Opinion on KB products

Hoss-Fly

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Howdy all,<br>As an FNG still researching for a possible gyro purchase, i would like to know you all's opinion of the Ken Brock machines.  It seems everywhere (on the net) it's all about Dominators and AAI modded RAF2000's.  So what about the KB 2/3?  They seem reasonably priced.  
 

Screw

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Some Doninators are red,<br>Some RAF's are Blue<br>If your lookin for something orange,<br>Check out Da Screw!!!  Driver.<br><br>I'd like to tell you I love my KB-2, but the truth is, I haven't flown it.<br><br>I did enjoy dealing with Ken Brock MFG.  The kit comes together pretty straight forward.<br> ;D
 

Thumpernator

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Howdy all,<br>As an FNG still researching for a possible gyro purchase, i would like to know you all's opinion of the Ken Brock machines.  It seems everywhere (on the net) it's all about Dominators and AAI modded RAF2000's.  So what about the KB 2/3?  They seem reasonably priced.  
<br><br>I think most gyronauts are getting more educated on how a machine should be setup.  And, the KB series does not fall into that catagory.<br><br>Ken never did agree on the HS debate, thus, his machines didn't have them.  I don't believe that KB Eng. has kept up with the knowledge that was gained through the years.<br><br>Why buy a machine that you have to modify to get it 'right', when there are others which 'do' have it right?<br><br>Just my opinion, YMMV.
 

Screw

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Here comes the Dominator plugs ::)<br><br>KB series of gyro come in sub kits.  Just don't buy the tail kit KB.  Buy Ron Herrons Bensen Tail and you will have your horizontal.  <br><br>The tail kit from KB for the KB2 is $695.<br>Little Wing I think is under $400.<br><br>I believe someone on the forum noted that the thrust line is so close to the CG that (within two inches) it could be considered center line thrust.<br><br>The KB-2 is a copy of the Bensen and what, IMHO, makes it so fun is it's classic and very versitile.  You can put what ever tail, engine, seat, gas tank arrangement you want.<br><br>Just my opinion.<br>
 

Screw

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Also,  The lack of advancements could be takin one of two ways:<br><br>1.  It's a dinasaur that hasn't kept up with the times and is out dated.<br><br>2.  Being clean, simple, and effective.  What needs to change?  Answer:  Whatever the builder wants too.<br><br>It's a pretty well known fact that sharks have remained unchanged for millions of years.  The reason why is..... It works well!<br><br>Bensen style gyros have been around for a very long time and are still popular to this day.  The reason why.. It works well!<br><br>This aught to burn some asses,<br><br>Too me, Bensen style gyros are like 1911 pistols.  Some people, myself included, feel this is the finest combat pistol of all time.  <br><br>Developed by John Browning and sold to Samuel Colt who produced the model in 1911.  Went through a couple of modifications with the safety, the last one being in 1943 when the pistol was renamed 1911-A1.  The weapon remained in active US Military (M1911-A1)service until 1986 when it was replaced by the Berretta 9mm (92F).<br><br>The weapon is still used today.  In the hand of a novice it can be very deadly to the shooter or innocent bystandard without proper training and training practice.  In the hands of an expert, It is very clean and neat package that is very effeceint.<br><br>Recognizing the dangers of the 1911-A1 in the hands of a novice, local law enforcements began looking for a semi automatic weapon to replace the ageing revolvers.  To make a long long story short most have gone with the Glock.  <br><br>The Glock is a weapon that has all of it's safety's enternal and each is released by pulling the trigger in a new form of trigger action called "safe action."  The biggest safety is like that of the revolver, "If you don't want to shoot it, Don't pull the trigger."  Other than that, it is perfectly safe to carry with a round chambered.  <br><br>The Glock is a weapon produced for the masses.  Just about anyone who doesn't know anything about guns, can take this weapon out of the box after a short class on basic shooting and pass a qualifying score at the firing range.<br><br>3 or 4 hours of firearms training and a qualifing score on the police range, the new recruit has proven his profecency with the weapon and releases the department from liabuility in most shooting circumstances.  Please keep in mind, this new recruit beleives he is profecient.<br><br>Opinions are like [email protected]#$, and everyone has one.  The Bensen reminds me of a 1911.  You have to be trained and have lots of training practice to be safe.  Ken Brock believed his machines were safe and still does (the Company).  <br><br>If you check places like the NTSB, you'll find a few Bensen reports and I think maybe one KB-3.  Most were people trying to fly with no instruction or very little time on the machine.  I believe all or most were PIO or PPO.  Keep in mind that there are probably alot more accidents out there that were never reported.<br><br>People like Ron Herron and others are constanty looking for ways to make gyro safer.  Hence the Bensen Tail at Little Wing.  It has a horizontal.  Most folks are giong with tall tails also.  Like a 1911A1, you can do anything you want to with this gyro, because everyone makes something for it.<br><br>Not knocking other gyros like the Dominator, Air Command, and others, but they Remind me of the Glock.  They are produced for the masses in such a way that most can fly after a few hours of instruction and dual time, then demonstrating thier profenceny to obtain licensing iether in the form of rating (great) or sport licensing (barely getting by) to release kitmakers and others of liabilities in the event of an accident.  Please keep in mind these pilots believe they are profeceint.<br><br>Training will make you safe in any gyro you choose,  But it's up to you to choose the gyro that is right for you.  I never did like following the crowd, but I choose to start as close as I could get to where it all began.<br><br>I can't post a pic here, but when I went to ROC this year with my gyro it was like David and Goliath.  My gyro was so small compared to what was out there.<br><br>MHO.
 

