Trailering

West Oz Flyer

Newbie
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Australia
Hey Miles......think Fara knows everything there is to know about gyros and their capabilities. Better back off the attitude a bit. Geez.
Ultracruiser41, Miles knows what he is talking about and he has more than enough experience to back it up.

As far as trailering gyros: most gyros won't live too long on the back of a trailer.
 

MilesW

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Messages
39
Location
Murchison Shire - Western Australia
Aircraft
Sportcopter M912
Total Flight Time
1400+ Gyro
Yes, trailering. Apologies for the hijack.

Trailering is one of those necessary evils. Definitely best avoided though if possible.
If you love your gyro, my suggestion is to pick your trailer very carefully. Using whatever is at hand, for example a heavy duty dual axle car hauler, is almost guaranteed to abuse your pride and joy.
The ideal is a trailer purpose made for your gyro and intended load, paying particular attention to the unsprung mass. Do not be tempted to ever load it too much more, or less than your design parameters, even if that means sometimes carrying ballast. I think there are quite a few old threads here on this topic.
Rotors off.
 

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
16,507
Location
Fort Mill South Carolina
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Dominator gyro, Titan Tornado plane
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Let's look at this like this...

First off, the idea of taking of in a motorhome, towing a flying machine, so you can get some flying in as you go from area to area is a awesome idea and sounds like good times to me. Im actually very jealous!

But you need to decide on what type of aircraft you.... (1) WANT to use for this mission and (2) will said aircraft be suitable for the mission.

You could most easily pack a backpack powered paraglider and fly that. Would be able to be put in one of your motorhomes storage bins, would be cheapest thing to buy and would not require a airport to fly from. But you have to be in good physical condition to run with that on your back up to takeoff speed and you won't want to fly in windy conditions in one. You could go with one that has a trike framework where you just sit and steer rather than run to get airborne, but you still have the wind limitation along with a 25-35 mph top speed so your not flying far from where you took off from in any parachute type aircraft.

You could go with a Trike, which would fit in a relatively small enclosed trailer, wing folds up and can be put in a large tube on the roof of the trailer on inside the trailer if the trailer is long enough ( may want a longer trailer so you can bring more toys along, say a pair of Honda Monkey motorcycles and some kayaks so you have other toys to play with on your stops ) Trike would fly in light to moderate wind conditions, would be preferable to use a runway, but trikes typically takeoff super short and land fairly short as well. Very simple machines and would likely handle being trailered around quite well. These will fly in the 45 + mph speed range, with some models being over 75 mph, so you could extend your flights a good bit away from where you took off.

You could do a folding wing light sport / ultralight-ish airplane. Something like a Kolb, or Kitfox. Wings fold back quickly and easily and stay on the airframe. Some designs out there can be towed on their own wheels such as the kitfox, although I wouldn't tow one like that very far. Same as the trike, they don't really require a airport, as both planes will be in the air in less than 500 feet and a good pilot could land them in the same distance... But would probably be best to use a airport when possible. I would think out west, in some areas it may be easy to find a large open field suitable to fly off, where as in some areas in the east it may be much harder. But there are airports everywhere.

Then there is Gyros... Gyros will only take up a little more space in a trailer than a trike. They typically need more room than the airplanes and trikes to take off in but can land in much smaller spaces. NO gyro really likes taking off from a rough field... some do better at it than others... but all gyros prefer a smooth surface to takeoff from. Like above, you MIGHT be able to find a plot of land suitable to fly off, but you will more than likely be best suited to just find the closest airstrip and go there to put together the rotors and fly. Gyros typically fly at 45-80 mph, with some of the expensive " Euro " two seaters able to fly at close to 100 mph. Basically same speed range as the airplanes above, and same speed range as some of the trikes. You CAN trailer with the rotor on, but that is very hard on the rotor, the rotorhead, the bearings, the controls, etc.... to do it occasionally here and there, not a big deal. To do it across the 48 states, not a good idea. Good thing is, the rotor comes off with one bolt and you can either use muscle power or a winch and get it down off the gyro and either placed on a rack on or inside the trailer, or set on sawhorses and disassembled completely and boxed up for transport. Completely taking the blades off and boxed means a 30 minute process to unload gyro, assemble blades, install blades, pre flight the gyro and be ready to fly... Shorter if the blades are left assembled on a rack, maybe 20 minutes. Time could be shorter if you hurry, but best to take your time and do a really good preflight inspection each time.

The time to prepare each type of aircraft I listed, to fly... and to pack back up once done... is very close to the same. They could all be done in under 30 minutes.

