frustration but, the nose gear had to be solved first. I expect lots of items will be supported by the nose gear structure as this Frankenstein comes to life. I have large blocks of foam which could be mounted, shaped and glassed.

One of my talented freinds is suggesting cedar strips pulled into a useable shape then sanded glassed and painted. The Sport Copter canopy/cowling shape is very practical and functional. The engine having mixture controls requires a bit more monitoring manually becua it is old School. Strictly a day/VFR machine one can do away with a lot of but arrrrrreeghhhhh do we go with the new stuff and sink another 7k into Garmin Glass? So the instrument panel shape will partially determine what I see around where I sit.

To complicate matters even more, I’m left handed. Do I layout and build the throttle on the left or right? Do I build it for me or to make it easier to sell later? I am well adapted to the Right hand world. Most of us drive with either hand but jam gears with the right. Magni’s are built for right handed people no doubt. I find myself switch hitting with those and it awkward. I expect I will dummy something up, sitting in it dreaming and making airplane noises till I feel comfortable.

long long way to go yet but I have the full support of my wife. In order to do this, the garage has to be clean and organize. A plus. She likes to see me happy and busy. Another plus. I might share some of my shaky mechanical talent with my grand kids. My batting average is looking up. And she knows I will be safe mainly because I never finish anything and it will never fly…..she is a crafty one my Mrs.
Interesting work on the nose wheel!! There are some very interesting inputs around wheel size and nose wheel design in the thread below in early 2021 with photos of mods for handling rough field operations. Do a search on the following:
"Back Country Gyro Ops. Equipment, mods, techniques".
Some great info from Jungleman Pete and Sportscopter, and other contributors.
Looking forward to your reports.
 

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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This is true. I am hoping that 0320 is going push it along at least single seat mode ok. It is a gas guzzler, no doubt. 7 to 10 gallons per hour and I’m hoping for 7 to 8 1/2 gallons per hour throttle back at 2300 RPM. planning for cross country, I used 10gph. So I’m hoping at 2300 RPM I can see 65 miles an hour. Doing the math on the prop which is a 68 x 46 Tennessee prop, maximum rpm at 2700 is supposedly 88 miles an hour. I would be lying to myself to expect this to be. It should climb well with the 29’ sky wheels. Attached is the trial fitting. She still sat on her tail which gives me hope that the gear will not have to be moved. I am expecting to have to redo the cheek plates when I do the hang test. Such is life. 100 LL is going bye bye soon. I can run the engine on 92 octane but finding some one who sell fuel with no corn squeezing in it is the problem.
Swift Aviation Fuel https://www.swiftfuels.com/products is available at some airports and can easily replace 100LL at all airports when the time comes. My hometown airport in Dublin, Texas sells it. It can be ordered here: https://www.swiftfuelsavgas.com/ or can be located here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/v...&ll=40.805955463244246,-94.37862123125001&z=5 or http://flyunleaded.com/airports.html
 
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WaspAir

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My turbocharged Bell is not approved for Swift UL94 nor any other of the new unleaded fuels. Swift says they cover 2/3 of the piston fleet, but that leaves many others out in the cold.
 

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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My turbocharged Bell is not approved for Swift UL94 nor any other of the new unleaded fuels. Swift says they cover 2/3 of the piston fleet, but that leaves many others out in the cold.
* Swift Fuels, LLC is now offering a “FOREVER” Avgas STC Certificate for every piston aircraft in the US or Canada.
This entitles the FOREVER Avgas STC Certificate holder to prepay for all Avgas STC’s issued by the FAA to Swift Fuels in ONE purchase.
Each FOREVER Avgas STC Certificate holder will receive private instructions to register their aircraft and engine in Swift Fuels’ database.
Once the purchase is complete and the aircraft / engine is registered, the FOREVER STC plan will be activated.
Whenever Swift Fuels Avgas STC’s are approved by FAA, registered Avgas STC holders will be notified by Swift Fuels – FOREVER!
All specified placards, license rights, and FAA-required forms will then be supplied FREE to each FOREVER Avgas STC Certificate holder.
Implementation of the STC-supplied materials then requires aircraft installation by an FAA-Approved A&P mechanic.
This is how Swift Fuels will manage “Fleetwide Approval” for our 100-octane Unleaded Avgas to replace 100LL!

Here is the link to get started: https://www.swiftfuelsavgas.com/stc/forever-avgas-stc
 

Rowdyflyer1903!

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Messages
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Bryan, Texas
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Cessna 140, Stinson 108-1, Culver V, Parsons Trainer
Total Flight Time
1000 hours
Interesting work on the nose wheel!! There are some very interesting inputs around wheel size and nose wheel design in the thread below in early 2021 with photos of mods for handling rough field operations. Do a search on the following:
"Back Country Gyro Ops. Equipment, mods, techniques".
Some great info from Jungleman Pete and Sportscopter, and other contributors.
Looking forward to your reports.
Yes! You bet! I am very interested in what others have to say. My nose wheel is 500-5 and the mains are 600-6s. So nothing out of the ordinary For fixed wing anyway. Who knows what the configuration will end up being as the build is discover as I go.

