Tandem GT

Mayfield

Gold Supporter
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
2,330
Location
Avondale, Arizona
Aircraft
Aero SP AT-4 (Gobosh 700X), TAG Titanium Explorer
Hi Denis,

I was pleased to hear that you might be working with Loren to develop your two place.

When you develop the tandem, I encourage you to offer the aircraft in sub kits if possible. Perhaps the airframe section, the tail section, landing gear section, controls section, engine frame, rotor head, blades, etc.

Not exactly ala carte, but in sub kits that enable a buyer to eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Looking at your workmanship, in your existing aircraft, I'm excited to see your next product.

Jim
 
Having been working through the single-seat build at the Gyro Technic facility (since they're less than an hour away from me) I have a little perspective on this idea. I could see maybe splitting the tail feathers off from the kit, but everything else is so highly integrated I'm not sure that you could split out some of those components. For example, the gear ties into the motor mount and the frame so there wouldn't be a great way to split that off.

I'd also add that Denis is a genius when it comes to making processes as easy as possible, and building machines to help you with it. Example: When doing the tail feathers, he has built an ingenious motorized jig with custom machined brackets that perfectly hold the ribs in place in perfect alignment. You then lay the skin over the ribs and cleco the skin to the rivet hole at the nose of the flight component. Two motor-driven rollers, one front and one back, are then run downward, perfectly forming the skin to ribs (which are machined from billeted aluminum!) You add a cleco in every other hole, then start installing your rivets. (I have attached pics below although they did not upload in the correct order!

This jig makes skinning the tail components so easy that it would be worth the trip to Minnesota to at least build the tail. You could do it in a day with his automation. I have no idea how long it would have taken doing it manually (without screwing it up!)
 

Attachments

  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1254.jpeg
    103.6 KB · Views: 35
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1253.jpeg
    125.6 KB · Views: 33
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1243.jpeg
    165.2 KB · Views: 31
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1242.jpeg
    99.9 KB · Views: 32
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1241.jpeg
    123.3 KB · Views: 33
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1236.jpeg
    87.9 KB · Views: 34
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1233.jpeg
    140.1 KB · Views: 32
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1225.jpeg
    165.6 KB · Views: 34
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1221.jpeg
    198.9 KB · Views: 33
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1222.jpeg
    104.1 KB · Views: 36
Loren,

A very mild pushback and an explanation.

When you build anything, it is built by attaching part A to Part B to Part C, ad infinitum, until you hit the start button some day in the future that you don't really see clearly. So, pretty much by definition, you can sell the customer parts A and B and later parts C and D when he is ready.

I would recommend something like the Van's model.

Many times, in my life, I have had an extra 5 grand or so laying around but not 10 grand.

I sent that 5 grand off to Van's or Rutan, and once to Rans, and bought Parts A and B. When I finished putting tab a in slot b, I sometimes had enough money to buy the next sub kit and then the sub kit after that.

Generally, the penalty to the customer for buying the aircraft in sub kits is some percentage above the buying it all at once price. That flexibility does result in more sales.

Just food for thought.

I look forward to seeing the product.

Jim
 
Loren,

A very mild pushback and an explanation.

When you build anything, it is built by attaching part A to Part B to Part C, ad infinitum, until you hit the start button some day in the future that you don't really see clearly. So, pretty much by definition, you can sell the customer parts A and B and later parts C and D when he is ready.

I would recommend something like the Van's model.

Many times, in my life, I have had an extra 5 grand or so laying around but not 10 grand.

I sent that 5 grand off to Van's or Rutan, and once to Rans, and bought Parts A and B. When I finished putting tab a in slot b, I sometimes had enough money to buy the next sub kit and then the sub kit after that.

Generally, the penalty to the customer for buying the aircraft in sub kits is some percentage above the buying it all at once price. That flexibility does result in more sales.

Just food for thought.

I look forward to seeing the product.

Jim

Yep, very familiar with the Vans model as I started on a RV-6 twenty-some years ago. DIdn't have the requisite time back then and ultimately sold the tail kit to a friend.

I'm just saying if you saw the whole of the GT kit, about the only things you could break apart might be tail feathers, frame and rotor. I guess you might split the seats and instrument pod into the equivalent of a Vans finishing kit, but that's about it.

Most people take multiple years to do a Vans kit. A GT can be assembled in a week of long days. It's a big Erector set! The engine and electronics are probably the bulk of the build time, I would guess. I'm not there yet but getting close. (Engine is mounted.)

Ron (Capt'n Ron) Menzie's grandson, Tyler, is currently building a VX1 and supposed to be filming it. He's only posted a couple of videos so far. It will be interesting to see how quickly his comes together. I have had the advantage of being a shout away from the experts when something didn't make sense to me. (When that happens, Denis immediately updates the plans to clarify any points of confusion for neophyte builders like myself.)