Advantage of the gyro is the ability to fly along and really slow your speed down without fear of a stall.... And the ability to land in a very small space in the event of a emergency ( say a engine out for example )... and the gyro will handle turbulence and winds better than anything else.

A disadvantage of the gyro is you will have to find yourself training... they are expensive to buy ( compared to a nice used trike or kitfox / kolb ) ... insurance will be harder to get and more expensive... And personally, I feel like a gyro is probably the most fragile of the 3 types listed for being trailered around the country.

One big advantage of the trike and or airplanes, is the ability to install and use a BRS parachute system. no parachute system has ever been successfully tested and approved for gyro use. In theory, a gyro is the safest aircraft out there since it can't stall... And trikes and airplanes are well proven to be safe aircraft as well. But in any of these aircraft, failure of just ONE bolt can send any of these out of control and result could be fatal. Gyros typically can not be controlled, if the controls fail. Most gyros, the control system from the stick in your hand all the way to the rotor, there are 8 to over 20 bolts that failure of just one of them your completely out of control. It would be like losing elevator and aileron control in a airplane... except most gyros are never trimmed out perfectly for hands off flight, usually you let go of the stick and the nose drops, and or the gyro rolls to one side or the other cause of the weight of the pre rotator. Of all the safety advantages a gyro offers, the ability to use a ballistic emergency parachute makes some of the other aircraft just as safe or even safer in my opinion.

No doubt though, gyros look the coolest, and probably attract the most attention. And if its windy, the gyro will handle windy bumpy conditions best of the 4 types listed above.

Figure out what you really want, then decide on the rest.
 

Tyger

Active Member
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Germantown, NY
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Magni M16
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Completely taking the blades off and boxed means a 30 minute process to unload gyro, assemble blades, install blades, pre flight the gyro and be ready to fly... Shorter if the blades are left assembled on a rack, maybe 20 minutes. Time could be shorter if you hurry, but best to take your time and do a really good preflight inspection each time.
Wow. For me, doing a "really good" preflight inspection takes nearly thirty minutes in itself.
If you were to take just fifteen minutes on preflight, are you really able to do all the unloading, assembling, installing, etc. in just 15 minutes on your own??
 

BEN S

Active Member
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Nov 15, 2007
Messages
2,270
Location
YUMA,AZ
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Sportcopter Vortex "light"
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200+
I did it for years, Keystone triple axle toy hauler and a Sportcopter. Took off from nice paved back roads when I felt like it.
Traveled from AZ to California to Wyoming, Nebraska, Arkansas and Florida and lots of places in between.
Its doable.
Also had a remote control winch on an open trailer. that made life very easy. never was comfy driving down the road with the gyro in the open, too much attention.
Make sure you are mechanically inclined to repair your bird and have a few hundred hours of flying under your belt, taking off from unknown areas involves a whole lot of variables.
Be physically fit, the road you took off from and your trailer is parked on can sometimes be completely covered with cattle when you return and you'll have to walk!
Carry as many spares and tools as you can and always bring a gun (Smith Airweight 317 weighs nothing) and water.
The allure of the west is the adventure of things being untamed, it still can be.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
3,171
Location
Tampa, FL
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AR-1
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3600+ .. New to gyroplanes
I mostly agree with GyroRon. We have designed, built and trailered all 3 categories of aircraft across over 1500 mile trips.

Folding wing airplane (Apollo LSA). I am in fact possibly going to bring this back as I still hold all the rights and compliance material for this airplane under my older company with FAA.

Revo trike

AR-1 Gyroplane


All 3 of these were at one point were manufactured and trailered by companies I personally was significantly in for long periods of time.

Also certified with FAA and CAAC and setup production certificated (CAAC PC) production line for Searey amphibian airplane in Tavares, Florida.
Also help with design, certification for Texas Aircraft Colt and design and compliance for American Legend Super Cub clone also in Texas. Searey is sometimes kept with wings folded/detached on ships in the ocean and lowered in the ocean when the rich owners want to fly. Pain in the neck. This can take a long time to do correctly.


Generally, I think 30 minutes is a good time for pretty much all of them to get ready to go from the trailer. Gyroplanes if rotor was left intact but taken off could be 20 minutes. A light trailer with correct suspension is best. Enclosed is nice but not necessary with a good cover. I trailered trikes all over the place on open trailers with a good cover on them without a problem. They all need to be secured at proper points and are excellent on trailers. The fixed wing actually is the most cumbersome and requires most care trailering in my opinion even with folding wing. Gyro and trikes seem similar.
 
