Tango Gyro

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
426
Location
Fentress, Texas
Aircraft
Tango 2
Total Flight Time
170 Ultralight FW, 116 Gyro, 15 GA
gyrojake;n1122805 said:
Very true Steve, but that does not mean an engine not designed for aviation is not a good choice.
Many automobile and recreational engines have been converted for aviation with great success .
There is no good argument in EXPERIMENTAL engines with a good reputation to be degraded by people with no real life experience.
I personally don't care about the rules in other countries, since we are talking about an American based project.
I think it is awesome that well minded people are finding alternative power plants for flying machines that match and even out perform aviation engines.
In my opinion the 912 and 914 are over rated V.W. engines nothing more and nothing less.
Some of the first experimental aircraft used motorcycle engines, the R/V used a Subaru car engine the original Bensen used an aircraft engine that was designed to run for 30 minutes, but they all turned out to be very successful engines in the right hands with the right modifications.
You seem to downplay anything that has not been approved by the European government, indoctrination leads to stagnation.
Well said Jake!!!!
 

Jason O

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
541
Location
Portland
The only pitfall I seen in engine conversions is snake oil sales men. Any time you are flying a converted engine you are probably the only person flying that exact configuration of engine, prop, gearbox and you are a test pilot. You do not know if the combination is going to fly 10 hours or 1000 before failure. Not only do you need to fly like your engine might quit but you have no reason to assume that it might continue to run for the next 10 minuets. With the expensive engines you have reasonable proof (by the 10's of thousands of hours on the fleet in the exact same configuration) that it will continue to run. My soap box is people who sell conversion kits that claim reliability of parts. There was someone here selling "lifetime guarantee" Sprague clutches that had very few hours of testing on them. He was putting these clutches on "the most reliable engines" with various combinations of gear boxes and touting the package as bullet proof.

The only truly valid test of a systems reliability is hours of operation. Always ask how many hours does this configuration (engine, dampner/clutch, gearbox, propeller) have in the field. The answer to that question will let you know how far on the bleeding edge you are when you move forward.

This is not directed Tango Gyro in any way, I have had no interactions with them and have not seen them making wild claims about reliability.

I have converted a couple engines and would do it again. I just really want people to know what they are getting in to and to always ask about hours of operation (in aircraft configuration) when faced with claims of reliability and adjust their expectations accordingly.

FWIW
Jason
 

Jason O

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
541
Location
Portland
JasonS;n1125690 said:
As far as the yamaha's go...the 3 cyl. and 4 cyl. engines. The numbers and stats are being collected and collated and at the end of this yr. 2017 I will put together the results.
I have a 4 cyl. and so far nothing but joy! As an observation they both have been in service now for some @ going on 5 yrs. with great results. :smile:
Hello Jason,
As you do this you should also include what gearbox, dampner and propeller are on the installations. If anything in the power train fails, its a forced landing even if the engine is still running. I will eagerly await your results and thanks for taking the time to collect the information.

Best
Jason O
 

Jason O

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
541
Location
Portland
JasonS;n1125690 said:
As far as the yamaha's go...the 3 cyl. and 4 cyl. engines. The numbers and stats are being collected and collated and at the end of this yr. 2017 I will put together the results.
I have a 4 cyl. and so far nothing but joy! As an observation they both have been in service now for some @ going on 5 yrs. with great results. :smile:
Hello JasonS

It would also be worth noting in the stats you are collecting what RPM the engines are being operated at. I know the 4cyl engines are often operated in the 8,000 RPM to 9,000 RPM range for max take off because their application does not require the full 140hp available. I can imagine that an engine being operated at 8,000RPM on take off and 7,000RPM at cruise would be much less likely to fail than an engine operating at 10,500RPM for take off and 8,500RPM for cruise. The 4 cyl engine is capable of being either of these engines but I would bet engine and component wear is different.

