US gyoplane paranoia

PTKay

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
3,160
Location
Poland
Aircraft
Socata Rallye
With growing annoyance I am observing a paranoid approach among the US
gyroplane community to the legal situation of the gyroplanes.

On the one hand a huge effort is being made to include the gyroplanes
in the established and successful LSA class, to get it out of the
"widow maker" image limbo.

At the same time, the only factory made model with perfect safety record,
0 fatals, 0 total losses, the Xenon, and her designer, are permanently
attacked for not allowing any unauthorized modifications on the model.

This is true, that the 10 Xenons existing at the moment in the US
are ELSA, so "experimental", but this is only "experimental" by name
taking advantage of the temporary loophole in the system allowing
to register them at all at that time.

In it's concept, the Xenon is factory made, approved design, aiming
for LSA approval.
Once it is achieved and ASTM approval granted, there will be no way
anyone can just fiddle around his machine at will.

Calling Raphael arrogant, for his efforts to keep the good name and perfect
safety record of his machine by preventing unauthorized modifications
is plain paranoid, and arrogant in itself.

Sorry for the straight words, but I am getting really ....... by this discussion.
 
Last edited:

Fl90

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
1,719
Location
Lake Placid, Fl
Not really sure what you are referencing, but I can assure you, if someone here wants to "fiddle" with their machine, they will. Some how, some way. That happens right up to the $50m jets of the spoiled rich kids.

Just like locked doors, there to keep the honest honest. People follow rules or think they are made for someone else.

Phil
 

automan1223

Banned
Joined
Nov 3, 2003
Messages
3,760
Location
Oriental, North Carolina
Aircraft
2p Tandem Air Command "Big Red"
Total Flight Time
250
High horse..please get off.

High horse..please get off.

You might consider the fact that the xenon does not have a perfect "safety" record #1.

In fact you may blame your current situation on the fact that after the FAA looked at the Xenon, they shook their heads in disgust.....

You cannot use commercial hardware on an AIRCRAFT, in CRITICAL CONTROL SYSTEMS and expect the FAA to bless you with flowers and certification....

Not going to happen jack....

The gyro community is so full of themselves and are so arrogant and then wonder why they are continually treated like the red headed step child of the aviation community. I wonder why.... But go ahead keep believing the designs, quality, construction of almost all current gyros is up to any standard and you can keep wondering about it all...

J
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
8,507
Location
West Valley City, Utah, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex 582
Total Flight Time
FW: 200 Gyro: 51
It's unfortunate that there weren't enough Xenons imported here to justify a proper service path in the US. If someone told me to send my turbocharger to Europe for "free" machining that would cost me hundreds of dollars, and didn't tell me why the mod was being done, I'd be looking for domestic sources, too.

But, to be fair, US buyers knew they'd be a small lot of orphans, at least for a while.
 

Heron

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
7,518
Location
Bauru - Sao Paulo - Brasil
Aircraft
Golden Butterfly
Total Flight Time
7.5 h.
Such strong words! Why?
Maybe someone needs to live 20+ years in the US to start grasping the regular Joe´s psiche . . .
I rembember way back then, getting puzzled by the number of vehicles that looked alike, remember the Lumina? GM had 3 models out usig Pontiac and Oldesmobile, basicly the same vehicle.
But back to experimetal, that is what it is, people will experiment and I have seen several coming to see a gyro first time from up close and starting to regurtitate whatifs.
ONe guy, engineer by trade, did not round the Xenon up, couple of steps and he was creating another machine based on that he was seen for the firt time.
That is human nature, nothing of an american privilege.
Raphael may seem arrogant at first, but he is European and we don´t know him enough to pass judgement, it is just en passant comment.
Europeans are blasée . . .
Heron
 

WHY

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
4,384
Location
miami,oklahoma
Aircraft
Ercoupe and Cessna 150, 152, 172, 140, Aeronca,7ac, Citabria,Chief,Piper PA11,PA12
Total Flight Time
215
Hi PTKAY

Very interesting , the difference in the classification between Europe and the USA, thanks for the enlightenment, gives me a much better understanding of the situation.

