LW5 and 4 Construction forum

B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
I feel I need to start this thread by taking the time to acknowledge, with all due respect, the truly remarkable aircraft package that Ron Herron has put together. It now stands in the Air Venture museum, a multiple world record holder, a true testament to its designer, builder and pilot. I as a builder, greatly appreciate all the time, effort and insightful experience he has brought to us by bringing this class of aircraft back from the unknown.
I’m starting this thread to create a place for LW and 4 builders to bring construction questions and custom modifications, which are above and beyond the details in the plans / construction manual. We need a place to accumulate builder’s comments, question and alternate solutions concerning the final details of their projects. This is not about any one project, it is meant to be an information exchange thread for this class of plans built autogiro. Many of us are not using the Rotax 912, 914 or radial engine packages. There there will be some custom engine situations where we can gain better solutions within this group and through the experiences of our more seasoned builders that will visit this thread.
My thought is to mainly address tandem, per plans configurations. But all are welcome to ask, advice and share comments, solutions and pictures.
Brad H Northern California LW5 builder
I can bring some questions and thoughts to the table to start out the information exchange.
- Alterations to the original plans? i.e.: width, height etc.
- The passenger / copilot’s backrest? The original backrest per plans is meant to be a starting point and not a final solution. Should the backrest be supplemented by an attached harness? Should it be completely replaced by a web backrest and harness combo? Where should the upper portions of the harness be attached.
- Peddle returns? I personally have tried mini bungees and springs, springs being the better of the two tried so far. Any other thoughts?
- Any finished aircraft with the same size and local of brake pedals? How effective is the size and location of current plans supplied?
- Aerodynamic cowl designs for the mast?
- Any thoughts on ballistic chute systems and location?
- Horizontal stab adjustment access?
- Strobe light locations?
- A Tachometer system for the Rotor Head, something less than the $300 one but better than the $20 cats eye for bicycles.
- Nose art pertaining to Autogiros?
- Paint schemes?
- Training in general? Training or formularization flights in an LW5 or 4?
- Dual fuel tanks?
- Storage or cargo areas?
- Baggage in place of a copilot, how to attach while retaining easy pilot access?
- Belly pod for baggage instead of a passenger or in conjunction with front seat baggage?
 

okikuma

Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
1,902
Location
Santa Clarita, CA
Brad,

Thank you for starting this thread. I'm quite curious as an observer to read and view multiple solutions and modifications one has performed on their Little Wing.

Wayne
 

mercert

Newbie
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
99
Location
Westminster CO
Aircraft
Little Wing single place
The Little Wing in it's design is very complete and little needs to be done to "solve" any issues. Ron Herron leaves minor adjustments to the design up to the builder dependent on what engine is used and pilot configuration.

My build was and is to the plans for a single place LW5 except i made it 28" wide instead of 26 and Ron blessed that change. My engine is the Yamaha 120hp conversion Todd Reick developed. I used his rotax redrive mounting assembly with a "C" box with a 4:1 ration as with the tail dragger prop clearence we can swing a huge prop so i have a 3 blade 72" warp drive on it. Engine cowl was the biggest challenge as clearing the tall Yamaha engine caused me to have to dramatically modify an off the shelf nose bowl i bought from aircraft spruce but i was able to maintain the "cub" style i was shooting for.

I used ALL push pull cables for ALL needs as to have redundency including rudder cables and throttle and trim tab as well as the rotor head controll. I have dual fuel tanks feeding at the same time with a selector switch so i can use front or rear or both. Rotor mast cowl was an easy piece to form to clean up airflow around the mast. The access for the horizontal tail is from underneath with a bolt on access plate to make easy adjustments if needed. Tires and wheels are bigger than Ron specified and i am using independent drum brakes which give differential braking during taxi for better turn radius.

For my rotor tach i used an MGL tach with an MGL sensor and i installed 2 washers on the ring gear plate 180 degrees apart for the sensor to read.
Strobe light on mast and on under belly so it should be seen from top or bottom.
I still need to finish a few minor things on her but i am not in a hurry and will get to it this winter. I have been busy building a fifth wheel toy hauler to haul my Little Wing to the fly-ins which has taken a lot of my time. It has rear barn doors on the living quarters that open to allow the plane's tail to go into the living area about 7'6" and the remaining 9'6" resides in the open garage. I am almost finished with it and then will return to finalizing the gyro!

