Titanium Explorer- First impression?

Steve_UK

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QUESTION #4

Question 4 :
Why Titanium ? isn’t it very expensive

Answer :
With the reports of cracking hub bars and cracking aluminium rotor blades on some European gyros we decided to look at better materials to use in our new gyro
We worked with the Australian defence force academy who had done studies on cracks in gyro copter Aluminium hub bars and were continuing their studies on making hub bars from composite materials
While we found this to be a very strong and most suitable for the purpose it was very labour intensive which increased the cost to an unaffordable amount.
We then looked at replacing the Aluminium hub bar with Aerospace grade 5 Titanium but Titanium is 60%heavier then Aluminium , so we looked at replacing the stainless steel frame , control tubes and rotor head with titanium to offset the extra weight of the Titanium hub bar.
With more and more Stainless frames showing cracks in the European gyros we decided to look at a material that could handle the constant pulse and vibrations of a rotorcraft .
Titanium has twice the elastic properties of both Stainless steel and Chrome moly so this helps to absorb vibration
Unlike stainless steel and chrome moly that can get stress cracks Titanium is very resistant to cracking and doesn’t rust or corrode and is up to 5 times the yield strength of stainless steel and 2.5 times the yield strength of Chrome moly, but almost half the weight.
 

Steve_UK

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QUESTION #5

Question 5 :
I believe you get both the fuselage and the Titanium parts made in China , Can you tell us a bit about the factories
Answer :
Yes Don we do get some parts made in China .
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #6

Question 6 :
Tell me about the welding , it looks to be extremely good .
Answer,
Many think that Titanium must be hard to
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #7


Question 7 :
It looks like you have a good front wheel suspension, could you tell us a bit about it and how well it works .
Answer :
This is another area we spent a lot of time and 3D design on ,
Before starting the
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #8

Question 8 :
What type of prerotation system have you used .
I have always likes the Pneumatic system I
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #9


Question 9:
How fast can you spin the rotors up ?
Answer :
While I haven’t yet
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #10

Question 10 :
Tell me Neil what extras does it come with and will you sell some of your parts to others wishing to build their own gyro.

Answer :
As you know Don I have always hated
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #11

Question 11 :
That brings us to the price .
Answer
My aim was always to get the price down to about
 
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Steve_UK

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QUESTION #12

Question 12 :
Finally Neil we want to know how it fly’s .
Answer .
Don the best person to ask on this subject would be
 
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Vance

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here we go -

QUESTION #1

An interview with Neil Sheather , the designer and builder of the new Titanium Explorer auto gyro.
By Don Cramer

Question 1 :
Why did you decide to build your own gyro,
Answer :
As you know I started by importing the ELA gyro from Spain , .
And my good friend Andrew Pepper from Tamworth who had been flying hang gliders and micro lights for many years said why don’t we build our own gyro .
My answer was no , after the 4th time he made this suggestion I said I will look at it.
I should have bought a surf board instead it would have been much cheaper to make my own surf board
However 5 and a half years and many hundreds of thousands of dollars latter we are in production
There were many things that the European gyros didn’t offer for the Australian conditions
One of them was a good volume of storage so we designed 180 litres of storage into the side pods and another 22 litres in the rear console , if you don’t have the rear instruments
Bruce Mattinson from Kununurra said make it large enough to fit a 1 metre barramundi in it ,so that’s what we did, now I just have to get time to fly up there and try and catch one that big so I can see if it will fit.
We wanted to make a gyro out of better materials , especially full composite rotor blades and better safer hub bars.
Also to have parts available in Australia at a much lower price and ready to ship immediately .
( Neil hates ( & we have heard the same gripes here in US)how the Eurogyros have very poor after sales service & parts availability & cost – time to ship replacemnet parts! ..... he plans to have plenty of parts in inventory for same day shipping ... whenever needed ... Jim & I feel this is essential ... should we be involved in being TAG/kit dealers here!) get properly set up & FAA approved quick-build kit(51% compliant) ... THEN start sales! ( 1 year estimated))
The Cavalon has enough storage behind the seats for a weeks’ worth of clean clothes and sundries for two people.