Tony
 

Master Roda

The Jedi
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
3,227
Location
Scappoose.OR USA
We have a gentlemen on the port here who has modified his Pilatus PC-12 rendering it "experimental". This isn't a toy. It's expensive. Wonder why he modified it? TO FIX THE PROBLEMS. He has brought the problems to the attention of the manufacturer. They were delighted. They want to improve their product.

Here's what one looks like.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Mike G

Junior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2005
Messages
1,478
Location
Lillebonne France
Aircraft
Owned Magni M16 now ELA 07
Total Flight Time
550FW + 500 gyro
PTKay
I can understand some of your frustration with the Americans, I work with them and sometimes they drive me nuts with their attitude, but I'm sure I also drive them nuts from time to time and that's part of working with another culture.
If you're refering to the Xenon pre rotator problem I think you've missed the point.

Raphael is saying that only his design of the modification is valid because he designed it, yet he's just proved his incompetance as a designer by getting it wrong in the first place.

Added to that is the plain dishonesty of apparently saying a problem didn't exist when it clearly did.

Then he tries to impress those who aren't in the manufacturing certification business with his BS about having ISO 9001 manufacturers supply him, when anyone who's had to work closely with ISO 9001 companies will tell you that ISO 9001 is a sham and doesn't guarantee you anything.

I can tell you from working with Americans that they're a very pragmatic bunch, a bit full of themselves, but after pulling Europe out of two world wars they've earned that right. When something goes wrong all they want to hear is some one say "sorry guys I screwed up, this is what I'm going to do to fix it" and Americans will accept that mistakes are made unlike most Europeans who seem to be incapable of admitting they got it wrong. I've worked in France with a lot of young French engineers for 30 years, they're incredibly clever and cultured (much brighter than me) but cannot admit a mistake. I suspect Raphael is the same.

When will people realise that "the man who never made a mistake, never made anything"

Mike G
 

gilgsn

Newbie
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
312
Location
France, near Lille.
Total Flight Time
650
Hi Guys,

Interesting bit about the European attitude.. Being French myself, I will second Mike's opinion here, he is absolutely right. A friend of mine is selling diesel conversions for Cessna 182s in the U.S. Those engines are made in France (flyjeta.com). He wanted to shorten an electric wire once, a 5mins job. They said "absolutely not!" The drawings had to be changed, the problem studied, meetings after meetings, etc. It is my opinion that there is a sort of cast system in France, and Europe, and don't anyone dare pretend to know better than someone 'above' them. There are many reasons why I live in Florida, and this is one of them. In the United States, anything is possible, and nobody is out there to stop you. That's how you get things done. That's how America prevailed in WWII with it's industrial 'can do' attitude. Even though Europe is often more advanced technologically, they will always lose in the implementation phase. You could say Europe has an overblown ego problem. I won't even get into why they persist trying to make their political system work when it clearly can't. I am a freelance programmer, and let me tell you, I will refuse any customer from Europe; not worth the aggravation...

Ya'll have a great week-end!

Gil.
 

PTKay

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2004
Messages
3,160
Location
Poland
Aircraft
Socata Rallye
We have a gentlemen on the port here who has modified his Pilatus PC-12 rendering it "experimental". This isn't a toy. It's expensive. Wonder why he modified it? TO FIX THE PROBLEMS. He has brought the problems to the attention of the manufacturer. They were delighted. They want to improve their product.
You are absolutely right.
Very good approach, but as you mentioned above,
he de-registered the certified aircraft, and re-registered it as "experimental".

If **** hits the fan, it will be him, not the Pilatus taken to responsibility.
 

Master Roda

The Jedi
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
3,227
Location
Scappoose.OR USA
You are absolutely right.
Very good approach, but as you mentioned above,
he de-registered the certified aircraft, and re-registered it as "experimental".