Tim
 

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B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
I know there are other builders out there that will have the same questions

I know there are other builders out there that will have the same questions

My questions mainly concern the building of a tandom LW5. They are as follows:
- The passenger / copilot’s backrest? The original backrest per plans is meant to be a starting point and not the final solution. There is no way that the original copilot backrest, in it's original starting configuration, will hold up to use. Should the backrest be supplemented by an attached harness? Should it be completely replaced by a web backrest and harness combo? Where should the upper portions of the harness be attached?
- Harness slections?
- Aerodynamic cowl designs for the mast, up to the ring gear? including the pre rotor mech, brake and controls? An asymmetrical cowl all the way up including the off center starter.
- Nose art pertaining to Autogiros?
- Paint schemes? - Any info on the new covering out of Europe that is pigmented, no paint needed after installation?
- Training in general? Training or formularization flights in an LW5 or 4?
- Storage or cargo areas?
 

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
Brad. Your questions are many but are of interest to anyone in the process of building. Due to personal circumstances I am still in the holding pattern regarding flight experience. Ocassionly I get time to do a little work on them though.
I think your questions apply to lw3 and lw4 also which I am familiar with.

Typing on pad so keeping it shorter than normal.
On two place I would drop the floor 6 inches just ahead of front seat. I did this on my first 2 tandem and will do so on my second tandem. My single place will remain the same for now as the seat position is back far enough for reasonable entrance or exit. It still takes a little finesse that might be better described as mounting or unmounting.

My first 2 place has the square frame tubing seatback but added additional upside down U shape tubing to top horizontal tubing seatback for headrest support for foam slipover upholstry of Geo metro seat. Extension of that same horiz. Bar can be extended to frame
at each side with tabs that either pin or simply support the seatback as you push back on it.

On the adjustment of horiz stab. Ron has shown that two short tubeswelded in between the gap of the trailing edge of the forward portion of stab and leading edge of rear portiion of stab. A bolt inserted thru both tubes and tightened becomes a hinge that is locked in any trim position you need. I put a geared window crank on mine hidden in the verticle post of rudder and ran a rod to cockpit for inflight adjustment.

I would not only drop the floor for front seat comfort but would put in seat track. This will allow cg adjustment of at least 4 inches to help with being able to solo from front seat.

Nose art? Funny you should mention. Another advantage of a tractor. Lots of room for nose art and looks great on it. And it is fun to personalise something that you have given everything for. It is like signing your work or naming your baby.
 
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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
Great Jim ! Remember though that even though that is the list it will not be the last time you order tubing..... It is a starter list but gets you mostly there.
 
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Alan_Cheatham

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
1,966
Location
Dallas, Texas
....do you know if it is possible to reduce the width og the section 109 of the lw5
it seems the lw4 has been shorten without changing the msection 109 ?
cheers
jmi
When I was building on Matt's LW-5 I talked to Ron Herron about the sudden bend at station 109. He told me it was because he didn't want to change his fuselage jig for the long version into the short version and he suggested the streamlining of the fuselage might be a little better if the bend to close the tail started in the traditional location.

This is what was done on Matt's LW-5 and did required me to resize the fuselage stations aft of the cockpit.

http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=62083&postcount=63

http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=49950&postcount=38

.
 

B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
Can we get a list of current LW4 and LW5 builders?

Can we get a list of current LW4 and LW5 builders?

Can we get a list, on this thread, of current LW4 and LW5 builders?
Brad
Northern California
 

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 Brad checking in. No one else has.

Ok I'll start:

LW3 Airworthy test flown only. Vw powerplant with redrive James McNeilly Michigan

ok brad you go.
 

B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
LW5 Northern California

LW5 Northern California

LW5 with Yamaha 130FI, twin forward mounted aluminum radiators, 3/1 belt PSRU and Warp Drive 3 blade carbon prop, dual CG proportionate fuel tanks. Engine with prop test up to 8K engine rpm. Working on foam form for two part fiberglass engine cowl.
Starting to tackle flight training, Test Pilot and familiarizing flight. And I'm wandering WHY the lack of CFI's on the west coast?
This situation is not population or weather proportionate.
Brad H
Grass Valley, Northern California
 

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mercert

Newbie
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
99
Location
Westminster CO
Aircraft
Little Wing single place
Hey Brad, looks like you have been very busy!
My LW 5 has been sitting idle for months as other things in life have taken priority.
My LW5 single place has the Yamaha 120hp 3 carb engine, rotax C box redrive 4:1 ratio with a warp Drive 72" 3 blade, engine run up test to 6500RPM and it wanted to tilt forward and dig the prop into the ground so i did not go past 6500 for more than a second or two! 27' dragon wings, 9 gal and 8 gal fuel tanks, i am re-thinking my radiator location and may move it to the front similar to your design. Maybe i will get it finished and flying this next spring/summer

Tim Mercer
Westminster, Colorado
 

B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
Any other LW4 or LW5 builders out there ??

