StarBee Thoughts

BushPilotTB

BushPilotTB
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
62
Location
Rochester, IN
Aircraft
Dominator Tandem
Total Flight Time
80 hr
Hello - can someone offer me their informed opinion on the StarBee gyro?
What are the pros and cons of this machine?

I found one with the tall tail (same as Dominator), with 23’ Dragonwing rotor, and a Rotax 447.
Thanks!
 

skyguynca

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2004
Messages
1,391
Location
Acampo, CA
Aircraft
depends on what I have sold recently
Total Flight Time
5000+
The Star Bee was a commercial knock off (copy) of the free Gyro Bee Plans put out by Ralph Taggart (get them from the PRA website, internet search or I can send them to you) . I built a Gyro Bee, to plans (was very easy, good instructions, just takes time to make all the parts ) it was an legal Ultralight under part 103 if built to plans. with a Rotax 447. That also said, to fly an ultralight gyro there is usually just enough power to fly without excess, so no yanking and banking or hauling it around quickly, You need to use very conservative take offs and landings to fly a UL gyrocopter.

Now if the one you are looking at has a tall tail, probably over part 103 weight then, if it has a Rotax 503, it is over weight to meet part 103 restrictions.

Also it was not designed really for more power or heavier loads. Keep it to plans and weight and power, it flies great. I have alot of hours in mine before I built my KB2.

David
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,586
Dana of Starbee bought out much of my inventory of Aerotec parts and supplies for the Gyrobee. Dan and Laura both took lessons from me in my tandem Dominator. Nice folks.

I can't comment from experience on Starbee's innovations for the original Gyrobee -- things like an improved soft landing gear. In general, though, they are/were a quality outfit.

Yes, a tall tail and 503 are likely to put a Gyrobee over the 103 limit, but also increase its performance quite a bit. My stripped-down Gyrobee with 447 and me at 180 lb. performed just fine. The same gyro would be sluggish with a heavier pilot and/or more accessories, though.

Dragon Wings are difficult to hand-start, being capable of very sudden flapping at relatively high RRPM. You have to be careful; hand-starting D-W's is not for beginners. Of course, prerotator would put the aircraft far outside the 103 weight limit.
 
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