If **** hits the fan, it will be him, not the Pilatus taken to responsibility.
What **** are you refering too? If it crashed? if something went wrong?

Why would you assume that the individual would not take responsibilty? It's not as if he is cheating by modifying it, then claiming it's certified.....no one is cheating.

It may surprise you that most people here in America WILL TAKE RESPONSIBILTY FOR THEIR ACTIONS!! I do. Most people I know do. Sure there are some that don't, but not the norm IMHO.

A person in the position to purchase such an aircraft has the sense of mind to KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING by making the modifications. That is WHY they are making them.

They have:

1: Made an observation of a problem
2: Found a way to correct it
3: Implemented the fix
4: Made the fix apparent to the manufacturer

This is done in the automotive industry all the time.

Have a nice day Paul.

P.S. Have you ever heard the term "two minds are better than one" ?? There isn't one individual with ALL of the answers.
 

RotorTom

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
840
Location
Colorado
Aircraft
Enstrom 480B, CTLS, Ercoupe
Total Flight Time
5000+
Calling Raphael arrogant, for his efforts to keep the good name and perfect safety record of his machine by preventing unauthorized modifications is plain paranoid, and arrogant in itself.

Sorry for the straight words, but I am getting really ....... by this discussion.
PTKay, you never have to apologize for "straight words" but please consider the FACTS!

Most of those those so-called "factory" mods to keep the Xenon safer and more efficient came from US in the US.

Here are the facts:

IMPROVEMENT: New Style Doors - The old doors did not hold up in flight. There were several incidents where doors flew off. The factory d not even acknowledge a problem until the noisy Americans raised hell. And even then we had to come up with a better hinge and latch system.

IMPROVEMENT: Flexible Pre-rotator - This was totally American designed and installed. Raphael saw it and tested it at Bensen Days and loved it. But instead of using the proven American System (from Sport-Copter) he designed his own (inferior) system.

IMPROVEMENT: Bendix Reinforcement Collar - American designed and fool-proof. Raphael did not even recognize the problem until we exposed it. Then he did not use ours ... he designed and installed his own inferior one.

IMPROVEMENT: Turbo Inner Cooler (for RST model) - This provides forced cooling air into the turbo and modifies the waste gate to better adjust to altitude. WE DID IT FIRST. Raphael designed his own without altitude compensation!

IMPROVEMENT: Reinforced Turbo Oil Sump - Provides more support for flanged tube that connects to engine to relieve some of the mechanical advantagethat can cause the tube to fail as a result of engine vibration. ANOTHER US IMPROVEMENT.

IMPROVEMENT: Better Fuel Filtering - to replace the factory supplied paper canisters. In the US we switched to a dual port marine fuel filter assembly with a spin-on filter element. It provides better filtering and water separation, with a place to drain off water if it accumulates. ANOTHER US MOD!

IMPROVEMENT: Primary Fuel Pump On/Off Switch - It is a safety switch that remains on until you intentionally lift the cover to turn it off. It allows you to turn on the master switch without having the pump run the entire time. AN AMERICAN MOD!

IMPROVEMENT: Heavier Trim Spring for pitch trim to give more authority. YOU GUESSED IT! First "made in America".

IMPROVEMENT: New Location for Cyclic Strap - We did this first. Then got word that the factory had an ingenious idea for the same thing. (The cyclic strap did not do a good job of keeping the rotor head steady during taxi operations.)

IMPROVEMENT: Larger Oil Cooler - Many owners experienced red-lining oil temperatures. THE FACTORY DENIED THERE WAS A PROBLEM. We adapted to a large oil cooler for better temps. Now the factory acknowledges it.

IMPROVEMENT: Split Cowling - If you've ever had to get to the Xenon engine and needed more room than the two access panels give you ... then you know the hassle involved in removing the main cowling! You have to remove the prop, pre-rotator assembly, push-rods and many other items to get it off. With the split cowling modification you can easily remove each half of the cowling. We did it here FIRST!