My friend’s Magni M22 Voyager has external pods for storage that appear roomy.

I have not read of any recent problems with rotor blades on the European gyroplanes and I have never read of an accident caused by a hub bar failure or a rotor blade failure in a European gyroplane.

The materials I have seen used in the European Gyroplanes appeared to me well suited to the application.

I have very good parts service from Air Gyro (an AutoGyro USA Dealer) and AutoGyro USA who sells AutoGyro products (Cavalon, MTO sport and Calidus).

I didn’t need a lot of parts but when I did either Air Gyro had those in stock or Terri Rose at AutoGyro USA usually sent them out the same day I requested them.

The cost of the parts seemed reasonable to me.

Perhaps the Australian importers of European Gyroplanes don’t give as good service or mark up the prices more. I can only report on the service I received here in the USA from Air Gyro and AutoGyro USA.
 

Steve_UK

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Yes some interesting comments for sure.

TAG are likey to discover new challenges as they ship machines to USA, Israel and South Africa and need to support end customers.
 

farmer jim

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Gday, Vance -

In talking with Neil, he would welcome chatting with you on the phone !

If you would be interested in chatting with him, please PM me a good number for him to call you at. ��

fj

a wise man once said it was better to hear it from the horse's mouth than to be a horse's backside. ?!
 

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This is an extremely interesting thread with some great information about what looks to be a serious new entrant to the factory build gyro line up.

It certainly seems to have raised the bar in a number of areas, cost, materials, testing, design, durability handling to name a few.
 

Steve_UK

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Question - do TAG want to
 
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helipaddy

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I have not read of any recent problems with rotor blades on the European gyroplanes and I have never read of an accident caused by a hub bar failure or a rotor blade failure in a European gyroplane.

The materials I have seen used in the European Gyroplanes appeared to me well suited to them.

Hi Vance

Here's a little interesting reading for you:


http://www.seguridadaerea.gob.es/media/4140931/directiva_01_13_en.pdf

Here's the SB's that addressed the problem:

http://www.seguridadaerea.gob.es/lang_castellano/aeronaves/aeronaveg_inicial/certificacion/directivas_aeronavegabilidad/autogiros_ela.aspx


Thanks

Paddy
 

Steve_UK

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ELA had a difficult time with the UK CAA - today there are zero ELA machines registered in the UK - those that were here have all been sold on overseas.
 

helipaddy

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ELA had a difficult time with the UK CAA - today there are zero ELA machines registered in the UK - those that were here have all been sold on overseas.
The ELA flies exactly like the other European machines that copied it. The UK CAA intransigence with the ELA may not have had much to do with the aircraft or the factory. I own and fly one of the machines that was registered in the UK and it flies nicely and gives no more maintenance issues than the rest of the "euro-gyros".

Strangely enough, they fly nicely elsewhere in the world also. Maybe the air in the UK is different.
 

Vance

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I stand corrected, I had not read of this problem with an ELA gyroplane and I am not familiar with an ELA gyroplane.

I feel it is a mistake to condemn aluminum when the bar that broke was not made of the material called out in the drawings.

Machine something badly out of the wrong material and it is not surprising there are problems.

I feel it is a stretch to condemn all European gyroplanes for the mistakes of ELA

i feel it is a mistake to condemn all ELA gyroplanes for a single quality assurance problem.
 

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I agree with Vance. ELA said that the material called out in design drawings was not used. So obviously it's their QA system that failed not the material it was designed for. And that's just ELA not all gyro planes from Europe or all Aluminum rotors. That generic statement seems to be out of track. Hopefully ELA has corrected the issue. Some poor soul paid the ultimate price for ELA's QA mistake but you can't generalize that.
 

Steve_UK

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""Strangely enough, they fly nicely elsewhere in the world also""

Yes they do - sold very well indeed to South Africa.

EI-DKN ( 2004 machine ) cancelled a couple of weeks back, off to Belgium I believe.

There is a good diverse range of gyrocopters in Ireland for sure - although oddly no Auto-Gyros - "Maybe the air in the Ireland is different" !
 
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