The missing link;

karlbamforth

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This is Bensen's version of the Hafner Rotachute, from which he derived
the B-8 gyroglider.
Maybe you've all seen this already, but its it's the first time I've seen it.
Not sure what speed he is being towed at but it looks slow.
 

kolibri282

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Not sure what speed he is being towed at but it looks slow.
It was designed to lift off in still air at flank speed of a type IX (Monsun) fleet submarine = 18 knots.


Sorry, Karl, I'm affraid you were talking about the rotachute....didn't get that, my answer is for the Fa 330.
 
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karlbamforth

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It was designed to lift off in still air at flank speed of a type IX (Monsun) fleet submarine = 18 knots.


Sorry, Karl, I'm affraid you were talking about the rotachute....didn't get that, my answer is for the Fa 330.
I was talking about the rotorchute but I think your estimate is about right anyway. I was going to guess around 20 knots.

Was the Monsun the submarine used by the wolf packs ?
 

kolibri282

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Was the Monsun the submarine used by the wolf packs?
Usually not, the wolf pack boates were the type VII (Atlantic) boats which were a bit smaller, had a shorter range but were able to dive faster than the type IX boats. These prowled the Indian Ocean. There were not as many type IX boats and the Fa 330 might have been useful to them since they had to cover a large area where the limited visibilty reduced chances of a sighting while on the other hand air surveilance was was not as tight as in the Atlantic.
 

EI-GYRO

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Hi Juergen,

The FA330 link was not 'missing'. ;)

I would, however, repectfully suggest that the glider in the video is more closely related
to the Rotachute, than the Fa330. The looped overhead control, the steel tube frame,
two-blade teeter rotor, foot-rest, etc., are all straight off the rotachute.

In fact, I think the airframe is likely a Rotachute airframe, fitted with a wheeled axle,
and the tailcone removed.

His later gliders veer more towards Fa330 features.

Interesting that the Fa330 has split control axes, pushrod for pitch, closed loop cable
for roll control. Much better arrangement than the mixed-axes Bensen setup.

I spent an entertaining couple of hours figuring out how they folded the airframe, from
some photos my wife took in a museum.

My wife has no interest in aviation, but has been trained to identify the DC-3, De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, and any autogyro on sight. Some things are important.
 

kolibri282

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My wife has no interest in aviation, but has been trained to identify the DC-3, De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, and any autogyro on sight.
Do they have jungle camps for that sort of training and would it be considered excessive cruelty by a jury in a divorce?...;-)
 

EI-GYRO

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I had a 2-metre r/c model of a Beaver hanging in my livingroom for about
5 years, and a DC-3 for about 2.
As I built my Bensen in the back garden, that wore into her subconcious also.

We haven't got around to getting a divorce yet, but who knows?
Might happen yet.
 

Arnie Madsen

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Fergus (EI-GYRO) .... speaking of DC-3'S .... do you get the show "Ice Pilots" in your country ?

Buffalo Airways are still flying the last remaining DC-3's hauling freight and passengers in the Canadian North. One of their aircraft is so old it took part in the 1944 Normandy Invasion during WW2.

One of my favorite shows , lots of women like it too ..... tell your wife to buy you the DVD set .... :)
 

karlbamforth

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I spent an entertaining couple of hours figuring out how they folded the airframe, from some photos my wife took in a museum.
Hi Fergus,

IIRC the head could be jettisoned on the 330 which then deployed a parchute for the pilot.

I have wondered if that system could be used for modern gyros. I think the main problem is that on the 330 it was just so that the pilot could be recovered and the sub dive if a warship approched. IE it would be used in straight and level flight not during a loss of control type emergency.
 

kolibri282

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IE it would be used in straight and level flight not during a loss of control type emergency
With modern inertia measurement units coming that cheap it would cost less than an iPhone to build a small device that would fire the chute in most any emergency at the exact time when the chance for correct deployment would be highest. This does not guarantee 100% success but would dramatically increase survivability.
 

karlbamforth

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With modern inertia measurement units coming that cheap it would cost less than an iPhone to build a small device that would fire the chute in most any emergency at the exact time when the chance for correct deployment would be highest. This does not guarantee 100% success but would dramatically increase survivability.
Have you ever come across video footage of the FA330 rotor head jettison in action ?
 

EI-GYRO

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Hi Arnie, Yes, I have my tv set to record all the Ice Pilot series. Good stuff. Not too much
crapola or macho crap, thanks be.

I watch Flying Alaska Wild also, but too much made-up waffle for my taste.

When I was a kid, my next-door neighbour flew the DC-3 newspaper flight from Manchester to Dublin each night.
Headwinds often slowed him down, so he would do a low flyby over the house with landing lights blazing, to let the wife know he'd be home soon.
The neighbours two doors down swear he took out their chimney-pot one night.

Things were more casual then.

It used to be worthwhile hanging around the airport then, with all sorts of interesting
aircraft coming in. Now it's all twinjets.
 

EI-GYRO

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Hi Karl, from what I could see, it looks like the red lever released the rotor assembly, and
extracted the parachute pack from the container slotted into the rear of the mast, presumably allowing the airframe and pilot to be winched in at high speed, or released
to be picked up later.

In a way this is a bit odd, as it should have been possible for the FA330 to glide to the
surface if required, under its own rotor, just as well as under a chute, without leaving a
deflated chute on the surface to attract the attention of an enemy aircraft.

Perhaps the pod aft of the mast contained a liferaft, and the rotor jettisoned just before
splashdown ??

Maybe Juergen knows the answer.
 

kolibri282

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Have you ever come across video footage of the FA330 rotor head jettison in action
No, unfortunately I have not. Also in the material I have there is no mentioning that this has actually been tried. There is a small note on emergency procedures in an article in an old magazine I used to collect when I was in school which sheds some light on the questions above, my translation looks like this:

Emergency Procedures
Jettisoning of Rotor
Pulling the rotor jettisoning lever, which is located at the rotor head above the pilot seat, the whole rotor can be separated if need be. The tow line is jettisoned at the same time

Breaking or Emergency Release of Tow Line
Sink rate and glide angle in free flight are near the values for a sailplane with flaps down. Rudder effectiveness is sufficient. Avoid tight turns and too steep a glide angle. Keep speed at 40 to 45 km/h while gliding. Pull back at the stick to flare near the water. Jettison the rotor shortly before touching down while still holding back the stick. Unbuckle belts.

No life raft is in the weight and balance sheet, just a parachute which is stowed in the rounded box attached to the frame behind the pilot. From the description it seems that the parachute was attached to the airframe, so airframe and pilot would glide downwards together until touch down.

In the specs the sink rate is given as 3.5 m/s and the best glide angle as 4.5 in 1
 
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