IMPROVEMENT: Throttle Cable Splitter - It is recommended that a new throttle cable be run to a new splitter which branches out to the dual carbs. The splitter is available through Lockwood Aviation Supply. It is more precise than the splitter built by Celier Aviation.

IMPROVEMENT: In-Line Closed Air Intake System - The old FACTORY system pre-heated air and was susceptible to dust and debris. For cooler intake air and more air volume, US owners added a naca vent, then directed air through a K&N Universal Cold Air Intake Assembly.

IMPROVEMENT: Fuel Check Valves - If you want true redundancy in your fuel system, you need to extend the fuel lines from the output of your fuel pumps and install check valves in each line along with pressure sensors. Then, one of the lines fail, the good pump will not pump back through the bad line. The pressure sensors will alert you to the bad side immediately. ANOTHER US MOD!

IMPROVEMENT: Turbo Oil Check Valve - Xenon RST Turbo units do not have seals in them. So there is nothing to keep oil from flowing into the "dry" side (air intake) of the turbo. The new check valve installed in-line with the turbo oil line will keep oil from siphoning back into the air chamber, GLORY TO THE US!

IMPROVEMENT: Improved Door Hinge Pins - The hinge pins should be replaced with bolts of the diameter so a locking nut can be used. Previous door hinge pins loosened from vibration AND EVEN THE NEW DOORS FLEW OFF. God Bless the USA.

IMPROVEMENT: Straight Exhaust Pipes - The original muffler on the Xenons have been know to crack around the mounting flang where or around the weld that holds on the pipe which ataches to the engine. This occurs because the muffler hangs so far out without adequate reinforcement. The muffler also gets very hot and causes high temperatures under the engine cowling. WE BUILT NEW STRAIGHT PIPES FOR BETTER POWER AND LESS HEAT!

I could go one PTKay ... but I think you get the point. We are NOT arrogant but we are proud of our accomplishments.

I believe the Wright Brothers were American too.
 
Last edited:

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,336
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
I have been following this particular machine with a lot of interest and have a friend who might buy one. That would appear to be a list of some desirable upgrades Paul.

What might your reaction be to these specific points and items that Tom has raised?
 

ventana7

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
1,391
Location
Salida, Colorado
Aircraft
Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
Total Flight Time
960
In it's concept, the Xenon is factory made, approved design, aiming
for LSA approval.
Once it is achieved and ASTM approval granted, there will be no way
anyone can just fiddle around his machine at will.

QUOTE]

Paul,

If and when the Xenon is approved for LSA (certainly no guarantee on that) - it will most surely be in the E-LSA category just as the first 10 I originally imported. Meaning any owner mods would be allowed.

After a long period of watching the accident statistics the FAA MIGHT approve the Xenon for S-LSA or (Special LSA). S-LSA gyros then would not be allowed for owner mods. (The advantage of S-LSA is they can be used for commercial purposes).

However at any time I believe an owner could choose to make a mod to his S-LSA and then move his gyro to the E-LSA category.

Rob
 

gyrodeputy

Newbie
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
973
Location
SD
Total Flight Time
200 and growing
SLSA for commercial use...I dont think so?

SLSA for commercial use...I dont think so?

(The advantage of S-LSA is they can be used for commercial purposes). However at any time I believe an owner could choose to make a mod to his S-LSA and then move his gyro to the E-LSA category. Rob[/QUOTE said:
Rob,

I could be wrong, Lord knows I have been many times in the past, but I do NOT believe that LSA anything can be used for any commercial use, except teaching/training.

I hope Paul or one of the other knowledgable people on the forum can clarify this (with a reference).

