Trailer questions

PAgyropilot

Junior Member
Hello Everyone,

Sorry if this isn't the correct forum for "trailers", but I didn't see a trailer forum. (Admin, please move to the correct forum if there is another.)

I've purchased an RAF 2000, and would like to trailer it without taking the rotors off. I have an enclosed trailer which is 33 feet long (interior) and 7 1/2 feet wide.
The roof needs to be raised, and I'm planning on taking it to the manufacturer to have them raise the roof and provide the proper clearance.
I haven't taken physical possession of the RAF yet, so I can't take measurements. I'd appreciate it if someone would tell me the height of the mast. I want to
be sure the door is at least 6 inches higher than the mast.

I can already hear people thinking, "The rotors are going to be damaged if he leaves them on while trucking down the road." I intend to build cushioned supports,
which will hold the rotors up, in a non-flexed position, and keep them from bouncing/flexing up and down. That way when I get to my destination, I just remove the
supports, remove the fuselage tie-downs, roll it out and go.

If anyone else has a set-up similar to what I'm planning, please share your thoughts and experiences. I'm eager to learn, and hate re-inventing the wheel.

Thanks.
 

PAgyropilot

Junior Member
Excellent!! Thanks. I wasn't planning on detaching the rotors. Any thoughts on why that would be necessary as long as the rotors are correctly supported?
 
PAgyropilot;n1134080 said:
Excellent!! Thanks. I wasn't planning on detaching the rotors. Any thoughts on why that would be necessary as long as the rotors are correctly supported?
The problem is that the rotors represent a large independent mass with its own set of dynamic moments arms.
If the issue was just straight up and down motion it would be doable.
But you also need to consider what happens in Pitch when the trailer Ball goes UP and the Trailers wheels do not.
If only one set of wheels hits a bump, the trailer Rolls and the rotor mast tries to Roll the Rotor sideways with the rotor tied to the ceiling.
Braking and acceleration causes the rotor to want to Pitch the fuselage which has nowhere to go.

All of these Pitch and Roll Forces happen dozens of time per mile, and the Gyro just gets beat up.
Removing the rotor allows the Fuselage and Mast to move independently of the rotor.

A gyro in flight seldom even approaches 2 g's.
It will see 4 g bumps on a regular basis as it goes down the highway.
 

PAgyropilot

Junior Member
Thanks for the input, Willie. I definitely have to give this some thought.
When I first started trailing my PPC, I noticed that some of the engine supports were being stressed. I spoke with other PPC owners and they said they'd had similar experiences. I decided to scrap the traditional tie-down system used by most people, and instead secured the PPC using chocks for the wheels, which allowed them a small amount of motion, and used bungees to secure the frame, which allowed the whole PPC to "bounce" a bit. The problems of the stressed engine supports disappeared.

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, just thinking out loud:
If the trailer ball goes up, the floor of the trailer goes up, raising the gyros fuselage and rotor assembly the same amount, at the same time. If the rotors are supported from the ceiling (or even underneath from the floor), there should be no difference in their motion. And whether or not the trailer wheels go up or down doesn't change that.
If one set of tires goes over a bump on one side, the whole trailer will roll a bit. But again, the fuselage and the rotor would roll at the same time, the same amount. There shouldn't be any stress exerted by the rotor assembly on the mast, because they are moving in unison.
It's the braking and accelerating that I think would be the most problematic. But if I secure the fuselage with a bungee system that allows some forward and backward movement, perhaps that could be mitigated.

As I said, this is just thinking out loud. I've not ruled out suspending the rotor assembly independently from the roof. But I'd like to avoid it if possible.

Does anyone have any experience trailering their gyros with the rotors still attached to the gyro? I'm looking for all input, all opinions, and hopefully first hand experience advice.

Thanks!
 

ultracruiser41

Gold Member
It's not the rotors you need to worry about....it's the stresses imposed on the rotor head.
Trailering is by for the hardest thing that a gyro goes through......and no matter how you support the rotors......the head will still take the brunt of the vibration and shock.......best not to trailer with rotors attached.
Ive always used rotor racks.....just take the teeter bolt out and remove rotors......I don't take them apart.....just put the whole rotor on a rack.......much safer.
 

Gyro28866

David McCutchen
I have seen gyro's trailered to flyin's with the rotors attached. Personally, I do not! It only takes a few minutes to romove the Teeter bolt and lift the rotor off. Last year, I purchased a 38' x 10' tall enclosed gooseneck trailer. On the side wall, I built a 30' support that is angled 7* to mimic the coning angle and each blade support is pitched 2 1/2*. This support system allows my rotor to ride completely supported.
Many of the heavier rotors are lifted off and installed using a simple made crane system. I trailer several thousand miles each year to fly-in events. I have seen my own stuff get beat up, even though great care is taken to prevent it.
 