GyroRon

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Bottom Line is there is a BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG difference between a stock KB-2 and a Stock KB-3. <br><br>The KB-2 uses a direct drive Mac Drone engine or a optional Volkswagon car engine. Either engine is direct drive and turns a short diameter prop. Because the prop is so short, the engine and prop are mounted fairly low in the airframe. And so the center of the prop - which is your " thrustline " is also low and will pass real close to the center of drag and mass - which is roughly where your bellybutton is while seated.  This is a good set up with near CLT and low overall  power output from the direct drive engine means that it isn't very very easy to do a bunt over in this machine. If you add a Horizontal Stab like John did to the "screw driver" it will make a fine machine - as long as you happy with running the drone engine or the VW.<br><br>The KB-3 OTOH...... This is a dangerous gyro in stock form. the KB-3 is basically a KB-2 with a Rotax 65 horsepower engine. This engine uses a gearbox reduction to allow the prop to turn slow yet let the engine turn fast to make the 65 HP. the slow prop has to be long or large in diameter in other words to absorb the horsepower and to be efficent. So........ how do you take a KB-2 with near centerline trust and put a Rotax on it with the big prop? Well Brock decided to just raise the engine higher to allow the prop to clear the rear keel tube. But if you raise the Prop and not the pilot and the rest of the stuff up front you end up with a thrustline pushing you forward above your chest or higher with the Center of drag and mass pushing you backwards still down near your belly button. Unload the blades even for a second or two and the thrust will push in the rear from up high and the drag and mass will be pressing back down low then PRESTO! the gyro will do a forward flip in a blink of the eye and your dead. So how do you fix the KB-3?  Well to fix it right just look at a Dominator or a CLT aircommand... These machines aren't really that much differnet than the KB machines, but what looks very differnet about them is the important things that make it safer. <br><br>You have to raise everything else up to the thrustline to get CLT. Is there a easier fix for the KB-3? Well if you can put a Dominator type tall tail on it your odds will improve greatly. This mod and very good training and carefully piloting will give you a good chance of success. For a person just starting out in gyros WHY OH WHY NOT.... Just get the safest darn gyro you can buy???????? <br><br>Well anyway that's my two cents.
 

