Little Wing Michigan Single Place

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
So here, I am seeing what it must have looked like when I have brought down there through the years as a young man full of energy. I wanted my son to have something I made in case something happens to me. I needed to teach him and need him to know how much I love him.
I can't tell you how proud I was to see him having so much fun and knowing that he is learning so much. He tested really high on his SAT scores and is only 13. Higher than a college bound senior I think in 3 out of 4 areas. He is taking Algebra now instead of waiting til High School. Anyway... It is hard to explain what it feels like but just look how memorable and precious these memories are.... We almost got him a tethered ride in the remax balloon tied up next to the island on the baseball field. It was a perfect day to always treasure.
 

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mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Color Cruise Grand Ledge

Color Cruise Grand Ledge

I think some of them thought I was just taking a photo of them.. Well, I was, sort of......
 

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mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
I remember when he struggled to make it back under the small bridge as he only cleared it by inches on one side and the mast hit when he came back on the other. As people coached him and cheered him on we all clapped as he figured it out.

Imagine my surprise when my sister in law's parents came back from the other end of the island wondering if I knew my kid was in the water..... And then when I realized they really meant IN the water.... I walked as fast as I could without running to the end of the island and sure enough.... there he was with a big red bucket bailing and a kyak docked up next to him. I leaned on the railing and asked the ladies watching him how a boy could survive rough weather and somehow end up tipping over in calm water.... I asked them if the warm weather, water and being a boy had anything to do with it.... We just laughed and watched. He was out of range of hearing and I think the man overboard drills we have practised on the sloop gave him a a bit of confidence...

After he bailed enough and seperated from the rescue kyak he started rowing back up towards the east side of the island. I will never forget his "casual" look on his face as he tried to act "cool" when he saw me... He looked down for a second as he waited for me to say something and to think of something if I didn't. He looks back up and says "Hey dad ! I guess I'm done for a while" , not knowing if I noticed or not. I guess the way his life preserver was all wet and the white shirt he was wearing all glued on him was unnoticed by him. I just laughed.

Then, after he got back, I called in dry clothes and he finished bailing he told me what happened as he asked me to take the red bucket back to the main dock. It seems he looked up to the sky to grab a loose rope on the boom, got disoriented and rolled it. The 2 decker riverboat came by with passengers, pulled alongside, shut off engines and asked if he was in need of help. He said he was fine and they threw the bucket over the rail and off they went. I know that he will never forget that Adventure of Jacob's.
 

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mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
So after a long day Saturday and not having been around the Studio as much we decided to check on our friend Steve, the blindman who was fiercely independant as much as possible. He has had siezures for years and I have had to fight with others who would have put him in a home for years instead of running a business.

I don't get paid to watch him, I just do it because no one else does and he has been a good friend for 25 years. I am the one that gets the calls in the night from the police or people that know and I have always done my best to help him and others. I have had to check on him many times for many years and when I went in his apartment to find him I can assure you that shock isn't the word as I realized he must have been there dead for two days. I knew something was wrong when I opened the door but did not let my nervousness stop me from going further. I won't tell you exactly what I found but I can tell you that it isn't something that you want burned in your brain. The last week of cleanup since he hasn't seen family for over 25 years has and is hard on us. Orginizing a service and getting up to recount his life is hard.. I feel glad I was there to help him against adversity but while I was displaying on the island and having the time of my life, Steve was lying there ending his. The contrast is very difficult.

I am trying to look forward and to do what is required as I keep pushing ahead. I can't re rent the apartment until it is fixed up due to the flooding and only a blind man would have put up with the struggles I encountered fighting to save the building. It is ironic that I make my living off from my sight so that I can help someone who doesn't have any. I am so tired of the challenges over the last few years and I miss riding in a gyro so much. I worked so hard getting biannual, medical and the engine thrust to work. "Lil Wind" is waiting for me and I am so tired - I think it will be spring before I get to fly again, or to think about being in my own.

I just want you all to know that life is rough but no matter how rough you have had it someone else has it worse. I know how hard it was for Steve to have seizures, blindness and an abandoned family life and yet he pressed on. He impressed me and I am glad to have known and learned from him. Life has many twists and unexpected turns and yet things that are connected so tightly? Who would think that a love of flying is connected with words like boats, islands, family, Flir Cameras, gamerooms and blindness? I am sorry but I just had to share this with you. I am ok. I just do what I have to and dream about what I want.

I have wanted to fly and the more I try it seems the farther it gets. Maybe it seems like rambling but I just had to write it down. This is all a part of the story that is part of the path towards the freedom I seek. I know even flying we aren't free as we have to come down for fuel - but for a while, looking down, everything looks so much smaller in the overall scheme of things.

I hope to reduce the problems by increasing the altitude even if it is only a few feet at a time.

jtm
 
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Jazzenjohn

Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
2,721
Location
Milan Mich.
Aircraft
Gyrobee, My design
Total Flight Time
350
Sorry to hear about your friend passing away James. I know it's impossible to unsee something, but I'm sure you have many good memories of him that you can focus on.
 

mercert

Newbie
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
99
Location
Westminster CO
Aircraft
Little Wing single place
James,

looking good my freind! keep going and flight will eventually come your way! I am hoping that you, Brad and myself get in the air this year and meet at Mentone! that is what i am shooting for. It would be great to see a flock of LW's in the air!

Tim
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Thanks Tim. We'll see if I can move ahead with things.