Here is the link to Tyler's YouTube build channel: https://www.youtube.com/@TylerMenzie/videos
 
BTW, my standing joke with Denis is that, by the time I install something, discover my obvious mistake, disassemble and reassemble it correctly, I will exceed the FAA's "51% Rule" by about 99%!
 
Could certainly sell just a raw airframe kit that includes everything except rotors, engine, instruments, wiring, hoses. I agree it would be hard to build the gyro in small stages.

And with how the price is on a continual rise for things, it would be best to beg borrow or cheat your way into coming up with the cash for as much as you can up front, as a ( just taking a guess here ) $1000 tail in today's money might be a $1500 tail in a year from now.
 
I see that Denis has a significant ala carte section on his website now so I guess people will be able to buy components as they can.

One thing is certain; I don't think I have ever seen parts so beautifully machined. I'm overusing the phrase, but his stuff qualifies as works of art.

Jim
 
I see that Denis has a significant ala carte section on his website now so I guess people will be able to buy components as they can.

One thing is certain; I don't think I have ever seen parts so beautifully machined. I'm overusing the phrase, but his stuff qualifies as works of art.

Jim
That was exactly my reaction when I first saw his products. Below are some pics from my build..... after installing the bushing for teeter bolt, the assembled teeter tower, the rotor brake and the assembled wheel hub/brake assembly.....all designed and created in-house at Gyro Technic. It is art.
 

Attachments

  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1257.jpeg
    94 KB · Views: 30
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1282.jpeg
    167.9 KB · Views: 28
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1264.jpeg
    80.6 KB · Views: 30
  • Tandem GT
    IMG_1287.jpeg
    84.7 KB · Views: 30
Thanks everyone!
Sorry for the slow reply.
Leaving for Bensen Days / Sun-n-Fun 2 weeks from today!
Been a mad rush getting everything accomplished that I want to take with me, as well as having a full work load for the guys back here in the shop while I'm gone.

My main business is machine automation / robotics.
That is what is still paying the bills.

So, as I started building Gyro Technic, my main goal was, and still is, to not over-extend myself.
If I can't get a 5-star review from every customer, then I am trying to grow the gyro business too fast.

I am gaining on the 2-seat design, and hope to have something to display shortly, but taking care of the current VX1 & VX2 builds comes first.

Breaking the kits down into smaller modules for sale, instead of the whole kit at once, is certainly something I will be presenting soon.

Earlier, I was resistant because I didn't have the component inventory.
Sure, I could sell just the frame and wheels to someone. But, if that was followed up with an order for a full kit, it would be a mad rush to get those parts replenished.

Now, I am approaching machined components for 10 full gyro kits on the shelf.
Much easier to recover from an inventory imbalance now.

I now have gyro kits available for delivery in less that 4 weeks (depending on options / finishes, etc.)
Razor Blades can ship in under 2 weeks.

Jim,
Thank you so much for your kind words and support!
The "a la carte" tab on the website has actually been there, mostly unchanged, since the site was launched.
It is in desperate need of updating!
Everything on that page is also available for sale under the "shop" tab.

I've got a whole pile of new stuff to be added to the site!
Just as soon as these spring shows are over and I have a bit of time.

Now....
Back to working on the trailer today..
It was full before, but now I think I have found a way to fit a 4th gyro in there! (Including Lauren's beautiful yellow VX-2 912is for display)
Plus, 4 or 5 sets of crated Razor Blades to be delivered to customers at Bensen Days!

It's stressful... But a good type of stress!

Denis
 
hi Denis, you say you are working towards a 2 place so does that mean you will be producing rotors to suit ?
Not that I know all there is to know about rotors.... But what Ernie did at RFD with his dragon wings was to use the same blades as used on single place machines with longer hub bars. These worked fine for two place machines that weren't super heavy. My last two place machine used 27 foot rotors ( dragon wings ) and it was 540 pounds before fuel and passengers and it flew great. Even with me at around 215lbs and a over 300lbs passenger they worked wonderfully. So if Denis wanted to, I am pretty sure he could just offer a longer hub bar with his current blades and have a decent set up.
 
Ron,
It's about disk solidity and torsional rigidity.
I do currently have several sets of 7" chord, 27's out there performing well, however this is my limit.
Once I do have the 8" blades ready (and again no promised date) I will probably be limiting my 7" chord offerings to a max diameter of 26'
Denis
 
Any update on the two place?
Cowboy,
Working on it, but still a long process.
Through Bensen Days and Sun n Fun, I don't think I had a visitor to my booth that did not ask about the 2-place!
I could easily have a dozen sold already if I can just commit more time towards the design / build!
Too busy!
5 VX2s and 2 VX1s in process....
Trying to keep up with the domestic Razor Blade orders not to mention the UK batch going out shortly...

It's a good type of stress!

Now, If we can get a bunch more donations going to the Mentone runway rebuild campaign, I wouldn't have to spend as much time on that, and have more time for gyro design! :)
 
Top