Any other LW4 or LW5 builders out there ??

With all the sets of plans that Ron has out there, I would have expected more builders, more responses.
Let's see your LW4 or LW5 projects, no matter what stage they are in.
Brad H
Northern California
 

B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
No Title

Lots have happened on the Little Wing and in life.

The Little Wing 5 is tied down at the Lincoln Airport outside of Sacramento, CA.
Only one system needs additional attention.
The electric pre-rotation inline fuse.
I am up to popping 200amp ANL fuses. I have the correct size wiring for this amount of amperage,
the recommended auto starter and I am pulsing the switched heavy duty solenoid.
But it's the spiked initial amperage draw with such a high inertial load of the 28ft rotor disc.
Any suggestions???
 

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JEFF TIPTON

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
2,860
Location
DICKSON, TN
Aircraft
Grumman AA5
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1280
Most starter motor circuits do not use a fuse on high amperage cable to the motor, as the draw is short duration.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
2,108
Location
Oregon, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter gyroplane
Total Flight Time
300+ gyroplane, 11 airplane, 1.5 PPC, AND... a ZILLION hours of flying in my dreams!
Brad: Not fuse-related, but what make of belt drive did you go with on your 3:1 reduction?
 

Alan_Cheatham

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2003
Messages
1,966
Location
Dallas, Texas
Most electric prerotators that use a starter motor have a "soft start", a coil of resistance wire that limits the current to the motor during the initial few seconds of operation. Once the rotor has some rpms the resistance coil is shorted across by a second solenoid allowing full current to the motor.

Pulsing the starter relay on and off isn't the way to go.

You also want to eliminate the fuses as they are there to protect the wiring, but if you see the wiring burning just switch off the power.
 

Jean - Claude

Senior Member
Joined
May 2, 2017
Messages
78
Location
France Center, Romorantin City
Aircraft
I piloted gliders C800, Bijave, Castel 310, airplanes Piper J3, Jodel D117 and DR 220, Piper PA 28,
Total Flight Time
About 500 h (FW + ultra light)
Brad,
Even in short circuit, your battery gives not much more than the current required by the stater. Thus, this wiring not need protected.
If it is unable to support two times the normal without burning, then it is undersized
 
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B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
Concerning the Belt PSRU, call me at 530 559 3897. Leave a message. Things are busy this week with all and EAA stuff.
Brad
 

B Hawley

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
44
Location
Grass Valley, Ca.
Aircraft
LW5 Complete N954BH
Total Flight Time
20, 300+ RC gliders
Pre-Rotation Circuit Breaker problems.
I have been reading up about this on the forum.
I don't think I like the idea of watching for smoking wires, they are not separate from the rest of the wiring. My LI ion battery says it has 370 cold cranking amps.
I just tried hand propping the rotor blades and pulsing the solenoid switch, I called it quits the second time I popped a 300A circuit breaker between the battery and the solenoid.
My current circuit is, positive battery to 300A breaker to HD solenoid "0" gauge wire, then 7ft of 6 gauge wire to mast starter. Starter negative to battery negative, 6 gauge wire. Solenoid is on two cab panel mounted 12V switches in series.
I see a soft start diagram on this Forum. It looks like that individual ran a completely separate medium voltage line from the starter into the cab through a switch and then a non breaker-ed line thru the firewall to the solenoid. Then across the solenoid terminals he has a resistor wire.
I'm not an electrical guy, but ... If you only added a switch on the original hot lead to the starter and that switch was in the cab, then put a resistor wire across the main solenoid leads, You could switch the main hot lead in the cab and run the starter across the resistor wire on the solenoid, than switch on the solenoid and run higher amperage thru the solenoid straight from the battery???
I really don't want to put a high amperage switch and reroute parts of the hot lead in the cab on its way to the starter.
Is there another option?
If not, OK. What type of wire, gauge, material, length and it will need to be insulated, it's in on the fire wall.
Brad N954BH
 
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