vanscraft

jany77

Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
542
Location
central california
Aircraft
cessna 150,172,182,trikes,ul
Total Flight Time
over 300
hi anyone here has personal experience with early vanscraft gyroplane ,id like to hear from someone before I call the sportcopter for info,this is the early version with 503 rotax thank you
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
8,551
Location
West Valley City, Utah, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex 582
Total Flight Time
FW: 200 Gyro: 51
Jan, Sport Copter does not support the old Vancraft products, but there are a couple of people here on the forum who have flown them. Be patient, and they'll show up.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
2,225
Location
Oregon, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter gyroplane
Total Flight Time
300+ gyroplane, 11 airplane, 1.5 PPC, AND... a ZILLION hours of flying in my dreams!
I have 75 hours of flying one...

I have 75 hours of flying one...

...Is this the model of gyro you are referring to that you are getting the spin in a vertical descent in another thread?

If so, I can't offer anything further than what others have posted as suggestions, since I think all comments made to try to help your problem are really good ones.

Regarding the Vancraft (no "s" in the name): I found it easy to fly, once we (a group co-owned it) found that the nose needed to be kept down to build airspeed upon liftoff. It wallows at too slow of airspeed, nose-high. Might be the "shadow" of air from the canopy blocking sufficient airflow over the tail surfaces. Granted, my experiences were with a Rotax 503, single carb, so we didn't have any excess horsepower to utilize.

More likely, it was us beginners lifting off too nose high because balancing on the mains on the Vancraft is more difficult than the usual Bensen-Brock-Air Commands machines. More difficult because the axle is placed further aft on the keel. Chuck and Jim Vanek designed it that way on purpose. I believe it was mainly for looks...the gyro sits on all three wheels at rest on the ground. To balance on those mains requires more airspeed and more nose high attitude.

While balancing, if a puff of head wind comes along, slowing you, then the nose wheel was going to drop all the way down onto the ground. No amount of back stick can stop that from happening, like you can do by playing with the stick in gyros mentioned above.

In an Air Command gyro, while balancing on the mains, I could lower the nose and just prior to the nose wheel touching the ground, pull back on the stick and it would come back up. Down, and back up. Over and over. I liked it!
Too much back stick would slow the machine to a stop. Adding a touch of power would let me continue the balancing procedure w/out the nose wheel touching the ground after coming to the stop.

In the air, the Vancraft was docile and a pleasure to fly. No pressure on the stick, just like the Sport Copter models. No trim springs. That gyro had the standard fairing/enclosure on it. Updrafts did cause the nose to go up (which I dislike), instead of down, which is what Chuck Beaty has reiterated about many times here on the forum.

Lowering the nose, adding full throttle, and watching the front edge of the rotor disc become lower and lower on the horizon in front of me, the airspeed would build until 90 mph. I chickened out at that point, as the machine began to shake more as the speed built past 75 mph, as well as the thought screaming in my mind of the eventuality of the airflow coming in from above the rotor disc instead of from below.
 
Last edited:

PW_Plack

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2003
Messages
8,551
Location
West Valley City, Utah, USA
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex 582
Total Flight Time
FW: 200 Gyro: 51
...balancing on the mains on the Vancraft is more difficult than the usual Bensen-Brock-Air Commands machines. More difficult because the axle is placed further aft on the keel. Chuck and Jim Vanek designed it that way on purpose. I believe it was mainly for looks...
There used to be an explanation on the Sport Copter website that said the rearward shifting of the mains was a measure used by Chuck in his design to discourage PIO.
 

Jpipe

Newbie
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
109
Location
Jesup,GA
Aircraft
Vancraft Lightning
Total Flight Time
1000
Yes, I have a Van Craft Lightning.
I am still a newbee and need to have more training before I take to the air.
Sportcopter said blankly that they do not support this model any more.
If you have any specific question, I will try to help.

John
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,370
A friend of mine, a FW pilot, had a Rotor Lightning. He made a few cross-country trips in it, but got annoyed because the main wheels had a habit of falling off in flight. It was hard to find and retrieve them in the Vermont woods.

The Rotor Lightning was an attempt to create a Part 103 gyro with a partial fairing. I don't know if it actually made Part 103 weight, but the construction was, in fact, relatively lightweight. For example, the main axle was braced with simple cables instead of solid diagonal links.

My friend eventually sold the gyro and his other aviation toys to finance the building of a Glasair or some such 'glass speedster.
 

Master Roda

The Jedi
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
3,227
Location
Scappoose.OR USA
A friend of mine, a FW pilot, had a Rotor Lightning. He made a few cross-country trips in it, but got annoyed because the main wheels had a habit of falling off in flight. It was hard to find and retrieve them in the Vermont woods.
How did the mains keep falling off Doug? After the first time you'd make dam sure it didn't happen again....wouldn't you?
 

Steve_UK

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2010
Messages
3,664
Location
UK
Aircraft
I'm not a pilot but have been lucky enough to fly in Mi-24 Hind, Mi-2, Mi-17, Lynx HAS3, Gliders, GA
Hi Jon,


Your signature links through to the Sport Copter website - the "News" pages are dated 2011, is there any more recent "News" from SC that could be published on the website ? Thanks



Steve
 

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
6,370
Jon:

Yeah, you'd think so, wouldn't you?

This was a long time ago -- late 80's. Air Command had been quite a marketing success with its more-or-less part 103 gyro, and others were scrambling to catch up. Some people copied. A.C. used tractor hitch pins, instead of through bolts, to hold its main wheels on. IIR, this particular Lightning used some similar system.

Anyway, Bruce lost a main wheel more than once. I think some of the hitch-pin Air Commands did, too. Some people took to safety-wiring the pins, but nuts are more wholesome (despite slight weight and cost penalties).
 

Master Roda

The Jedi
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
3,227
Location
Scappoose.OR USA
Doug,
Everyone must have had that problem back then! Jim told me a story when one of his mains fell off...needless to say it makes for a hairy landing!!

Steve,
Big things will happen very shortly and I will update the website when I'm told to.We are busy filling a huge backlog of orders. We never seem to catch up, but I see a bright future for Sport Copter (I'm not at liberty to discuss more).

Jon
 

Steve_UK

Active Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2010
Messages
3,664
Location
UK
Aircraft
I'm not a pilot but have been lucky enough to fly in Mi-24 Hind, Mi-2, Mi-17, Lynx HAS3, Gliders, GA
Hi Jon,

I keep a good eye on the FAA register and newly registered gyros - I often list them here on this forum on a long running thread "Recent New Gyros" - I have to say I don't often see a Sport Copter gyro among the new registrations - N110VV being the last I recall.

Can you give us a rough idea who many new build gyros have been delivered in the past 12 months ?


Thanks


Steve
 
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