My Dream of Flight

Rotate1953

rotate1953
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
68
Location
Lynn
Aircraft
Grumman,Piper High and Low Wing
Total Flight Time
200hrs.
Me Too!!

Me Too!!

This is an updated version of something I wrote 3 years ago. It's LONG...it was written to explain to my ground-bound friends why I love flying so much. So grab some popcorn if you want to continue reading, it'll take a few minutes. :) I am Trying to Promote this as a Unit.That would use an E.V. as a Cockpit and Power Supply! Unplug and leave the Unit at the Airfield!Drive on and off similar to Mars rover!!Funds would not allow collective for Emergency Landing.Pitch is set at about 5 degrees.It's a Super Lifter that needs No Tail Rotor!Each side is turned by it's own Motor and Prop.

-Wonder How you feel about an Electric Rotarywing?I built my 1st working prototype and am working on 2nd Now!! But, a Neck injury has Slowed me down.I can still Fly over 200 hrs Logged in High and Low Wing Aircraft No conventional Heli. experiance--------------​
:peace:
With my dream of owning and flying a gyroplane coming closer and closer to fruition (it's on the boat from Germany!), I thought I'd write a bit and try to explain my life-long obsession with flight. For some people to whom flight holds no interest I imagine that it's difficult to understand how it can be such a compelling force in one's life. But it certainly is in my case. This is a long article, and I expect few will read it, but here it is nonetheless!

When I was maybe 4 years old, my older brother Dusty was fascinated by World War II-era aircraft. And at that point, whatever big brother was interested in, I was interested in. But I wasn't so much interested in the differences between Messerschmitts and Warhawks and Corsairs...I was 4, remember...my fascination was that a person could climb into a machine, start the machine and be carried into the sky, where they were free to soar and turn and climb and dive in graceful, sweeping maneuvers. Dusty could probably tell you the fuel capacity, max. airspeed, and G-limits on any of them. I only knew that it looked like a hell of a lot of fun. Saturday morning cartoons like Jonny Quest and comic books continued to persist the notion that flying was something both incredibly cool and unimaginably liberating.

As I got older, the fascination with flight grew as quickly as I did, and it just so happened that when I was 7, our dad worked for a coal mining company that owned a Bell 206 JetRanger helicopter. One Saturday morning, there was some sort of "employee appreciation" day and they were giving helicopter rides to employees and their families. I was awake hours before we were supposed to go, and counted the minutes until it was time. Unfortunately, being the youngest of 3 boys, I got stuck in the middle in the back seat. (Dad rode the co-pilot seat which, I would later learn, is by far the best seat in the house.) But although my outside view wasn't great, as fate would have it, I had a pretty good view of the pilot, Mr. Tom Rennison, and could watch him move the controls. I could also very clearly see all the gauges, which looked incredibly complex and I remember thinking in amazement, "that dude knows what every one of those gauges means." When we came back to the football field where we departed, it impressed me how slow and controlled the approach was...how we gently settled into a hover maybe 5 feet in the air and floated magically to the end zone and set down as gentle as a feather. Never a more magical feeling I had ever experienced.

So my fascination with airplanes was undiminished, but now I had fixated on something even more appealing...helicopters were a true magic carpet. Airplanes had to keep moving through the air at a great rate of speed, but helicopters could stop, fly backwards, turn on a dime, and so on. I began to read everything I could find about helicopters...I learned the controls; what they were named and what they did. I learned about nerdy helicopter things like translational lift and vortex ring state. I was the first to call "BS" when watching Airwolf or Blue Thunder on TV and saw a maneuver that I was sure a pilot would never do. In short...I was already an airmchair helicopter pilot.