Stay safe.
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,336
Location
London/ Kilifi Kenya
Aircraft
Gyrs, RAF 2000/Mgni/Bnsn/Hrnet/Mrlin/Crckt/MT-03/Lyzlle AV18-A/Prdtor. Pax ArrowCopter
Total Flight Time
100+ gyro, 16,000+ other
One would hope that the factory would be in close co-operation with the certifying authorities to improve safety, and certainly quality control of their product is essential.

Every single item on a flying machine is always a compromise of weight cost and efficiency, but the ultimate goal should always be safety.

This being the case it would be to everyone's benefit to see that the machine is upgraded with mods that rectify faults found during operation in the field and are safety related, rather than just convenience or appearance

Certainly the general procedure in western aviation manufacture today, although there do remain some less advanced counties where the factory tells you what, when, or if you can have one at all. N Korea might be such an example. ( And no I am not comparing Xenon to a N Korean style operation.)

Obviously cost weight/complexity do play a part, however it is still in the factory's interest to make these factory made certified/or approved and certified mods, available, at a cost, to those owners who wish to upgrade to them.

Some mods should be mandatory, some optional, but the possibly inflexible approach that Xenon seems to be taking will not endear them to their customers.
 

ventana7

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Messages
1,391
Location
Salida, Colorado
Aircraft
Xenon Gyroplane, Cessna 182
Total Flight Time
960
Rob,

I could be wrong, Lord knows I have been many times in the past, but I do NOT believe that LSA anything can be used for any commercial use, except teaching/training.

I hope Paul or one of the other knowledgable people on the forum can clarify this (with a reference).

Stay safe.
Heath you are correct. LSA cannot be used for things like crop dusting, aerial photography, etc.

Rob
 

Heron

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
7,518
Location
Bauru - Sao Paulo - Brasil
Aircraft
Golden Butterfly
Total Flight Time
7.5 h.
Do you guys care to discuss the pros and cons of commercial usage of experimental flying devices?
thanks
Heron
 

ms80831

PRA member since 1973
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
1,546
Location
Colorado Springs CO.
Aircraft
Cessna 210 +, Xenon RST, Citabria
Total Flight Time
2000+
Dear Paul

I Love my Xenon. I appreciate all Raphael did to bring it to market. My thread about adding an electric trim is about an item that I as an owner personally did not enjoy using. I paid to have it improved, and shared my fix with others.

Your explanation about EU weight restrictions was a good one and I appreciate it. My Gyro is US registered and is in the Experimental category. Should I suffer with that (to me annoying) trim string here in the US with a 1360 lb Gross LSA category just because the EU government has a lower one? That is like dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.

The factory would benefit if they gained some patience and recognized the positive effect of their 10 US ELSA machines.

Any product used everywhere in the world will have different adaptations in each environment it is used in if there were no government restrictions. Add the many layers of government restriction world wide, and it is a wonder any product survives, much less thrives (especially in a highly regulated field like aviation).

There is a downside to unlimited freedom, hence regulation jumps in to solve the last problem creating 2 new ones many times.

Here in the US you have about 8% of the world wide population of Xenon Gyros. Would it be fair to say in light of the list above that those 10 owners collectively (and really just a handful of them) are responsible for 90% of the innovation and improvements made after the initial design began? 80%?, 70%?, 50%? 25%?

Any percent over 8% is a plus.

I rest my case.

For all the faults the US has (and there are many), Xenon has benefited from the 10 allowed to be experimented on.

I am proud to own one of them.

PS: I understand your point about the factory's concern about their product being modified. Any manufacture would have some concern. The more regimented the society and home government structure, the more concern. But the point made about Cessna and Pilatus aircraft being experimented on in the US too is a good one. They were moved (with or without their manufactures permission) from the certified (Part 23) to the experimental category. The difference is, the Xenon is already in the experimental category, no paperwork necessary .

I think if Raphael would relax, and embrace the difference the 10 experimental registered machines enjoy, all would benefit. Trying to stuff the round peg back in the square hole of the other 110 machines does not seam to be working.

Perhaps a change in thinking is in order?
 
Top