Oh no- Another New Guy...

vdub280

Newbie
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
35
Location
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Hi All-
I'm from the western burbs outside Chicago, and finally decided to "take the plunge" (no pun intended) into gyros. From the time I was twelve and sent away for Bensen literature, I've been fascinated with gyroplanes, but life got in the way for another 36 years. I've flown in helos and small planes, but never flew either myself, nor for that matter a gyro. I've been slowly collecting the necessary materials and parts to build a Gyrobee, since it appeals to me as the sort of modest craft I'd like to pilot. It will be quite awhile, however, before I get it done, primarily because of other commitments. So...I'll be annoying everyone with questions in the meantime.

I picked up an old Air Command Commander 447 from an estate sale for an obscenely ridiculous price, and figured I'd cannibalize it for parts for the Gyrobee project. It has only a few hours on it and has been stored away under a tarp for over 20 years, so it's in excellent condition. I'll direct questions about digesting it into components for the 'bee into the proper forums as I proceed.

In a nutshell- hello to everyone here, and thanks for participating in what has already been a tremendously informative site. I've learned more in a month of lurking here than I learned in the previous couple of decades about rotorcraft, and hope to keep on learning. Guess I'll have to join Chapter 18 so I can get some training, since I'm a stickler for learning the potentially dangerous stuff (like actually flying) the right way.
 

OuterMarker

Aspirant
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
567
Location
Batavia, Illinois
Aircraft
Air Command
Total Flight Time
94-rotor
Perhaps the A/C 447 is still what you need for an entry level gyro. Bring it to a meeting and I'm sure there will be people there who could offer assistance as to the airworthiness. Tell ya what, the next cookout/meeting at the club hanger and you are my guest....now it don't get better than that...I don't care where you go!!! Welcome to the Chapter 18 nest....
 

Adam H

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
579
Location
Homer Glen, IL
Aircraft
Dominator
Welcome! We meet at our club hangar at Lansing airport every Wednesday night. I'll be there tonight, give me a call if you want to head out and I'll let you through the gate. 708-912-1624

By the way, you can check out the Gyrobee that I built and fly.
 

barnstorm2

Platinum Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
14,572
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Aircraft
2-place Air Command CLT SxS (project), & Twinstarr Autogyro
Total Flight Time
750+hrs and climbing
Welcome Mark!

Please don't forget to join the PRA! www.PRA.org

You are in good hands with PRA Chapter 18!

I would have to agree with OM, if that AC is in good shape you might just want to restore it.

You can buy or make horizontal stabilizers and extended/or/drop-keel kits to make that old 447 a fine safe stable machine.

That said, Bee's are EXCELLENT machines as well, but I just hate to see a good old classic AC torn apart for the few parts that it would add to the BEE.

.
 

vdub280

Newbie
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
35
Location
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Outermarker- thanks for the invite! I'll take you up on that as soon as I can get away from preparing to sell the house! It's been crazy here, and I'm putting a lot of leisure stuff on hold for the next month or so.

Adam-I'd love to see the Bee! Can't get away this month, though, so I'll try to make the next meeting.

Barnstorm- You're probably right; I don't really want to cannibalize what appears to be a very nice machine despite it's dated mechanicals. I'm more of a pack rat than a cannibal, but I was looking for an economical way to outfit a Bee. My reasoning was that I may as well build a stable, safe machine right from the start rather than re-engineer a machine that needs many modifications to bring it to stability. I'm not knocking the AC, but much has been learned since its inception. It's an obviously early model, with no hstab, a pump stick, etc. On the plus side, it has hydraulic brakes, a rotor brake, a prerotator, McCutchens, a pretty clean Rotax, and full gauges. Lots of good stuff I could transfer over with some re-engineering. Much to think about before I act. It might be better to sell/trade it for what I need...
 

OuterMarker

Aspirant
Joined
Dec 6, 2007
Messages
567
Location
Batavia, Illinois
Aircraft
Air Command
Total Flight Time
94-rotor
vdub-----before you do anything to the A/C, let's do a hang test, weigh it on aircraft scales and then do a vertical and horizontal CG calculation. You might be surprised at the results. You will need to know all this anyway as you develop your POH. Then decide to keep it, sell it, trade it or strip it. There are many within the club that I'm sure would be more than willing to help you.
 

Chuck Roberg

Gyro's are more fun
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
3,508
Location
Naperville, IL
Aircraft
SnoBird Tandem Gyro, Robinson R-22, Assorted Fixed Wing
Total Flight Time
1800
Mark, the next club meeting is Friday the 30th at the airport hangar.

Pretty much every Wednesday evening who ever wants. Shows up at the club hangar for build night. You are welcome to come when ever you want.

One of the current projects is one of the guys is converting his older style Air Command to CLT. Tom is another good source of information on the Air Command. He used to be a dealer for them and he has assembled about 30 of them. He's familiar with all the designs from the earliest to the newest.
 

NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
Joined
May 21, 2006
Messages
4,871
Location
Columbia, SC
Aircraft
Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
Total Flight Time
>350
IMHO - I have done AC updates, and fly both the AC and a Bee. The AC with the updates is worth more than the Bee in perfect shape. The updates are very inexpensive, and very easy to do with even just handtools and stock aluminum. There are a lot of threads you can search here for AC CLT conversions, one of mine included - but it is for a Tandem, not a single. There are single AC upgrade threads here. Just search the forum.

Welcome to the club, and if you join the PRA, for the cost of a good magazine that comes out every month you will have access to a wealth of suppliers and info to supplement what you will find here.

Chapter 18 is a great bunch of guys, so you will be well taken care of, I am certain.

Have fun, get some good training, and enjoy the project!
 

vdub280

Newbie
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
35
Location
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Thanks to everyone for the warm welcomes. I'm just muddling along reading as much as I can from previous posts, gathering as much knowledge and info as possible. Before I do anything with the AC, I'll most assuredly seek the council of those with more experience and perspective than me. I'll try to get out to some of the Chapter 18 meetings as soon as possible! Thanks again!
 

Green Bee

Newbie
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
8
Location
Fort Lauderdale
Hello VDUB
I have a Gyrobee with a 503....complete. Over time I have changed/removed parts/ remade parts and tried different things. In my shop I have all sorts of pieces you could possibly use. Original axle ends and main wheels etc. I changed to larger wheels and brakes. I also have a machine shop and make the odd Bee part. So if you need some help/advice general chitchat or suggestions...email me on [email protected]
Regards Graham
 

All_In

Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
15,204
Location
San Diego, CA. USA
Aircraft
Piper Archer, Aviomania G1sb
Total Flight Time
Not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
Greeting and welcome to the forum and more fun than should be legal.
I suggest you at least evaluate the cost of fixing the AC and then selling her at a profit, could pay for your instruction and the parts for a new Bee.
 

vdub280

Newbie
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
35
Location
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Green Bee- thanks for the invite; I'll take you up on some advice!

All In- I think you're right. I'm pondering fixing up the AC and selling her off to fund the Bee. Thanks!
 
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