In my teen years, I read Flying magazine (and any other aviation-related publication) any time I could get my hands on them. After I graduated, I got a job at a local surveying company, and being that it was close to a minimum wage job, my first paycheck was a mere $103.03. At that time, I was still living at home, and mom and dad owned a small pool hall and game room. That evening, mom asked me to meet "the pool table guy", Mr. Gary Stepp, who came to collect the money from the tables every week. Well, he was late, but he finally arrived, and he said, "sorry I'm late, I had a couple more students to fly with this afternoon." My pulse quickened at the words I heard...it turned out he was a flight instructor! So with that check for $103.03 firmly ensconced in my wallet, I quickly asked for an intro flight, and we set it up. And so it was that my first ever actual flight in an airplane was from the pilot seat...and it was a life-changing experience.

I flew my first solo flight on Friday the 13th of February 1987...three trips around the pattern to full touch-down. To this day, it was the most relaxed flight I have ever had.

I got my pilot license on August 26, 1987, less than 2 weeks before my 19th birthday. I loved the entire training experience...even the parts where Gary emphatically reminded me that the airplane did not love me nearly as much as I loved it, and as such it would not hesitate to kill me if I did something terminally stupid. It reminded me (rather jarringly) that this was not just about chasing rainbows...flying was seriously fun but it was still serious.

I flew sporadically after I got my license...turns out airplanes run on money, and I was always in short supply. (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...) When I moved to Texas and got back on my feet, I started flying again in earnest. I got checked out in Cessna 172's at the local airport and flew every chance I could get over the hill country. In 1998, I decided it was time to own an airplane, and found a sweet deal on a little Cessna 152. It cost $20k...less than my car...it cost $650 per year for insurance and $35 per month to tie it down at the airport. Awesome! I flew that plane all over the place...I was fortunate to have my dad as my frequent co-pilot until he passed away in early 2001.

At the airport where I flew, I learned there was a helicopter instructor...and I flashed back to my first helicopter flight when I was 7. Here I had the opportunity to learn to actually fly the magic carpet. And so I started to learn to fly helicopters. From the first moment I sat at the controls and on every flight since then, the magic of pulling the collective and arriving in a motionless hover 4 feet off the ground is an incredible grin-inducing experience. That intial hover is the moment at which you realize that you can ease the nose over and fly out to whatever adventure on which you care to embark. A little tug on the collective and forward pressure on the cyclic and zoooom...you're off.

In early 2003, I finally received my helicopter add-on rating. I was a legitimate, bonified helicopter pilot, and honestly I couldn't have been any happier on that day if I had won the lottery!

When I discovered gyroplanes, I was still living in West Virginia...I saw them at the "Sun-n-Fun" experimental aircraft show in Lakeland, Florida, way back in 1989 and they immediately fascinated me. Here was a flying machine that was neither airplane nor helicopter...it was the flying equivalent of a motorcycle...and borrowed flight characteristics from both airplanes AND helicopters. It flew much like a helicopter but couldn't hover (except in a steady headwind.) It took off and landed like an airplane, though the runway could be much, much shorter. The sheer simplicity of it was a thing of beauty. I came home from Sun-n-Fun and enthusiastically told Dusty about them, and played the VHS demo tape I had bought showing what they could do. "Wow, a flying motorcycle," he said nonchalantly, "that's pretty neat."

When I started flying helicopters, I had pretty much forgotten about gyros...hey, I was living the dream...flying helicopters was the most fun I had ever had in the air. But one year when I went to a rotorcraft convention in Waxahachie Texas (intending to look at helicopters) I was amazed at the number and diversity of gyroplanes in attendance. They outnumbered the helicopters by 10:1 or more. And they were FLYING...the helicopters were hovering and drifting around, but the gyroplanes...man, they were swooping and banking and just having a hell of a good time. Suddenly, I was 4 years old again!

I decided in 2007 that I wanted to own a gyroplane...so I sent a chunk of cash off to The Butterfly LLC in north Texas and got a bunch of parts to start building. See, most gyroplanes are kits only...at least in the USA...for now. I decided *I* shouldn't build it - I had neither the time nor mechanical aptitude - so I shipped the parts to Dusty, who ultimately did own an Air Command gyroplane for a few years and who is far handier with a drill press than I am. Plus, he actually enjoys the building experience a lot, so he was AOK with the idea.

