Rotordyne Blades

dino

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
19
Location
TRURO
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Campbell Cricket, Benson, Merlin, Everett, RAF2000, Rallye 100ST, Grumman AA5.
I am conducting research on Rotordyne and I am trying to find out information on the history of Rotordyne, production dates and owners of the company's and delamination issues etc, I would very much appreciate any information that anyone could give me.

Many thanks
Dino
 

C. Beaty

Gold Supporter
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
10,101
Location
Florida
From memory: A retired carpenter, Art Weilage originated Rotordyne blades and Art, being a carpenter, designed a wooden press brake for forming the wraparound skins.

The leading edge bluntness may have resulted from the wooden press brake or may simply have been the result of an erroneous belief that blunt leading edge = Hi-lift. Otherwise, the blades generally followed the Bensen wood blade profile.

The Phaneuff Brothers acquired the rights to Rotordyne blades in the late 60s-early 70s and manufactured them for a number of years using Art’s press brake. I posted pictures of the Phaneuff Brothers attending Sunstate’s 1st Bensen Days flyin but don’t have the link.

After the Phaneuffs, Rotordyne ownership passed through several different owners with quality gradually deteriorating.
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,647
I was a dealer for Rotordyne blades during Tracy Hansen's tenure as owner of the business. Before signing up, I had a chat with Tracy about the "delamination" issue. He seemed to be a pretty conscientious fellow. The glue-failure problem had begun when the previous owner, Laszlo, apparently skipped some of the steps in the cleaning and bonding operation. Tracy recruited one of the Phaneuf brothers to teach him the full original process. To my knowledge, there were no delaminations of Rotordyne blades that Tracy produced (including the set that I used on my Gyrobee).

Tracy did try to ship them in cardboard boxes instead of wood crates, resulting in frequent shipping damage. That was a real pain.

Weilage, Stan Zee and Rotordyne blades were, IIR, all advertised for sale at the same time back in the day. This suggests that, while these 60's-70's bonded metal blade designs may have had some common origins, nobody sold (or honored!) any exclusive transfers of the design rights until much later.

I believe that the thermally-cured bonding process used on Dragon Wings is more reliable than the process these old-time builders used. Bonding aluminum is tricky, in that the stuff oxidizes in seconds after you strip it bare, if you don't immediately apply a chemical conversion agent to stop the oxidation. Glue bonds made without such a process, even with conscientious cleaning right before gluing, are good for maybe 4,000 psi.
 
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