Thumpernator

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Re: Opinion on KB products

People like Ron Herron and others are constanty looking for ways to make gyro safer.  Hence the Bensen Tail at Little Wing.  It has a horizontal. <br><br><br>Training will make you safe in any gyro you choose, MHO.
<br><br>A little history on the T-Tail that Ron made for the Bensen.  It started when I asked Ron if he'd build a T-Tail for my Bensen.  I drew up a crude drawing of what I had in mind, and he built it.<br><br>He sent it to me and I tried it out.  Big difference, but the tail needed some stiffening.  So Ron added two angle braces and it fixed the problem.  That's when Ron started selling the T-Tail to Bensen owners.<br><br>Sorry, John, but that last sentence in the quote above is pure BS.    All the training in the world will not make it safe to fly in an unsafe design.<br>
 

Screw

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Thanks Ron,<br><br>Ya know, for the first time in my life I have 52 inches of hard wood, and your the only person who has called it "short" :-*<br><br>Thump Daddy,<br><br>Your killin me :'(<br><br>How can anyone call a design that has lasted this long unsafe?  I'm glad you asked Ron to build a t-tail for your Bensen, but even you have to admit:  Your training and practice has made you the pilot you are today, and practice is important.<br><br>Q:  Did you fly your bensen before the addition of the tail?  <br><br>A.  I think so because you mentioned the big differance the tail made.<br><br>Q:  Did you put many hours on your Bensen (or other machines) trying to become as familar as possible with that particular machine in order to be a better pilot.<br><br>A:  I hope so.<br><br>Your statement is pure un adulterated BS because every time you fly, your practicing and training, and your skills are improving because of it.<br><br>I agree that all the training in the world won't help you in an unstable machine, but I don't agree that the Bensen or KB machines are unstable.<br><br>When they first came to be, you could iether run the Drone or the VW direct drive engines.  As Ron mentioned they were very close to CLT, hence stable.<br><br>As people were looking to make them better, someone came up with the idea that 2 stroke, lighter wieght, higher HP motors would work better.  <br><br>I argue it is the application of the newer motors on an older design, is what makes them high trust line, hence unstable, and many modifications have had to be made to make them stable again.<br><br>If they were so unstable you wouldn't have had one ;D<br>Your idea to make them better worked out alot better than the engine switch.<br><br>Love ya Thump Daddy
 

Thumpernator

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Re: Opinion on KB products

John,<br><br>You didn't comprehend my post correctly.  I made a generic comment to your generic statement.  I never mentioned any particular design.   ;D<br><br>As Craig Wall has said in many of his postings, the original Bensens were very close to CLT.  And you've got it right, where adding bigger engines, lowering the seat, etc, contributed to the thrust line offset.<br><br>I had some really uneasy feelings flying my first Bensen without the HS in gusty/thermal type conditions.  That's when I decided to only fly it in calm conditions until I had a HS installed.  The difference was night and day.<br><br>I don't recommend you do this, but, if you want to really see the difference, try this.  Once you get some time in your machine, take off the HS part of the tail and go fly it in some wind.  It'll open up your eyes.  ::)  Again, I don't recommend that.  
 

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Sorry about the misunderstanding Thump Daddy :-/<br><br>After all this I wonder what Hoss Fly is thinking?<br><br>One thing I love about forums like this is when you ask for opinions, you get them.  The debates are fun. ;)<br><br>See Ya,
 

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Look John and anyone else reading this..... One point John made that ought to be addressed is  and to quote John, <br><br>   " How can anyone call a design that has lasted this long unsafe?"<br><br><br>Folks just because it is for sale and has been for a long time doesn't mean jack squat.  These machines are still for sale and have been because of the man whose name the machines bear promoted the heck out of them and it is still resulting in sales today as John Stevens is proof of. <br><br>We all know RAF is a unstable machine, But they are still for sale. And you know what.... If you asked Raf if their machines were modern and safe and stable they would tell you OH YEAH. <br><br>Anyway as long as the company is still willing to make a product and there are people willing to purchase that product, there will always be Products sold that are behind the times. The problems with rotorcraft are that newbies see a ad for a machine - RAF, KB, Etc..... - or see these machines listed in a kitplanes directory, or just hear the name mentioned somewhere, They assume it is a solid design and they will do business with that company not knowing they are making a poor choice. And the only way to make a change is for those companies to either wake up and redesign their products to be safer, or for people to stop buying their product to force them to make change to earn sales again. Neither of these things will likely happen anytime soon, so we will keep seeing folks buy less than ideal machines.<br><br>
 