Well...my business got busy and yet struggled for the next 4 years and no progress was made on the gyro, because no finishing funds were available. We finally closed the business in April 2011 and through the good fortune of steady contract work and a BMW 1200GS motorcycle which I sold, I was finally able to obtain everything I need (for Dusty) to finish the gyro.

But as fate would have it, before I ever flew the Aurora gyro, I had to sell it so I could have money to start my business. This was a good trade...after a short while in business, it "took off"...and I ordered a shiny new MTO Sport from Germany. :)

Flying an open-cockpit gyroplane is as close as it gets to realizing the vision I had when I was 4...a very agile, nimble aircraft that is both simple to fly and simple to maintain...one that captures the true spirit of aviation in that it provides an unequalled personal freedom and unparalleled visibility to the pilot. You don't get in it, you wear it. It becomes a symbiotic relationship...you think and the ship reacts.

Flying is not something I do. Flying is a part of me, as inseperable as my own heart, and the experience of flying is one that I savor each and every time I go up. I love to take people up for their first flight and share with them something that is so immensely personal to me.

So there you have it...I fly because it's challenging, personally very liberating, and invigorating beyond belief. I love the experiences I've had, the "hangar talk" I've both received and given in the company of older, more sage pilots than myself, the friendships I've made and the lessons I've learned (sometimes the hard way.) I remember with a high degree of honor those friends who have lost their lives in the pursuit of flight, particularly my great friend and mentor Harold Eugene Jones, pilot of Bell 407 N555BH and one of the finest helicopter pilots I've ever known.
Flying is not for everyone...but I know very few people who turn away from it once they try it. I find it amazing that for Leonardo da Vinci to have never actually flown, he could absolutely nail it when he famously wrote, "when once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward...for there you have been, and there you long to return."

That describes me quite perfectly.

-John Nagle

Pictures:

1. My first airplane, a Cessna 152-II bought in 1999.
2. My B35-N Bonanza, flew it until I had in-flight engine failure
3. The R22 I finished my training in
4. The Cirrus I co-owned for a while
5. My first solo gyro flight in the Magni M16
Hope you Got all of My message?I put pieces here and there.Not much room left to write?But if you Look at 1st prototype you'll understand how it works! I Hope to have a Video of 2nd Flying soon.Having a Problem running both brushless motors off of 1 channel?Electrical contacts are similar to a Car Horn Tilt and Turn capable.Battery is in Fuselage!!
 

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Monarchist

MTO Sport Owner
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
1,066
Location
Austin, TX
Aircraft
MTO Sport, R22/R44, Cirrus SR22-G3 Turbo, Bonanza B35-N (dead engine), Aurora Butterfly
Total Flight Time
800
Nope, sorry, I did not see your message...was it a PM here?
 

Rotate1953

rotate1953
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
68
Location
Lynn
Aircraft
Grumman,Piper High and Low Wing
Total Flight Time
200hrs.
I also Love Flying and am certified to Fly both High and Low wing Aircraft.Put in most of My hrs. at Tew-Mac airport in Tewksbury.I knew Warren Hupper for about 20 yrs.I also put in a lot of hrs. at Beverlys East side.Bob Lynch Instructor.Just telling you about My Prototype.(Electric) rotowing!!
 

Monarchist

MTO Sport Owner
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
1,066
Location
Austin, TX
Aircraft
MTO Sport, R22/R44, Cirrus SR22-G3 Turbo, Bonanza B35-N (dead engine), Aurora Butterfly
Total Flight Time
800
WELL...I guess I'm ready to start writing that next chapter now.

BECAUSE

My MTO Sport is currently sitting in Houston in a shipyard somewhere. I will take delivery of it on Tuesday morning!! :peace:

I don't think I've been this excited since the days of the Sears and Roebuck Christmas Catalog!

Dang, I need to change my forum name now...

:)

-John
 
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