Open Source Gyro?

freebird

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I have been a user of open source software (almost exclusively) for many years. It is a great way to create innovation and encourage creativity.

This forum is full of many many great ideas. Many people who are not just thinkers but doers. Some of you know the math, some know the mechanics, some know the engines, etc...

Looking at the posts from the recently departed Tim Moses and the little tractor gyro he was working on, it hit me that this group is PERFECT for developing a gyro - Open Source.

For those who don't know what open source is. It is first a philosophy. This philosophy says that technology should be open so that it can be improved on by the users of it. A group gets together and each contributes in his own way. Perhaps you know nothing about aeronautical engineering, but you can draw in CAD. You draw up final plans. Another group works on documentation. Another group works on whatever. It is a group effort.

Some projects develop numerous branches. In our case it would be different engines or even a two seat model.

An open source project license could be developed where existing companies could produce some of the parts eventually and we would be putting no one out of business. Maybe the design would use many existing parts from existing companies. Maybe the design should use composites and develop the tutorials and howto's to enable more home builders to use more modern methods. There are many possibilities.

The internet supplies the way for everyone to get together. Usually there are a few who head up the original project as mediators and managers. As the project grows, maybe elections are held my members who are active. All this kind of thing is usually set up in some kind of bylaws at the beginning.

This idea is not unique to software. There is an open source car - http://www.theoscarproject.org/
an open source airplane -
http://www.ligetistratos.com/

and many other "Hard" items. Linux operating system is a great example of open source. The programming language that this forum runs on is open source. It is a method of development that usually needs a community to develop with it for it to work. There is already an excellent community here! Maybe we could make it grow. Many of the software projects that I am familiar with, benefit greatly from Universities and masters students who use their work on the project as a contribution towards their thesis.

As I have been traveling around to get training and seeing others machines, I see at every point some great little innovations that if all integrated into one machine would make for one outstanding craft.

If this was done right, I think it would grow into a great project. I could see where in the future we could make group purchases of parts to save money, etc....

If we never developed a working model, I think the brainpool effects would make it worthwhile.

What do you guys and gals think? Is there enough interest here to pursue this idea? I can furnish the server and some groupware software to get it started and help get it started. Once I did that, we would need a "dream team" to start laying out design goals, etc.
 

GyroDoug

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Sounds interesting

Sounds interesting

Rex,

I like the concept. It woulod be great to pool all the best ideas into a single aircraft that could better the industry. Personally I don't know that I have enoght expertise in any given area to be a main player in a project like this but I would enjoy watching it develop. I would think it would be hard to make design decisions when there are so many different opinions out there and so many different ways of doing it. Designing an aircraft is an incredible lot of compromises and it directed primarily by the design goals, so getting everyone on the same page to start with and getting a concensus on what the goals should be may be the hardest part of all. But I wish you all the luck in the world and will anxiously watch your progress.

Gyro Doug
 

fiveboy

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I think this is a great way to use the experience and brain power here.
I also think it represents a great social experiment. If you can get anyone to agree on anything as regards gyros and what design or approach is best I would be amazed and delighted.

Let the squabbling begin!
 

Mike484

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I see your from Victoria. We have a local chapter in Houston, www.gyrosaway.com, it would be nice if you could attend a meeting and discuss this with the group. We have a tandum trainer that the club is building using primarily the same platform, group ideas merging together to accomplish a task, maybe some input from you could help the chapter.
 

karlbamforth

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Freebird,

This is a fantastic idea and something I asked about once before. You are much better than me at getting it over.

Maybe a vote to start with on what the specs should be.
 

M. Pearce

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Freebird,

I'd like to see what the forum could come up with but man would it be confusing for a while i'm afraid.

I'm curious though, it would be posted on the forum for everyone to see and make copies of?

It would be really nice to see another gyro like the Gyrobee and it's documentation that is accessable to the public.

Or maybe a set of low cost plans developed that could be sold and to donate the proceeds to the PRA or the Forum for future operational costs.

Many will contribute if the cause is right.
 

Resasi

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I think that that is a great idea. Just as an example am doing the Hornet with my son. The few that have been built have been modified by the various builders and in looking at just one other we saw a number of innovation to the basic design that we liked. In fact his folding mast change was actualy taken by Don Shoebridge and put into his latest Hornet designs which is pretty much what this open project is all about.

We certainly have some very clever people in many different areas of a gyro design. It would be very interesting to see what a collaberative project of this nature would throw up for say an Ultralight, a single, and two seat EAB's
 

Leonid

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I'm a robotics & control engineer by my university degree (can do CAD) with PhD in computer science... currently working on computational physics/chemistry projects managing computing clusters and developing numerical software. I will be happy to donate some of my free time towards open source engineering project like that!!!