FWIW
Jason O
 

NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Columbia, SC
Aircraft
Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
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>350
Jason O;n1125528 said:
The only pitfall I seen in engine conversions is snake oil salesmen... You do not know if the combination is going to fly 10 hours or 1000 before failure... There was someone here selling "lifetime guarantee" Sprague clutches that had very few hours of testing on them. He was putting these clutches on "the most reliable engines" with various combinations of gear boxes and touting the package as bullet proof.
FWIW
Jason
I am not aware of a lifetime guarantee on a sprague (sic) clutch, although there is a lifetime guarantee provided on my roller ramp clutch. When I offered the roller clutches in January 2017 with a life-time guarantee I meant that I would stand behind it for as long as you own it. I still do, and always will.

I gave the first clutches to a couple of guys for free to test on their own. I drove hundreds of miles, 4-1/2 hrs one-way to work on aircraft free of charge that had my equipment on them.

Forgive me for saying so, but I do believe the Yamaha engine is as "bullet proof" as any engine can possibly be, and with who knows how many Yammies flying for the past ten years there is no evidence to the contrary that I am aware of.

It is correct that anyone building a conversion engine needs to remain mindful of the risks. That should be a given, as basic as telling a child to look both ways before crossing the street. Keep up the good work informing the newbies what they need to watch out for.

In the past most folks building conversions did it for one reason only: $$$. The thing about the Yamaha Genesis engine conversions is that now there are four reasons: money, reliability, weight and power.

There is no engine available that I know of that equals this full complement of standards, be that a Lycoming or any other certificated engine, a Rotax 912 with a certificate, or a Rotax 912/914 without a certificate. They all have trade-offs, be that in weight or power, or money. You want to go out and get a good deal on a used Lycoming? Be my guest. Keep in mind that it is still a used engine, it will most likely have a lot of hours on it in order for it to be affordably priced, and that most engine failures on Lycomings come shortly after a TBO maintenance is completed by a licensed A&P mechanic.

All the certifications and licenses and history will do you no good when an engine of any type fails. They can, they do and they will. So what we are discussing is reduction in risks - not elimination of them, because that is proven to be impossible.

No one will argue that you need to be mindful that the Yammie conversions have nowhere near the fleet hours of any of these other engines mentioned here, so again "look both ways..."

The point of arguing the reliability of the engine itself is moot, the Yamaha has a tremendous history and as high a standard of engineering and production as any.

Vance Breeze rightly pointed out that the problem isn't with the reliability of the engine, but rather in the power plant taken as a whole. Ernie said it first, back around 2010: "The problem is coupling the power to the prop."

This problem has been addressed in a number of ways, some have worked better than others. My Silent Drive has about 50 perfect hours on it, including a prop strike which inadvertantly proved the effectiveness of the prop strike protection clutch installed inside. The 78mm BMW style rubber flex shaft coupling works, but the smaller 76mm Rotax Hardy disk fails under the full power load of a YG4. Centrifugal clutches work, but they are high maintenance and there have been cases of return spring failure, hubs breaking down and coming apart, shoes coming off or wearing out prematurely, drums coming loose from the gearbox flange, internal retaining screws coming loose. Sprag clutches work, and the Arrow gearbox with internal sprag has been flawless with 800 total time to date, 500 hrs on a YG4. Rotax C gearboxes work, but they are at greater risk of failure when used with the centrifugal clutch because they must be taken apart and reassembled each time a clutch inspection is needed - which is every 75 hours, no more. One professional builder put his together with a shim in the wrong place and the bearings burned up in 12 hours. The gearboxes coming out of Minsk have not shown any problems, and they are in use on over 300 aircraft, ground and watercraft today up to 200 HP. There are at least a couple dozen Yamahas running these gearboxes with no sign of early wear to date. Kurt Carleson's Air Command gyro is currently using the BMW rubber coupler, not a clutch. The RK400 has been used in a few cases. Tango Gyro now builds their own centrifugal clutch. This clutch unit had some early bugs which were addressed and now they have been flying without any issues for around 100 fleet hours so far. I have been using the Russian gearboxes with my roller clutches throughout 2017. My roller clutch had some early bugs, I fixed them and now I have 30 hours on a single unit without any signs of problems.