The nite runs were done some with and some without rotor spinning. Those were some of the first times I went and taxied. I wasn't going as fast and the taxiway was smooth. My friend came too late to get daytime test videos so I used what I had. Later, after reviewing videos, I made further changes and tried again. The gyroplane based videos were using rotors spinning. You can see that onboard the stick is back and unlocked. I was trying to get used to feeding them air. Some of the side shots were from initial tests also. I just hated to throw out the footage of what we have done so far.

Sometimes I got up to about 20mph with rotors around almost 300 at one point but I think avg around 250? I think and I was nowhere near full throttle. Emailing Ron H. it became apparent that I was getting light and additional throttle I would have lifted but I was trying to learn how it felt working the rotors up to speed and trying to figure out how much runway I would burn up working them up. This was done when the weather was good but I ran out of time.

I did find that leaving the prerotator on for several runs in a row are too much draw and not enough recharge time. I then started doing a minimal prerotate and tried to drag them up to conserve energy.
 
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mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Hi Rick,

No, too bad. She was all fueled up. The time went by so fast. First couple days I chased a problem with a leaky header tank and when it got fixed I felt I would be imposing too much. I kinda thought Sunday someone may have been willing and less busy to make a few runs but the Sat. storm took our tent down. With wet clothing and sleeping bags all tossed in the truck we decided we might as well just pack it up.

Many people would have loved to see it fly and said as much when the walked down to see us. I brought it down partly because i thought there were going to be 2 other lw's and the possibility a more experienced gyro pilot might offer his assistance. Oh well, i had a great time this year anyway. Most of you pilots, vendors, instructors and builders are an inspiration to me thank you very much-
 
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Roundwing

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
498
Location
usa
Jim,

It was good seeing you and the Littlewing there.

Too bad you couldn't get it into the air.

One of these days I hope to see it with air under the wheels.

Good luck,

Rick
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
Hi Ron, You looked so busy giving all those rides. I wouldnt have wanted you to fly it with the leaky fuel fitting so i put priority on that first. I had hoped you would have stopped by to chat and maybe plan such a flight. I appreciated your willingness to help in the past and presently. I wished it worked out for you to experience the 65% thrust increase. I think it would be a joy to fly.

I bought wheel pants for the two place and the RFD double bearing slider rotor head from ernie.. Our camp was so messed up that we nearly forgot to pick it up before we left. I would have have slept in our wet camp if i knew we would had the chance to fly sunday.
 

mercert

Newbie
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
99
Location
Westminster CO
Aircraft
Little Wing single place
James,

I was so bummed not being able to make Mentone! I hurt my shoulder weeks ago which made my right arm useless and kept me from getting to all the things i needed to complete to bring my LW to the convention. I got my clutch from Todd recently but have not had the chance to install it yet so my machine would have been on static display only. I was looking forward to meeting you and comparing notes with the Yamaha's. Next time!

Tim Mercer
 

mcbirdman

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
1,237
Location
Grand Ledge (Lansing) Michigan
Aircraft
lw3 sp long, lw3 2place long yami
Total Flight Time
150
This is an update of sorts. I do not post often but check in occasionally as I have unwillingly had to tend to other more pressing issues. I have been battling many problems which have taken me away from my aircraft building and flying. Having worked hard it is now possible for me to start looking forward to the possibilities of next year for progress in a hobby I dream about.

It is my goal to build a big Pole Barn to finishing the Little Wing Projects. It has been hard being packed in a two car garage with tools, a car in one bay and one of the projects in the other. I put two pull down stairs in the attic so I can access parts and supplies in ceiling. Not the easiest situation but with the temporary hangar I built in the back yard we were able to store the two other Little Wings. Storing is not the same as giving up but indefinitely suspended projects isn't exactly progress either.

I think if I somehow start building a large pole barn next summer I can have storage, a building shop, and a place to move my studio in the future while keeping an office downtown. Separate bays for 3 aircraft needing individualized attention, an open area to spread things out and an actual workshop with tools ready to use.

I know that Rich will be helping me complete the Little Wings and will likely be one of the two other pilots flying our collection of 3. My wife has been great about the garage but will love to have the garage used as a garage for 2 cars and less clutter. I will go through the completed single place to make sure it is airworthy to continue test flights while we are busy building the 2 seaters.

Sometimes I look at how far we have got and think about how interesting it is going to get as we will be able to start making much greater progress on the airframes that are ready for engines and controls. It would add more yards to the goal line but seems like maybe I should be filming the progress as part of a video story of interest. If I don't, I may regret it but it is just one more thing to worry about. Who knows..... I think it would at least be an inspirational, if not interesting story to have recorded.

I think we can do this and putting a lot of issues behind, I anticipate being able to invest more time for more progress. I think it will be nice some day to have them all flying together and by looking forward a bit and planning I think I can move things that way. Who knows, but without a dream, I can't start planning the next steps that get me closer to reality. Recognizing those steps and opportunities to complete them is progress. Like many projects I have completed, I am amazed when I realize what we are doing has been made possible with a goal planted firmly in the past and the accomplishment balanced by life's distractions.

We will see. I hope this spring will give me some time to invest in the flying/building portion of my life again. I miss it so much. Here is a photo where we will be building permanent shelter. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

James
 

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Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
15,710
Location
Nipomo,California
Aircraft
Givens Predator
Total Flight Time
2200+ in rotorcraft
Good Luck James!

Good Luck James!

Life gets in the way for many of us James.

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I wish you all the best of your gyroplane adventure.
 
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HighAltitude

in transition
Joined
Jul 15, 2016
Messages
219
Location
Mesquite, NV
Aircraft
Ercoupe
I read through this thread and didn't stumble on the story of how you ended up with three of them. Any thought of selling one?
 
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