McCutchen vs. Dragon Wings

MMorgan

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I've heard all the testimonials about the Dragon Wing blades out-performing most other blades but has anyone made a direct comparison between Dragon Wings and McCutchens??

I have 23 ft. Dragon Wings on my Air Command but have never flown it with any other blade.

I also have 23 ft. McCutchen's on my Benson and it is considerbly heavier. I'm wondering how they would compare keeping in mind that the McCutchen's have an 8" chord and the Dragon Wings are 7".

I will probably swap the blades and compare them myself one day but would like some comments first.
 

Udi

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Mike,

I have not read about any objective comparison between these two blades. It would be great if you could do that.

When you swap the blades, in addition to your subjective like/don't like feeling, make some objective measurements. A few obvious ones are climb rate (at the same airspeed), max climb rate (Vx - each blade may have a different Vx), minimum sustained level powered airspeed, and maximum level airspeed (if you are comfortable with that). Try to do the tests in the same density altitude. This would probably mean that you can't test one in the morning and the second one in the afternoon.

I am looking forward to reading your results.

Udi
 

barnstorm2

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I would like to see that data also. I have an AirCommand but with a 447. I could use some better performance.
 

gyropilot

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Dragon Wing Blades on High Thrustlione Gyro

Dragon Wing Blades on High Thrustlione Gyro

MMorgan said:
I've heard all the testimonials about the Dragon Wing blades out-performing most other blades but has anyone made a direct comparison between Dragon Wings and McCutchens??

I have 23 ft. Dragon Wings on my Air Command but have never flown it with any other blade.
Mike,

A few words of caution...

I'm not certain just by looking at that tiny picture of your Air Command, but it appears to be the old inverted-engine high thrustline version with the tiny horizontal stab. Correct?

If you put the much lighter Dragon Wings on your gyro in place of those heavier McCutchens, then you'll make the high thrustline situation worse by lowering the vertical CG location of the airframe. Add to that, Dragon Wing blades can make an unstable airframe pitch more rapidly in turbulent air, possibly leading to PIO... and then something worse!

Don't get me wrong though... Dragon Wing blades are *excellent* on any properly stabilized gyro (one with centerline, or nearly centerline thrust, and an adequate horizontal stab). Use extreme caution when putting them on an unstable airframe.

Regards,

John L.
 

GyroRon

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John and Udi, you guys are right but yet still wrong! Mike has been using the Dragon Wings on the aircommand for some time, not the skywheels. The skywheels are on the Bensen I sold him a month or two ago. So taking what you guys are saying, Mike Would be better off leaving the Skywheels on the Aircommand after the tests.
 

MMorgan

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Ron is correct. The Air Command has always had the Dragon Wings. Several people have flown the Air Command and commented on how nice it flew and did not have any bad habits in the stability. I'm sure it would be even better with a CLT kit but as it is it does not try to kill you every time you hit some turbulence.

I recall at BD, Doug Riley asked me how it flew and told him very nice. He commented on how an older model he had was extremely unstable and was downright scary to fly. Mine is a 1999 model so it is fairly new and some improvements were obviously made.

The Bensen is also very stable, confirmed by Mike Gaspard as he has flown it several times. It has the McCutchen blades and the horiz. stab in the prop wash so it is rock solid in turbulence.

I started this thread to ask anyone if they had made a direct comparison between the McCutchen Skywheels and Dragon Wings to see if the Dragon Wings would make much of a difference on the Bensen.
 

scottessex

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I had posted earlier in a different thread, My Arrow powered Bensen almost doubled its climb rate, and I picked up 10 mph on my cruise speed with John Stevens dragon wings, over my rotorhawks. The only McCutchens I have flown were on Steve McGowans trainer.
 

MMorgan

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Scott, I had read your post in the other thread and I know they outperform most any blade but I have not heard of anyone that made a direct comparison to the McCutchens. The McCutchens are about an inch larger in chord so that is why I'm wondering if it will be a huge improvement like in other comparisons.
 

scottessex

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My Rotorhawks are 8.5in. chord, Quite a bit larger about 1.5in. than the dragonwing chord.
 