Thumpernator

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Wow, Ron, one of your better posts.   ;D<br><br>And John, I thought you were going down to Macon today at noon?<br><br>Like Yoda says, "Training, finish you must."
 

Screw

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Your right Ron, that was one of your better post.  Even if I was the brunt of it :-/<br><br>You are right also Thumppy One Kanobee.  <br><br>I was loading up the family when Master Steve called and advised, "Conditions not optimal for training."  Smoke stacks 90 degrees and gusting.<br><br>We have rescheduled for Wednessday afternoon.<br>
 

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Re: Opinion on KB products

You guys crack me up. I will forever from now on think of Dave as Thump Daddy and now with refernces to My favorite movie series of all time.... Well I am without words! :D
 

PW_Plack

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Now that I'm getting closer to buying a single-place, I'm surprised as I look around at how the machines which look like a bargain, sometimes aren't. I hear people say that Dominator and Sport Copter are pricey, but if you look at what the cheaper machines lack in standard equipment and safety features, there's not really much difference.<br><br>That would be my real issue with the KB2 or KB3. For just a little more money, there are more modern, safe and complete kits to be had.
 

gyromike

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Thumpy-Wan.<br><br>I love it. :D<br><br><br>Gyronaut#1: "Hey, where's Thumpy-Wan?"<br><br>Gyronaut#2: "He's in the batroom...playing with his light saber."
 

mcbirdman

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Re: Opinion on KB products

John wonders why a design is popular?  For only a few thousand dolars you can buy a used (it must work) gyro that fits in your garage.  You will enjoy the freedom of flight and it won't cost you alot..... at least from what you can see.....  And a lot of people know they have been around for years.... and gyros are the safest type of aircraft.....  That sure sounds great!    But Ron is right, how do you think it was possible for so many RAF buyers to ignore things so long. They were flying and people were just hearing what they wanted to hear.  Now the history of gyros will include the recent years where it will be difficult for someone who might research this time period will have a difficult time understanding how we took so long doing anything to say enough is enough.  It will also be interesting to note the many people who thought long and hard and got the message out, even though it seemed like more work than it was worth.  These people went head to head with those who kept minimizing the situation while educating future pilots about the merit of gyros.  <br><br>  There will be cheap old gyros for sale for many years but I would rather not fly than buy something that is probably better off left on the ground.  Current gyros have integrated some of this newer thinking into their airships.  It is worth the money to invest in these newer designs that take these factors into consideration.  Things have gotten better - we should take advantage of what we know. To me that was an interesting point that makes perfect sense about the vw and mac engines.  I always hear about turning 5G's or so and I think mine is 32-3400 with the longer wooden prop.  I thought maybe the longer prop made the engine have to be mounted higher compared to a sceaming 2 stroke with smaller blades spinning faster.  Interesting how we added more power with reliability and yet really started messing things up.....  good post
 

Hoss-Fly

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Gentlemen, <br>Thanks for all the input.  You all have a great day and keep the dirty side down.
 

mceagle

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Re: Opinion on KB products

I think some of the post here have been a little hash re - KB2/3. <br>The C of G in these machines would be close enough that pilot weight and rotor blade selection could easily place it within acceptable parameters. (or of course outside acceptable parameters) They shouldn't be automatically canned! <br>The lack of Horizontal Stabilizer is another issue that should not determine the value of the KB2/3, not when the difference is only a $10 piece of plywood.
 

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Re: Opinion on KB products

Your absolutely Right Mr McEagle.<br>
 
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