PAgyropilot;n1134094 said:
Thanks for the input, Willie. I definitely have to give this some thought.
When I first started trailing my PPC, I noticed that some of the engine supports were being stressed. I spoke with other PPC owners and they said they'd had similar experiences. I decided to scrap the traditional tie-down system used by most people, and instead secured the PPC using chocks for the wheels, which allowed them a small amount of motion, and used bungees to secure the frame, which allowed the whole PPC to "bounce" a bit. The problems of the stressed engine supports disappeared.

I'm not trying to be argumentative here, just thinking out loud:
If the trailer ball goes up, the floor of the trailer goes up, raising the gyros fuselage and rotor assembly the same amount, at the same time. If the rotors are supported from the ceiling (or even underneath from the floor), there should be no difference in their motion. And whether or not the trailer wheels go up or down doesn't change that.
If one set of tires goes over a bump on one side, the whole trailer will roll a bit. But again, the fuselage and the rotor would roll at the same time, the same amount. There shouldn't be any stress exerted by the rotor assembly on the mast, because they are moving in unison.
It's the braking and accelerating that I think would be the most problematic. But if I secure the fuselage with a bungee system that allows some forward and backward movement, perhaps that could be mitigated.

As I said, this is just thinking out loud. I've not ruled out suspending the rotor assembly independently from the roof. But I'd like to avoid it if possible.

Thanks!
While we would like to think that everything moves in unison, that is not the case.
Consider going over a bump...
The trailer body moves and applies a force to move the Gyro.
It does not react instantaneously.
The tires squish a little and gyro responds slightly delayed from the trailer.
If you have ever ridden sitting in the bed of a pickup truck, you know the ride is much firmer than sitting in the passenger seat.
The more that the cargo/Passengers are free to move independently, the smoother the ride.
To get a feel of the forces, download a G-Meter APP for your phone and set the phone on the Floor or rear deck of your vehicle,
Note how high and how often the meter peaks. Then consider that the suspension of a trailer is not as soft as you vehicle.

The rotor represent a large mass at the end of the mast and want to act like a very slow pendulum.
The fuselage is compact and willing to swing much quicker.
If these two item remain attached they will fight each other every foot of the way.

You have already seen what happens when the slower mass of the engine fights with the faster mass of your PPC.
The gyro is going to have the same issues with the engine bouncing on the mounts added to the rotor fighting the mast.
The rotor also has issue is that it tends to act like a floppy noodle if NOT well supported and will fight the mast IF well supported.
You have two incompatible conditions. The rotor needs to come Off!
This has been demonstrated numerous times. Learn from other peoples mistakes!

It is only one bolt. It is only finger tight. The only tools needed are to bend the cotter pin.
Take consolation in that you will have the most inspected Teeter bolt on the field.
You will also need to add afresh shot of grease each time you reassemble, Never a bad thing.

If you are considering have a trailer built, the builder will want to put dual or even triple 5000# axles under your 30 foot trailer.
He is thinking " Dual Car Hauler".
A trailer designed to hold a 10-15,000# load is going to ride very stiff when it only has a 700# gyro in it.
It is going to bounce around like it is empty all the time. The suspension would never move.
Spec the trailer for your intended load.
It will be a purpose built trailer that will be good for hauling the gyro or maybe a full load of styrofoam.
 

magknight

Member
Using really good quality airbag suspension is key to soaking up the bumps and reducing the impact on the rotor system. Engine mounts also take a beating, so whatever you do, don’t use a standard trailer.
 

Gyro28866

David McCutchen
No Title

Before Bensen Days this year, I built me a camper into the gooseneck of the trailer. Finished it has 7'8" width and 8' long and 6'1" standing room height. The steps will fold over into the space getting them out of the way for toys. Heat and air, and I will be adding water. Perfect for a fly-in. I still have some trim work to do; but it was really nice at BD this year!
 

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Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Rather than risk damaging a rather life-critical (and expensive) part of your gyro, I suggest you focus on making blade installation and removal super-easy.

A big-gyro rotor is heavy and awkward. I've seen more than one RAF trailer rigged with a little crane (with block and tackle) on the side of the trailer. This allows you to lower the assembled rotor onto the rotor head and line it up to push the teeter bolt through. It really is a trivially easy task once you get the "hang" of it, so to speak.

A picky note about nomenclature: An RAF has ONE rotor, consisting of two BLADES and a hub. When I assemble my gyro, I attach each BLADE to the hub, forming one ROTOR.
 

HighAltitude

in transition
Is it a big deal to separate the blades? My mission and environment are changing so I am back on the forum to see what has changed in the gyro world over the last 18 months. I am on a waiting list for a hangar at my new location. I am wondering if I could transport a gyro from my garage across town every time I want to fly. From what I have read here, I should remove the rotor no matter how short or how slow the trip is to the airport. I was taken aback by the comment to not even taxi without the rotors turning. I hadn't thought about the bouncing along the taxi way but it makes sense if the rotor is truly that delicate. Almost all videos don't support following that practice and some instructional videos even warn to stop the rotors completely (or almost full stop) before leaving the runway. My new location is very windy so I am watching and learning how to handle the rotor. I'm hoping to experience windy flight during my lessons but you can't always get what you ask for as I learned when getting my tail wheel endorsement. No wind at all until the last day!
 
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