Maiden flight of Arrow-Copter AC10!!!

ckurz7000

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It is with considerable excitement that I report from the maiden flight of the Arrow-Copter AC10. You can see a brief video YouTube - ‪Arrow-Copter AC10 SN001.m4v‬‏.

A couple of days ago we received the approval to begin flight testing. This has come after a considerable amount of testing (e.g., YouTube - ‪Arrow-Copter certification test of rotor and rotor head‬‏) or load testing (scroll down, it's the last couple of pictures in the gallery) and many shelves of design documentation and verification.

This Tuesday, May 17th, the Arrow-Copter took to air the first time. Note, however, that a previous prototype of the aircraft flew in 2008. However, the current production version isn't the same gyro anymore, even though from the outside it looks very similar.

As is the case for all maiden flights: the more boring the better. And we didn't encount anything out of the ordinary at all. It flew like a charm, no bad surprises! Austro-Control (the Austrian equivalent to the FAA) restricted us during the first couple of hours to the open cockpit version and no constant speed prop for simplicity and safety reasons. But this will change to closed cockpit and constant speed prop very soon during the test phase.

The Neuform prop we used for the first flight maxed its rpm at only 120 km/h (75 mph) with plenty of power left. It is clearly not well matched to the aircraft but sufficient to conduct the first necessary flight tests (controllability, ASI calibration, slow speed behavior, intial stability tests, etc.) We reasonably expect a final Vne north of 200 km/h (125 mph). The prototype already reached 218 km/h (135 mph).

Empty weight is 330 kg (727lbs) with all options and a Rotax 914. This still leaves 230 kg (507 lbs) for useful load. With two 200 lbs champions in the cockpit, 107 lbs of fuel this gives you a range of 300 nm at a cruise of 160 km/h (100 mph). The tank takes 80 l (21 gal), with more than 75 l (20 gal) usable.

This is going to be one exciting machine with which I hope to bust some existing gyro records. But let's take it one step at a time...

-- Chris.
 

PTKay

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Congratulations !!!

Everything in place.
I believe the performance will be next to none.
 

Resasi

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It's been a very interesting concept from the onset. Beginning life with an extremely exciting form it appears to have had a great deal of thought and good design built in.

It uses the very latest materials, has a very comprehensive instrument and electronic suite available, and like top end executive aircraft allows the purchaser considerable flexibility in choosing just how he wishes his personal machine to come fitted out.

The long gestation and extensive testing I find reassuring. If, as I suspect may have happened, and most, hopefully all the major countries aircraft authority standards have been met, there should be no problem in buying and registering these in the major gyro markets. The US of course may be another matter.
 

alain

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Very nice to see this, although unfortunately too heavy for European ULM regulations, it is definitely a very nice one.

Congratulations for a job really well done.
 

Aviomania

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Criss hi and congratulations.
Under what certification is Arrowcopter going through? (since most countries have 450 Kg MTOW and few 500 Kg MTOW)
 
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helipaddy

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330Kg!

Lovely looking machine though
 

ckurz7000

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Criss hi and congratulations.
Under what certification is Arrowcopter going through? (since most countries have 450 Kg MTOW and few 500 Kg MTOW)
Nick, Austria has a separate category "Gyroplane". It is neither an ultralight nor an EASA certified category. The latter start at MTOMs higher than 560 kg. You also need a separate kind of license to fly it. Neither a UL-license nor a PPL will cut it, although there are easy and sensible ways to transition.

-- Chris.
 

ckurz7000

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Thanks to everybody for the flowers. It feels like walking on clouds when you achieve such a long awaited goal. We'll be going through the rigorous flight test program. I'll post impressions as they become available and communicable.

-- Chris.
 

Aviomania

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Nick, Austria has a separate category "Gyroplane". It is neither an ultralight nor an EASA certified category. The latter start at MTOMs higher than 560 kg. You also need a separate kind of license to fly it. Neither a UL-license nor a PPL will cut it, although there are easy and sensible ways to transition.

-- Chris.
Thank you Chris for the info. Do any other countries have the same cat. or it needs to be registered in Austria only? and will you be able to fly to other European countries? ---- It will be interesting category to design something in!!! :) Any limitations as to engine? ( reciprocating only.. or turbine is OK too?)

I do not want to hijack the thread so..PM me some info on the categ.

Wish you success with the project!!! very beautiful Gyro.
 

alain

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No, most countries in Europe know the following categories:

- Ultralight, which is an exception to the general aviation regulations, 2 seaters, and cannot exceed approx. 287 kg empty with 450 kg MTOW, or 307 kg empty with 472.5 kg MTOW with parachute, or hydro/amphybian empty 315 kg for 490 kg MTOW; These benefit of all the advantages of this category, mainly no or reduced medical, and easy license;

- Equivalent to Experimental, two seaters (sometimes more), that obey mainly to general aviation regulations;

- General aviation, the usual GA regulations.

Under the European regulations, there are exceptions, which allow each country to specify sort to say "intermediate rules" at national level. Taking France as an example, the AC10 would then only come under the second rules, due to its weight, called CNRA (equivalent to Experimental) as long as the user builds it. Same applies to Switzerland at present time.

At European level, Europe regulations specify that gyrocopters up to 560 kg MTOW are under national regulations. Reason probably for this Austrian "exception".
 

Resasi

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Chris, it would seem in light of the interest and questions received on this Forum, which is a hotbed of gyro enthusiasm, to be in the company's own interest to do some serious research into just what license a prospective buyer would need in their country in order to legally operate this machine.

It certainly is an area of confusion as to just what types of gyro can be operated with what license, and where.
 

WillyRose

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Weight

Weight

Considering it's largely composite construction I am a little surprised it breaks the 300Kg barrier.
Depends how many beautifully engineered details there are, I suppose, like this cyclic control.
With regard to licensing, Leigh, in the UK a PPL(G) covers any gyro you're type-approved for, doesn't it? The weight limits on the aircraft are down to the cost of various levels of Permit, aren't they?
What do I know? :eek:
All the best,
Clive
 

alain

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Leigh

This is not really what happens: normally, the importer and main distributor for a given country will then check, and where needed ask for changes/improvements/... related to his country's regulations. Depending on the certification national process, this may or may not impact on the pricing, and/or request small or larger involvement of the manufacturer.

Another point is that the AC10 price tag puts it in a very upper-level market segment, therefore, serious pilots that are ready to spend this kind of amount for their pleasure are less prone to request a pure ultralight-regulations machine.

Last, WillyRose, this is not siurprizing: a complete, seriously built gyro, will always be "borderline" with ultralight regulations. Even carbon parts have to comply with strenght calculations.

Pro memoria, the Futura, which was operated in the 2005-2007 years, had its first production machines which I flew above 300 kg. It is only after some more time that it was possible to come down to limits of the ultralight regulations.

So fully enclosed, comfortable machines, with Rotax 914, will always be on the heavy side. But, on the other hand, look at it this way: this your security which is at stake.
 

ckurz7000

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Chris, it would seem in light of the interest and questions received on this Forum, which is a hotbed of gyro enthusiasm, to be in the company's own interest to do some serious research into just what license a prospective buyer would need in their country in order to legally operate this machine.

It certainly is an area of confusion as to just what types of gyro can be operated with what license, and where.
Leigh, you're right: it's a huge mess, and most of the time not even the regulatory officials know how to deal with it.

I agree with you that it would be time spent wisely to educate prospective buyers on how to find their way in the legistlative jungle of their respective countries. Alas, top of the priority right now is to close the certification process. And this takes 110% of all available manpower. But we'll get to it eventually...

Thanks, -- Chris.
 
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