Screw

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Screw-In

I think the big differance will be in the wieght of the blades and inertia. Those McCutchens are very heavy and full of energy, while the DW are light and don't take anytime to bleed off the energy.

Given the cost differance, Dragon Wings IMHO is the way to go period!

Screw-Out
 

stuart

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I have heard that DWs can be gotten with weighted tips, which would give you some of the advantages re. inertia that the heavier McCuthens have at a much lower cost--opinions? stuart
 

gyromike

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stuart said:
I have heard that DWs can be gotten with weighted tips, which would give you some of the advantages re. inertia that the heavier McCuthens have at a much lower cost--opinions? stuart
Dragon Wings come standard with brass tip weights.

1 lb. tip weights for single place.
2 lb. tip weights for two place.

(if I remember correctly)
 

CLS447

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Mike, I have an AC 447 with all upgrades except CLT & upright engine. It has no partial enclosure either. All I have ever known was the Skywheels(23'). I love them,I think?

I have been tempted, even more so lately, to try a set of DW's due the great performance increase claims that I keep on reading about.

I feel the same way about it that Doug Riley did. I only fly in relatively calm conditions because of this.

But due to statements such as the ones John Landry made I am not sure that I want to try them.

You seem more comfortable with your AC than Doug or I. You own both brands of the same diameter. Why don't you put the Skywheels on the AC & tell me what you find?

Could it be that the DW's actually improve the handling of this machine? What blades did Doug R. fly on his 447?

If the DW's really give my 447 the boost it needs, I would probably spend the money to make it CLT & really have a little kickass single place! Then someday upgrade to the engine I wished I would have bought in the first place.... the 503. But nooooo... I wanted a "true" ultralight. Yeah right! Who knows, with DW's it might actually be under 254 lbs!
 

MMorgan

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Mine do have weights in the tips.

Like Mike said, 1# sounds right.
 

MikeBoyette

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Hey Everyone,
Mike G. is correct there is no such thing as an un-tipweighted Dragon Wings blades. The inertia is pretty close. If I remember correctly a couple of guys here in Florida did a direct comparison in the mid 90's. I don't recall the exact findings. I would love to hear what you find out Mike M. Damn too many Mikes around here.
 

scottessex

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Hey Mike B, let me know when your Dad has a sale on blades. :D


A new set of dragon wings are on my wish list.

How many hours are they good for? I know where I might be able to get a used set, but they have over 1000 hours on them, are they time limited?
 

GyroRon

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Mike Morgan, I don't know what your waiting for? Get out there and swap out the blades and compare them and let us know how it turns out!
 

MMorgan

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I will Ron but I need to do a few things first.

I'm still playing with the timing trying to get the temp a little lower without losing any rpm. I have retarded the timing quite a bit from where it was when you had it and it runs a little cooler but is harder to start. I also have a leaking exhaust valve in one of the cyl so I'm trying to resolve that also.

Before I swap the blades I want to make some notes on rpm's, rate of climb, etc but with no rotor tach or altimeter I will have to be innovative. Also, as you know the electric prerotator is not capable of spinning the DW's fast enough so I will have to be really careful getting them spun up.

So....I will swap the blades and report the results but I need to do a few things first.
 

MMorgan

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Chris,

I know the DW's are 30 or so pounds lighter than the McCutchens so I think that alone would be enough to make a difference on your 447 machine.

I probably will not fly the Air Command with the McCutchens simply because I know it will not help the performance and why put 30 more pounds over my head and make the gyro even more unstable.

I don't know anything about the machine that Doug Riley was referring to in our conversation at BD....maybe if he is lurking around here he will see this and comment.

As to the performance of my 503 A/C....I weigh 155 lbs. and I find it performs very well....much better than the Bensen with the Subaru although I'm still tweaking it and with the DW's it may be closer to the same.
 
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