My goal is to trailer this beast out to West Texas, Davis Mountains, Big Bend and the Hill Country where I grew up and explore. The rear seat will have a well strapped duffle bag full of camping gear and a new compass direction to fly as the sunrises.

Big Bend gives light a place to dance and I want to see that from the air with camera clicking.
 

WaspAir

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stopped caring at 1000
Shootthrees-
Sorry, but that doesn't cover it. Lycoming does not approve UL94 for any of their turbocharged engines. Separate airframe approval is required, too. Note that the plan you cite here:
Whenever Swift Fuels Avgas STC’s are approved by FAA . ..
assumes that FAA STC approval for every model will eventually come (it hasn't, and there's no guarantee it ever will).

Check Table 3 for the TVO-435 at Lycoming's Service Instruction SI1070AB at page 7. Only leaded fuels are permitted :

Then do a search on Swift's own site for approved aircraft. The Bell 47G3B1 isn't there. (Look under Scott"s Bell, the current type certificate holder, for manufacturer, and you won't see any of the turbocharged G3 series listed at all)


If I buy the "Forever" STC, that's how long I might have to wait for approval.
 
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shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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I'm surprised that more people haven't copied the nose-gear leg on Vance Breese's Predator. From photos, it appears to uses a triangulated, non-swivelling truss leg, with the pivot at the BOTTOM. This gets away from the usual cantilevered single-tube leg -- which must either be massive (therefore heavy) or flimsy and subject to bending.

Cessna, et al, use the "massive" approach to create a sturdy nose-gear leg, but weight doesn't penalize them as much as it does us.
Me too and the Predator design is sturdy for a possible side load too.
 

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
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Shootthrees-
Sorry, but that doesn't cover it. Lycoming does not approve UL94 for any of their turbocharged engines. Separate airframe approval is required, too. Note that the plan you cite here: assumes that FAA STC approval for every model will eventually come (it hasn't, and there's no guarantee it ever will).

Check Table 3 for the TVO-435 at Lycoming's Service Instruction SI1070AB at page 7. Only leaded fuels are permitted :

Then do a search on Swift's own site for approved aircraft. The Bell 47G3B1 isn't there. (Look under Scott"s Bell, the current type certificate holder, for manufacturer, and you won't see any of the turbocharged G3 series at all)


If I buy the "Forever" STC, that's how long I might have to wait for approval.
I did use the wording "may replace 100LL". I see your frustration and hope that if 100LL goes away due to EPA regulation, that you get a resolution from the manufacturer and the FAA.
 

WaspAir

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Thanks for feeling my pain, as they say. I'm not too confident about the future for my bird.
 

Rowdyflyer1903!

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Back in the day, STC’s for MOGAS was common for Cessna 150’s and 172’s. So both Continental 0200’s and Lycoming 0320’s were held my the FBO offering flight instruction and or lease back. If I remember correctly the A&P had to re-grind the valve seats to a multi faceted surface. This had something to do with valve cooling, I believe. I do not know if the STC’s have to be tied to an engine and airframe combinations or an engine can be approved free standing. I would be interested in the ladder or if knowing what modification has been done to an engin, go with that as it is doubtful my engine, although legal with maintenance records, will ever be in a certified aircraft again.

I expect those who have gone through the FAA process and own the STC’s would not be too willing to share that knowledge without payment of some sort. Understandable. I am more worried about the effect of alcohol on the components of the fuel pumps and the components of the Stromberg carburetor. It’s always something. My engine is a Lycoming D2A 0320.

Bill
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
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Technically, the airframe and fuel system must be covered by the STCs as well because of possible issues like vapor lock, so the engine and application are both approved. Engine approval separately is fine but not enough.
 

Rowdyflyer1903!

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Technically, the airframe and fuel system must be covered by the STCs as well because of possible issues like vapor lock, so the engine and application are both approved. Engine approval separately is fine but not enough.
Again understandable as the engine is just a component of the total system.
 

WaspAir

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Check the Service Instruction link I posted above and it will tell you about your engine (it will say 93 AKI with under 1 percent by volume oxygenator, or some such limits for mogas, for example).
 

JEFF TIPTON

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The Peterson and EAA auto fuel conversion consisted of modifying the engine but installing a adel clamp to the pushrod tube to hold the data plate showing the conversion. As the engine is converted now, you need the STC paperwork to authorize the conversion. As the engine is now converted you need an authorization to install the converted engine on a type certificated airframe.

Some aircraft required insulating of relocation of fuel lines.
 

Tyger

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Cessna, et al, use the "massive" approach to create a sturdy nose-gear leg, but weight doesn't penalize them as much as it does us.
But think of how much more weight a Cessna nose gear actually has to bear with the engine right above it.
 
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