Using Linux on nearly all my computers including laptop and home desktop (well ... building a computing cluster on something else but Linux is as silly as it can get).

Open Source is a way to go!!! None of companies can compete with this paradigm just because their resources are finite while OS code size grows exponentially ("with increasing speed" in simple words)

Have a look at OpenScience.org & OpenAccess (doaj.org) - the whole science moves this way.

Leonid
 

High n Wild

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I totally agree with this idea.
This surely give birth of new gyroplanes and gyro flying in other parts of the world( let be optimistic)-also the new market for gyro parts. That will come after the new designs have tried and tested.

I can see that there is not only single design but may be it is possible to branch out to combinations of...

-tractor, single/2 seats(tandem/sbs)
-pusher, single/2 seats(tandem/sbs)
-metal frame/ composite

I wish I have some 2-3 choices of gyro design to build.
 

freebird

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Wow, the response is more optimistic than I thought it would be. And what an international response at that!

After reading this forum for about 10 months, I can understand any pessimism over unity. However this is the kind of thing that can unify people perhaps even better than divide them -- If the goals are well laid out and the coordination is handled well.

Mike, I plan on attending the next meeting and joining as soon as I am back in Texas long enough. I have several invitations and can't wait to meet you guys, just the job moves me around a lot this time of year.

Leonid - your skills would be most appreciated. Eventually maybe you could help with an embedded system. With the cheap accelerometers and flex sensors out there, I would love to see something that shows slip and roll and mast analysis. Maybe even a crack sensor/harmonic balancer could be devised. Robotics guys ought to have a bunch of ideas. And by all means use Linux. If that doesn't work try a PIC chip.

I totally forgot to mention the gyrobee. It is essentially open source now. Perhaps we could help that project. I would like to see it preserved and improved, especially in the ultra light category. But I see a project like this shooting for the extraordinary. I don't know how much engineering goes into the current production kit machines, but I suspect we could pass the better than average company rather quickly in experiential know how and analysis.

To cut to the chase for those new to open source -- YES the plans would be available for free. A "release" would have to be approved by a committee (yet to be organized), after a working prototype has been completed. "Members" of the project would have access to the drawings prior to a release for input, improvement, testing, etc.

As far as the goals of a project like this are concerned, the following is what I think to be a great start from the Ligeti Stratos project -
"Project - Objectives

The second generation Ligeti Stratos Project has five parallel objectives:

1. Create a complete set of aircraft construction plans and a “51%” parts kit which meets the requirements for FAA Part 21.190 Light-Sport or Part 21.191 Experimental category airworthiness certification. Distribute the plans gratis; at no charge. Make materials and kits available through 3rd party commercial suppliers.

2. Create a communications infrastructure with specific features that support the international collaboration of hundreds or thousands of individual craftsmen to achieve the first objective.

3. Create and cultivate a community of technically-proficient participants and supporters who will help create, maintain and improve the design, plans, components and kit on an ongoing basis. Ideally the community will spawn successive and spin-off variations and new projects using the skills and tools developed during this project.

4. Through the successful implementation of the three objectives above, demonstrate the applicability of the Open Source methodology of collaborative design and assembly to aircraft manufacture, and promote the adoption of Open Source methods and philosophy in the General Aviation industry.

5. Encourage the participation of commercial interests in the project to make engines, instrumentation, assemblies, materials and services available to individual builders through a coordinated supply chain. The communications infrastructure identified in objective two should include a comprehensive parts list and supplier registry, so builders can create well-organized purchase orders for parts, which suppliers can service through the system, or by integration with their own online ordering systems."


These are the type of goals that are not only unifying, but motivational. If everyone works together, we could really have something of great value.

Squabbling is to be expected and somewhat encouraged when it is over policy. Facts on the other hand will be reined in to critical analysis, precedent, science, and be criticized and avoided when personal agendas are found to be the cause of dissension.

Personally, I believe that this project will benefit the PRA greatly. Directly and indirectly by links on the website, growth in gyro interest, articles, promotion, etc... There would be many opportunities if this thing takes off.

If I decide to do this thing, I will start recruiting. So my questions are this:

What would you like the goals to be?
Who would be best at what - I am looking for referrals here.
 

ToolmanTim

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open source concept

open source concept

freebird:

I think in general this sounds like a great concept that way you don't have goobers like me continually re-inventing the wheel.