I am in the middle of building the 2018 version of the roller clutch. It has some design changes to improve assembly, and something new which I think is pretty cool: rubber-lined pockets where the drive studs insert into the clutch body, to damp gearbox and prop vibrations to the clutch. This will also help in Yamaha 3-cylinder conversions, since those engines do not have the internal rubber damper like the YG4 does.

We have been testing and running roller clutches on the ground through a range of power settings to mimick actual flight conditions including climb, rapid power-off-power-on changes like a tricky landing requires, and cruise at various settings from 7000 - 8500 ERPM. We are tracking and keeping testing ahead of hours put on any units sold, so that I can do my best to stay on top of any potential issues and take appropriate measures to keep our friends safe at all times.

I doubt there is any single person in the world who has built and flown as many different configurations of Yamaha conversions as I have. For the YG4 RX1 carbbed 140 HP I have found that a 2.58:1 ratio will fly a 600 lb gyro, a 200 lb pilot, and a 230 lb passenger with a full load of fuel at 60-65 mph at 6 GPH over a two hour cross country flight. Excellent climb at 8700 ERPM max, cruise at 7000 - 8500, and with only myself aboard 4-5 GPH depending on how fast I wanted to go up to VNE. With 2.72:1 ratio fuel burn remained the same, and climb improved 10%. 9200 climb, cruise a 7000 - 8700. With 3:1 ratio we finally got to 10,700 RPM. Cruise was much higher RPM and running constantly in the 8500 RPM range it was shown that higher engine temps resulted in a need to improve cooling. Others have reported that 3.47:1 ratios are working extremely well for them when swinging the much larger props used on tractor FW. Warp Drive props are the most robust for pushers that increase probability of stones striking the prop, they are a bit noiser and heavier though. Luga props are hollow, and have recently updated their design from 130HP to 180HP, which was a much-welcomed thing for me and my business this year, since I could not use them until now. They are lighter, so they start up better without a clutch. They are quieter, and they seem to provide more thrust at lower settings which improves fuel efficiency especially when going with the taller gear ratios.
 
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NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
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Columbia, SC
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Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
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>350
Dutch;n1125447 said:
Thank you Tom, I really appreciate you feedback. It sounds like the Tango gyro is well made, I just hope the powerplant holds up in the long run. Getting Rotax 914 performance for a lot less is very appealing to me.
Does anyone know how much time has been put on the current Yamaha/ gear drive combo?

Thanks,
Dutch
You can get a Tango Gyro built for the Rotax 912/914.
 

NoWingsAttached

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Total Flight Time
>350
shootthrees;n1125416 said:
I see the Tangos fly every weekend along with hangar mate Kurt Carlsen in his single place Air Command with the YG4 carb version. Kurt is getting over 651 lbs of thrust and 150 HP and he climbs at well over 1200 fpm with 28' blades using a Tango gear box and donut. The YG3 has more torque, but, less HP and it requires a clutch. I am buying a Tango 2 next year and have not decided on which engine, but, they definitely out perform Rotax and are now getting to be as reliable after more than a year of R & D in our club here in Georgia.
He is using a 3:1 Mohawk AK7 gearbox and the universal "BMW" donut used with all of the Minsk gearboxes : Tango, Mohawk AK7, and Air Trikes SPG4 - all basically the same gearbox with a few slight variations in shaft lengths and alignment trimmings. Tango and Mohawk AK7 gearboxes are now completely interchangeable for 2018.
 

