Streamlining my Helicycle landing gear

StanFoster

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Brent- Good question and the result would be an even more slippery ship. But, I like the open frame where I can inspect the tail rotor driveshaft...and feel the bearings on each post flight. There always is a trade off. Streamlining the rotoshaft/swashplate area would be the next largest reduction in drag, but I just cant see the aesthetical appeal to it unless it flowed into an enclosed streamlined tail like the Rotorway has. There are some turbine conversions on the Rotorway that have housings that are pleasing to the eye...and yet there are some that are a hideous looking doghouse that reduces aerodynamic drag but increases "eye" drag in my opinion. Its all a trade off. On my fairings....the math shows that if I also streamline the leading edge....there is a potential gain of only 0.5 mph..... To use Passin' Thrus terminology....I have reached the point of diminishing returns. I also believe that while the trailing edge fairings greatly enhanced the look of my Turbinator.....any more work done on the leading edge would be cumbersome looking and practically no gain in airspeed. So, the math showed me when to go for drag reduction...and it now shows me to not go any further. All I have left to do is put my "Turbinator" decals on the rear fairings, keep recording performance data....and this project is done.



Stan
 
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StanFoster

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Had a nice flight this morning and was going to get an angle reading on my skids...but I fat fingered my angle cube buttons and lost the reference angle. Gives me another excuse to go flying again...but I flew till it started raining.


Heres a short video clip of my Turbinator running right before I took off.

Monday my Turbinator decals will be cut...and finally my ship will have its name on the rear skids.

My nephew stopped by my shop just minutes after I put my Turbinator away because of the rain. He asked if I heard a big helicopter flying around my woods. He was down at my dads farm 1/4 mile away. I told him I was doing some aggressive turns and had the blades loaded up heavy. He said they were really pounding. The last two pictures were taken while I was doing some tight constant speed circles around 60 degrees of bank pulling about 2 g's .

Helicycle fairings--4+mph faster - YouTube
 

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All_In

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Timchick

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Very nice, Stan. Glad they improved the performance but I agree with the guys who said they look so good it doesn't matter if the improved the performance or hurt it, they look too good to remove.
 

StanFoster

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Thanks Gabor, Tim and the others chiming in on the looks of these fairings. After putting the fresh painted fairings on, and never having flight tested them, I realized I was going to have to eat my previous words of taking them off if my test flights showed no increase in speed. The fairings just changes the whole stature of it. I have said too much, and will post a picture of my Turbinator decals when I get them on. I still need to go measure my skid angle at 110 mph to see how much less it flies at, and finish my new power curve. It was a lot of work recording this stuff, and right now I just want to go fly for fun, instead of data collecting. Stan
 

StanFoster

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I finally have my helicopters name applied. These decals were put on my rear fairings just a bit ago. Since the fairings make it faster...I had the fonts of the letters all leaning back.

Stan
 

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choppergabor

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Cool I like it! This way you know people will remember at least the machine by name! I wish Dr Igor Bensen named his machine so people would know that the name is Bensen and not Benson! Wait!!! He did....... :) Looking good bro.
 

StanFoster

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Gabor- Thanks. The group America had a hit song..."A Horse with no name". I have been riding this thoroughbred too long without a name!


Stan
 

choppergabor

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Gabor- Thanks. The group America had a hit song..."A Horse with no name". I have been riding this thoroughbred too long without a name!


Stan
LOL I have learned from your example and pasted mine full of its name!!!! :) Those legs look really nice besides being helpful!
 

StanFoster

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One LAST update in this thread. I have been flying with these fairings now for 2 months. Even if i had not proven to myself that it flies over 4 mph faster, i can definitely tell it accelerates from 70 mph to 110 faster. I always watch my ASI and the GPS groundspeed readouts and there is no doubt that i catch myself flying faster than i would have been before. The Turbinator feels like it is more locked in yaw wise at high speeds. If there is one negative comment that i must be honest about, it is that when i am flying perpendicular to the wind on a gusty day, i can feel the side gusts rolling it just a little bit, but on the other hand when flying most of the time, it feels like it just hunkers down and gets in a groove and just loves flying 110 plus mph. Totally pleased with the whole outcome of this little project. Now if i were a fiberglass worker like Arnie, I would have made molds for these and been selling these to other Helicycle pilots. Stan
 
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