However, I think the most important person you need to include in the cast of characters is a good lawyer to write up an iron clad disclamer to keep from getting sued.

Am i the only one with this paranoia.

(maybe its just the pain medication)

toolmantim
 

Racer

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Thinking about this idea and I think it could be good but I think we need to be careful not to put the few manufactures we have out of business. If everyone builds there own machine through other sources companies like butterfly, sport copter etc. would not have the income necessary to keep there doors open and if they went out of business I believe we would all suffer and be left totally on our own.
 

freebird

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A volunteer lawyer would be appreciated -;)

Concerning putting existing guys out of business -- I don't think so. Not at least if they are smart. They will be able to manufacture and sell the parts!

That is a main objective -

5. Encourage the participation of commercial interests in the project to make engines, instrumentation, assemblies, materials and services available to individual builders through a coordinated supply chain. The communications infrastructure identified in objective two should include a comprehensive parts list and supplier registry, so builders can create well-organized purchase orders for parts, which suppliers can service through the system, or by integration with their own online ordering systems.
They are already set to do this and would have a major advantage. Also, they don't have to do R&D, they don't have to keep up to date manuals, versioning headaches, etc. The project may ask for a contribution from them, or get a percentage of each sale made from the "project" website to help support the project.

As a matter of fact I would plan on meeting with some of them early on to try and get support from them. There are many reasons they should be interested.
 

karlbamforth

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Racer you have a point there.
Maybe instead of a 51% kit it should just be plans and critical components like rotor head and blades.

I am all up for this and will help where I can.
I have been a proffesional aviation engineer for almost 30 years. I have experience of maintenance on fixed wing and rotorcraft, restoration of a number of WW2 fighters, airframe repair and incident investigation, technical authorship and Safety management systems. Quite new to gyro's but hope the rest of it might help somewhere.
 

Timchick

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The guys up in Illinois were working on some mass produced gyros that they designed by putting together different things from different designs. I'm not sure what the status is on their gyros but they seemed to start out real well.

Since some people have different preferences than others for some things how about making some things that would be able to be interchanged? For example, some people like different tail styles for one reason or another. If it were designed to give a couple tail options it might make it more appealing. Same thing with engines, mounts, etc.
 
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cleatus99

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I my self have been putting together ideas on a OpenSource AutoGyro Project being an IT geek, I am used to OpenSource OS & programs etc.

I was thinking along an idea of a converstion kit for an existing Airframe.

I have long wondered why there are not plentiful 4130 Gyro Kit's, I keep thinking why there are a lot of Airplane designs that are 4130 Frames & still meet Light sport....
So what i was thinking about is a two seat Tractor that could support up to 180 Hp Engine upfront....

2 Seat Side x Side http://www.wagaero.com/wag.html
2 Seat Tandem http://www.wagaero.com/sportrain.html

Anyone ever tried to convert a cub to a Autogyro.... ?
 

cleatus99

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Eliminate the Wings & struts, and the Tower & Blades should be near equal weight?
 

gyromike

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Anyone ever tried to convert a cub to a Autogyro.... ?
That's how Ron Herron got started with the Little Wings:

http://www.littlewingautogyro.com/history.html

4130 frames take some skill to build. Skills that could certainly be learned (I learned to weld 4130 with acetylene), but it's more work intensive than bolting together square and flat pieces of aluminum.
 

Alan_Cheatham

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I have long wondered why there are not plentiful 4130 Gyro Kit's, I keep thinking why there are a lot of Airplane designs that are 4130 Frames & still meet Light sport....
So what i was thinking about is a two seat Tractor that could support up to 180 Hp Engine upfront....
Anyone ever tried to convert a cub to a Autogyro.... ?
Yes, Ron Heron converted a Piper fuselage with Continental 0-200 into a gyrocopter in his early days of testing the tractor configuration, it did fly but didn't have good performance because of weight and rotor configuration. Because a gyro rotor is less efficient of a lifting device compared to a wing power to weight ratio becomes very critical, especially on a two place design and probably most off the shelf steel fuselages would be too heavy. Engine selection also is very critical and the best engine for a light two place tractor would be the Rotax 914 but very few want to invest the type of money to purchase one.

Another consideration in converting a preexisting airplane fuselage into a gyrocopter is rotor mast mounting and how the fuselage structure would handle the loads it applies, which can be significantly different compared to a wing so a structural analysis would need to be carried out.

Having been involved in the construction of a Littlewing fuselage I can say that the work involved and tooling needed to make a welded steel tube fuselage on a production basis for the very tiny gyro market would be unprofitable so that is why none are produced.
 

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