- Oct 30, 2003
- Plant City, Fl
- Total Flight Time
No sir. That was long before Dragon Wings. It was actually a 30’ set of run out Hughes Helicopter Blades. Chuck bought a semi load of them as scrap from Ft. Rucker in the early to mid 70’s. Because it’s a symmetrical airfoil Chuck decided to try them on his gyro. He built a hub bar for them. He knew they had opposite twist in them for driven Rotor use. Meaning they had positive twist at the root and it washed out toward the tip. This although might work a wind driven rotor it would cause more drag and be less efficient for autorotation. He decided to flip them over and turn them opposite of US standard. This made the twist more acceptable. He configured his prerotator to turn opposite Bensen standard. On his first flight he knew right away the blades were less draggy ( what most people express as blades having more lift! Which is a bit of an oxymoron all blades lift the same one gyro and crew) this meant less power consumed and considered a success. Chuck built the second set for his friend Lloyd. It was for a machine he was building out of an old military drop tank made of fiberglass and resembled a bomb. Chuck determined he needed a 30 foot disk and made the hub bar balanced the blades. Lloyd loved them from the first flight. Because they had tip weights the inertia on landing was amazing and only sacrificing a little of the snappiness of the lighter less efficient air pumps known as Bensen Metal Blades. Shortly after test flight and becoming comfortable with the rather large O235 powered tight tandem two place Lloyd began flying it like his Bensen like he stole it. Chuck used to say although Lloyd had only training by the Bensen manual,like he and my father did, he was the most natural born gyro pilot he knew. Lloyd didn’t start flying until he was well into his 40’s he took to it like kid to a bike. I don’t remember who said it but after seeing how this what appeared to be an old Florida farmer flew with such precision and smoothness that he might have come out of the womb flying under rotor blades in autorotation. To say the least the man could fly the box it came in. When he did that hammer head at Okeechobee during our New Years fly-in and stalled the blades everyone there thought for sure he was going to crash and die. Not Chuck and Dad. They both told me they knew somehow someway Deputy Dog would save it. He had nerves of steel, I never saw an ounce of fear in that man. You would think after stalling the blades like that he would quit at least for the day. Nope Dad said he went and got a drink went to the bathroom then did a preflight. He got back in fired it up. He took off flew off the end of the runway out of sight turned back the way he came made a low pass at about 100mph passed the row of campers and parked gyros pulled pure vertical until he ran out of steam kicked rudder came back the other way for another high speed pass into another hammer head. When he landed again someone asked him didn’t you scare yourself when you stalled the blades doing that he said nope just won’t stall the blades again. Long winded I’m sorry. I think I’m going to move it to its own thread. I will leave you with these two things about one of the most honorable intelligent gentle men I have ever known. If you knew him he would most likely call you friend and if he did you were family. There was nothing he wouldn’t do, build, or operate for you if you asked it of him. He helped dad build most of the tools and jigs used to build his Dominator. These include the plug and mold for the body used long after his death. He also built a droop mold for shaping the windshields from a flat piece of polycarbonate. He built and contributed so much I could bore y’all to death with it. He had no formal education and was required to quit school in Elementary School to help his family yet he was probably one of the most intelligent people I ever knew. If there was never a Lloyd Poston there would have never been a Rotor Flight Dynamics, Dominator, or Dragon Wings. He and Dad worked very well together. Connie and I used to say it was like Dad wouldn’t say a word but would think of a solution to a problem and Lloyd would read his thoughts and start building it with no words ever exchanged. It was spooky. I will close with this. Anyone who attended Bensen Days at Wauchula in the mid to late 90’s would see him doing an Airshow in his 582 powered Dominator that has ever been rivaled by Barry Thigpen in the last few years. He would do a flat spin from 1500 feet so damn fast it would make you dizzy he could get ten to the left kick out straight then ten to the right then kick straight and fly off. He made that Dominator do things Dad never thought it could do until we saw Barry. The difference was Lloyd was doing it in his 80’s with no aerobatic training at all. I have so many stories about these characters I grew up with in my gyro family. There were so many different personalities from so many different walks of life. I can only think of few that wouldn’t offer to help or supply a tool or even a part to anyone in our family that needed it. I was very fortunate to grow up with these guys as my adopted uncles. Now I know I’m not the kid anymore I’m old saying you should have seen the good ole days. Like the Montgomery Gentry song says “You should have seen it in color”. He’s been gone a very long time but Dad and I have both heard him talking to us when something bad is about to happen in a gyro just as if he was sitting next to us talking on the intercom. He used to call me George all the time. I’m not sure why. I kept saying Lloyd my name is Michael,Mike, or Mikey not George. He would kinda giggle with his old beat up felt hat on and say ok George whatever you say. I sure do miss him and the rest of my gyro family that are gone.Lloyd Poston: Mike, I'd seen video footage of Lloyd flying his Dominator.
I've heard the stories of how he may very well be the only person to have stalled his Dragon Wings (w/ even the bystanders on the ground hearing what sounded like a shotgun firing off) & survived that experience.
How did he get to the point of his flying skills to be able to fly the way he could?