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GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
Joined
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Messages
16,507
Location
Fort Mill South Carolina
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Dominator gyro, Titan Tornado plane
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Wow. For me, doing a "really good" preflight inspection takes nearly thirty minutes in itself.
If you were to take just fifteen minutes on preflight, are you really able to do all the unloading, assembling, installing, etc. in just 15 minutes on your own??

It can be done. And sure, you can surely spend much longer, be more observant with your pre flight.... Nothing wrong with taking your time. And in all honestly, if you are " Retired " and your just out touring the country and seeing sights, how long it takes to pull your aircraft from the trailer and set it up and pre flight should not be a huge concern. You should have all the time in the world.
 

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
16,507
Location
Fort Mill South Carolina
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Dominator gyro, Titan Tornado plane
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1300+
Took a look at the original post, and see that the OP must have trike experience. And being a "retired pilot" he must know how to fly a airplane. I would say, he should stop by FARA's place and get a ride in a gyro and see if it is something he wants to get into in the first place. He would be qualified to fly a plane or trike as it is. A powered paraglider is going to be far more limited than a trike and he is already concerned over the trikes limitations, so that probably rules out the PPG.

One consideration I personally would have if I were to take on such a trip, is I would want to bring along more toys besides my aircraft. I would want some type of boat, even if it is a inflatable zodiac type boat with a small outboard... I would want some type of motorcycles ( preferably something that would be good for on road and off road so I can go anywhere and explore ) ... And I would probably want to bring along bicycles as well. I would want to be able to stuff all this stuff along with my aircraft in a trailer.
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
3,171
Location
Tampa, FL
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AR-1
Total Flight Time
3600+ .. New to gyroplanes
Took a look at the original post, and see that the OP must have trike experience. And being a "retired pilot" he must know how to fly a airplane. I would say, he should stop by FARA's place and get a ride in a gyro and see if it is something he wants to get into in the first place. He would be qualified to fly a plane or trike as it is. A powered paraglider is going to be far more limited than a trike and he is already concerned over the trikes limitations, so that probably rules out the PPG.

One consideration I personally would have if I were to take on such a trip, is I would want to bring along more toys besides my aircraft. I would want some type of boat, even if it is a inflatable zodiac type boat with a small outboard... I would want some type of motorcycles ( preferably something that would be good for on road and off road so I can go anywhere and explore ) ... And I would probably want to bring along bicycles as well. I would want to be able to stuff all this stuff along with my aircraft in a trailer.
I have had trike customers who did exactly that. Brought their ATV's and bicycles in the same trailers that were enclosed.
I just used an enclosed AR-1 at 11 am here in Florida day before yesterday. No way I would fly an enclosed machine in the summer in Florida or the south or Arizona. That is why we kept the AR-1 enclosure convertible. No sane reason to have it enclosed all the time. AR-1 is mainly a semi-open cockpit with an enclosure to extend your flying season and provide some comfort
 

j4flyer

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
201
Location
Woodland, Ca
Before you consider buying, trailering etc, go take a few rides in different models. It’s difficult to establish a plan without having the knowledge / insight a few rides will provide. Before spending thousands on equipment that may not fit your mission, take a ride. Once you decide on a brand of gyro, get the manufacturer’s advise on trailering his product. One of the Manufacturers posted he would help you set up a trailer. Use their expertise. But, go take some rides ! ( recommendation not an order)
 

Tyger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
245
Location
Germantown, NY
Aircraft
Magni M16
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225
I sometimes get asked how I can fly in my gyro during the winter... I say, "just imagine you're in a snowmobile". One just needs to dress properly.
Although I can begin to imagine someone developing a convertible-enclosed snowmobile soon. ;)
 

Tyger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
245
Location
Germantown, NY
Aircraft
Magni M16
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225
I suggest to anyone who would buy such a thing that they just go get an interactive snowmobile game – and a nice, fluffy armchair.
 

BEN S

Active Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
2,270
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YUMA,AZ
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Sportcopter Vortex "light"
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curious why this thread does not show up anymore. It says its on my watch list but if I don't type it in....nothing. Not even when a new post shows up?
Big tech censoring my feed!!!!
 

Gyro28866

David McCutchen
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May 8, 2009
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Dickson, Tn. USA
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Benson B7m & B8m, Dominator II; Kolb Mark III Classic
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Here are a couple pictures of the inside of my "Redneck Tajmahal" These picture were taken before I converted the front end into a camper area
 

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jrrylee

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Apr 1, 2011
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Ripon California
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Hornet with mods
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10 hrs tandem training Magni M16
I have a small trailer so I disassemble the blades from hub bar IMG_0014.JPG
 
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