NoWingsAttached

Unobtainium Member
Joined
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Columbia, SC
Aircraft
Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
Total Flight Time
>350
For 2018 I am now offering a Mohawk AK7 3.47:1 kit which will push the thrust envelope even farther. We are happily comfortable with what the 3:1 did in 2017, now its time to move onwards and upwards and take it to the next level. Boosted Mohawk engines are going be on the horizon very soon, since the gearboxes have been extremely satisfying and reliable. After I crunched the bearing life numbers I am at last ready to start making plans to take on the beast, on my own terms.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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Givens Predator
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NoWingsAttached;n1127730 said:
There is no engine available that I know of that equals this full complement of standards, be that a Lycoming or any other certificated engine, a Rotax 912 with a certificate, or a Rotax 912/914 without a certificate. They all have trade-offs, be that in weight or power, or money. You want to go out and get a good deal on a used Lycoming? Be my guest. Keep in mind that it is still a used engine, it will most likely have a lot of hours on it in order for it to be affordably priced, and that most engine failures on Lycomings come shortly after a TBO maintenance is completed by a licensed A&P mechanic.

Vance Breeze rightly pointed out that the problem isn't with the reliability of the engine, but rather in the power plant taken as a whole. Ernie said it first, back around 2010: "The problem is coupling the power to the prop."
In my opinion part of the problem in a conversion engine is with the engine itself and a part is driving the propeller.

The installation also appears to me to be problematic. I see lots of problems with engine mounts, exhaust, fuel delivery and ancillary equipment like ECUs.

I purchased the 260 pound 160 horsepower Lycoming IO-320 in The Predator for $6,500 with 350 hours on her since rebuild and she now has 1,507 hours on her and has been trouble free. I suspect the engine has around 5,500 hours on her; it is not well documented.

I understand the desire for conversions. I feel it is not helpful to make things up about other engines to promote a particular conversion.

I have yet to see a trouble free conversion engine in a gyroplane.
 

NoWingsAttached

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Air Command Tandem w/ Arrow 100hp; GyroBee w/ Hirth 65hp; Air Command Tandem w/ Yamaha 150hp
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>350
jakalope;n1123121 said:
I looked at them in Mentone IN. The ONLY thing holding me back from purchasing a Tango2 right now is the lack of people to speak with about their experence with them. They seem to be quite a machine for the money and Paul and Alex answered questions from me for two days. They were friendly and easy to talk to. I also saw a really nice demo flight (thank you Kurt!). From meeting them I get the impression that they would offer good support for the product. I would just feel better speaking with some others that have a little time in the Tango2 and the impression that they have of the aircraft.

Hopefully I'll be driving one soon!

John
I have flown a variety of tandem gyros: Sno Bird, Air Command CLT and low-rider, Dominator, MTO, and Tango. I am very open about my likes and dislikes. Ask me anything you want, email me at [email protected].

After Flying the Tango I came away with a list of likes and things I would like to change. I'll try to keep the latter hit list to myself, but being an autistic retard makes that incredibly difficult, if not altogether impossible, for me. Bear with me. I have my inherent character flaws, but every once in a while I may catch you off guard and actually have something of value to offer.




The Tango Gyro is most definitely a Eurotub, in every respect, and that is a good thing. Eurotubs have an excellent reputation for stability, good looks, low drag, high cruise speeds, minimal rotor vibration, good rotor airfoil design and blade lift, adequate inertia for landing, plenty of cabin elbow and leg room, good fuel storage, great pre-rotation hardware, wonderful visibility, and adequately short take-off distance. Tango meets the competition head-on in every respect on these points and comes away smelling like serious competition at a ridiculously low price in comparison to all comers in the same eurotub class of gyroplanes.

Although Tango comes available with the Rotax 912-914, it is an option we haven't seen yet. The standard Tango power plant is a choice of Yamaha engines including 120 HP Vector YG3, 135 HP Nytro YG3i, and 140 HP RX1 YG4. More on this list, below....

The use of these Yamaha Genesis engines at 120-140HP (compared to all other Eurotubs at 100 -115 HP) puts the Tango Gyro head-and-shoulders above the rest of the Eurotub class in TOW, take-off distance, far better climb, and even relaxed cruising. The Russian rotor blades are smooth, and fun to land. Not immediately apparent to most casual observers is the inclusion of the beloved gyrocopter tail wheel! I have never been a fan of neglecting this simple, excellent little bit of hardware. It is fun, it is useful, and it can be a big help in crosswind and zero-roll landings on pavement w/o having to drag metal across the tarmac in so doing.

I wasn't able to put the Tango through its paces, unfortunately, but my first impressions were that it flies well, handles a considerable TOW comfortably, has a smooth cyclic and typical Eurotub empennage yaw characteristics. The particular gyro I flew had extremely stiff pedals, and I found it uncomfortably difficult to turn on the ground. It was so stiff that I actually thought something was wrong and asked my passenger if he had his feet on the pedals. In a 45° cross-wind take off there was zero pedal feedback telling me in real time what the wind was doing, and correcting crab during the first few feet AGL upon takeoff with a heavy TOW was scary. Freeing up the pedal action is something that should be easy to correct however, so I wouldn't be too concerned with it as a purchase consideration. The guy I was flying with said he had gotten used to it, and that he liked it. To each his own - I personally don't like flying, driving nor sailing any performance craft of any type that I can't get a good feedback from and feel for.

After flying the Tango I came away satisfied that it is the best airframe option available today as the platform for Yamaha-powered gyros of today and the future.

I decided to start selling a Mohawk version of the Tango gyro for 2018. If Tango is a Mustang, then Mohawk Tango is a Shelby Mustang.

With Tango there are now three vendors selling Yamaha 140 HP RX1 YG4 conversions.

Mohawk Aero is the only shop selling 150HP Apex YG4i conversion kits, and the Mohawk Tango with the 150HP Apex YG4i is now available for sale. 2018 marks the last year for the YG4i, so this is your last chance to get a Tango with a brand new YG4i engine on it. After that it will all be used YG4/YG4i engines, and YG3i new/used, both boosted and normally aspirated.

I had to ask myself the other day: Is it coincidence that Tango Gyro (all the way from Russia) wound up in the same gyrocopter club and metropolitan area as where Mohawk Aero started from? I mean, what are the odds of finding two Yamaha gyrocopter specialty shops located in the same metro area? There are only two such business in the entire world, and at the time Tango opened its doors in the USA we were both in Atlanta. I have moved to Columbia since, but we are still in the same gyrocopter club. The club got together last Saturday for our annual year-end meeting. I was late to the meeting, but when I arrived I discovered that I had been re-elected as the Peachstate Rotorcraft Club (PRC) treasurer in abstentia. Go figure. As retarded and insufferable as I am, I am still worth something to somebody.

Peachstate Rotorcraft Club has become an amazing group of aviators and builders. We have more Yamaha-powered aircraft and expertise in our club now than any other known group in the world. It is diverse, it is multi-dimensional, we share ideas and friendly jabs, and I have never been so very proud to say that since I started flying the Wicked (Air Command YG4) in 2012 around Atlanta that I have never been so amazed at what a great group of guys we have in our club today!

I invited a newbie to our come to our meeting. He came to Mohawk Aero asking about Yamaha-powered gyrocopters. Turns out he has 2700 hours as an ag pilot, spraying fields. He wants to get a gyro, Yee-haw! Ya gotta love it.

That guy drove all the way from Texas to attend our meeting on Saturday, after flying a demo ride in an MTO before he left his home state. At the end of the day he said he wanted to join our club. Heck, I'll pay his dues.
 
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NoWingsAttached

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Columbia, SC
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I hope the forum admin here adds Tango to the list of gyro manufacturers soon...
 

shootthrees

Tom Duncan
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
426
Location
Fentress, Texas
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Tango 2
Total Flight Time
170 Ultralight FW, 116 Gyro, 15 GA
NoWingsAttached;n1127740 said:
I hope the forum admin here adds Tango to the list of gyro manufacturers soon...
Can the forum admin please explain why Tangogyro has not been add to the list?
 
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