Wagtail Aviation

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
Good day All. If allowed, I will make use of this opportunity to introduce a South African developed gyroplane. I am Braam Hechter and am part of Wagtail Aviation (See www.wagtail.co.za) We are a supplier of specialist Gyrocopters that have been developed for harsh, high altitude, remote based, commercial operations. This demands unprecedented reliability and hassle-free operations. The gyroplane was specifically designed for the commercial working environment and the system can be tailored to any individual client and adapted to satisfy their requirement. The basic specifications currently are, MAUW 920 kg with a 36 ft rotor. The rotor hang point can easily be manipulated to ensure optimal mass and balance and seat weights up to 140 kg / 303 Lbs can be accommodated with a useful fuel load of 135 Lt. The gyro can be supplied in different configurations including enclosed and heated cockpits. The power pack used is a Subaru EJ 25 with a Turbo with a gearbox and a 5 bladed propeller,, delivering 260 hp in the basic configuration. This equates to 400 kg or 880 Lbs thrust at 5300 rpm. The firm’s flagship offering, the Trojan, has been used commercially for surveillance, patrolling, emergency support and anti-poaching activities, amongst others. We are currently expanding into North Africa and am looking at establishing a footprint in the USA. We have made contact with the FAA but would appreciate feet on the ground on that side. Anybody interested in assisting us, please contact me at [email protected] or Mob: +2784 697 7703
 

Brian Jackson

Platinum Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2004
Messages
2,906
Location
Hamburg, New Jersey USA
Aircraft
GyroBee Variant - Under Construction
I like your design and hope you sell many. I wondered about the turf kick-up into the prop from those knobby tires until I read that the wheelbase is wide enough to prevent this. Looks like a lot of nice touches but hard to discern some of the detail from the photos. Curious what the Trojan uses for shock absorbers. Welcome to the forum by the way, Braam.
 

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
Good day All. Thanks for making the effort to visit our site. Johan von Ludwig, the designer, played around with many different variations. He stared with the Springkaan (Locust) She had a Toyota Silica Supra in-line 6 cylinder machine which has been upgraded to approx. 300 hp. This was a big tractor gyro. The Kriek (Cricket) was then assembled as a spin-off, she is a small taildragger with a Rotax powerplant and based on the Cubby (Piper Cub) airframe. We have a few Magnis, ELAS and also Sycamore gyros that we modified and improved. These were used as a basis for the Trojan Gyroplane. We were then contacted by the military and assisted with setting up a gyro with a payload of around 450 kg, hence the 2 seater tandem Trojan and three seater Trooper (Pilot with 2 pax, seated back2back.) We have also looked at various powerplants, Rotax, Toyota, Subaru, Pratt & Whitney PT 6, Walter 601. We have standardised on the Subaru EJ 25 T with 260 hp fitted to the Trojan frame with up to a 37 ft aluminum rotor. This plant will also power the Trooper. The Trooper Test platform was fitted with the EZ 36 flat six Subaru of 300 hp. The military project was stopped (funding) and the Trojan was converted for commercial work, this including anti-poaching, surveillance and patrolling work. We are in the process of dronizing the Trojan and the plan is to fly the autonomous version towards middle next year. The request being from the UN, the World Food Program and the International Red Cross for support. This configuration can then be used for first response in emergency relief where you don't want to place emergency crew yet. Supplies can be dispersed and you can have remote eyes on site.
We have trailers on which we can transport the gyro fully assembled and rigged and in using this, with anti-poaching operations we can move around and from stopping to being ready to taxi and fly takes us just over 15 minutes. In the anti-poaching environment, it assists being able to move around and with the local people not being able to guess your next move and where you will be operating from.
We are also busy looking at operations from Airboats (Swamp buggies) in Nigeria. In the South (Riverstate) they have people damaging the oil supply pipelines. The plan is to have the big airboat fitted with a landing platform. The gyro will then use the boat as a base and fly patrol and guide the boat to the problem area and land back on the airboat whilst crew are sent to repair the pipeline. The airboat will be the deployed base for the gyro and up to 2 weeks away operations with re-fueling and flight line support is planned from the airboat.
These are just a few things that we are busy with.
With the current exchange rate it can be worth your while to visit us and come and enjoy our operation and flying down south. We can assist with accommodation and there are many things to keep the rest of the family busy with.
Greetings
 

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
Brain, thanks for the question. When I started interacting with special forces their requirement was for a gyro that can take off across a plowed field. We had discussions and worked with the guys that worked on the Rooivalk Attack helicopter suspension. We started with a pneumatic system (This became complicated) but are currently using springs that allows travel. This is fitted on the top of the brace where it connects to the frame to the rotor. (I can understand it does not show on the photos. Behind the fuel tank and the fuselage...) This gives approx. 110 mm travel. We also using the bigger balloon tires at lower pressure to assist with shock damping. We are in the process for Part 24 approval and have done some tests to validate our designs. The undercarriage system is performing well.
 

Smack

Re-member?
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
544
Location
Georgetown
Aircraft
Kitfox IV / F1 Rocket / Magni M-16 / Beech 18
Total Flight Time
500+
Braam, do you have any pictures of the enclosed cockpit which you mentioned in post #1?
You mention a long chord; do you manufacturer your own rotor?
You mentioned contact with the FAA; are you wanting to type-certify this aircraft in the USA? Is it certified in RSA ?
I don't think that we have too much trouble with poachers or pipeline thieves, so my guess is the enclosed model, for sport flying, would be your target audience.
There used to be a kit breakdown with prices on your website, but I didn't find it today. Price in Rand?
I'll likely be in SA in the next year or two (Port Elizabeth, maybe Capetown), so will have to see about a journey to visit you.
Brian
 

Resasi

Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
7,356
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
Braam welcome to the forum. Interesting video, seems a good climb performance at altitude and pretty rugged in the rough field operations.

Wish you success with this gyro in the US.
 

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
We had Mr Mike Goodrich from http://vayavolo.com/rotorcraft-balancing/en/ visiting us today. He and Johan von Ludwig spent some time together and we are very impressed with the PB4 system as is used and promoted by Mike. This is the system that we will be starting to utilize going forward. This makes the balancing and tracking fairly straight forward and ensure that the vibration levels are low. This is a next level system. Definitely worthwhile investigating the utilization of this equipment in your gyro.
 

Eric S

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
85
Location
Kingsland, TX
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex & AAI (Sparrowhawk) RAF
We have trailers on which we can transport the gyro fully assembled and rigged and in using this, with anti-poaching operations we can move around and from stopping to being ready to taxi and fly takes us just over 15 minutes.
I would love to see a photo of your gyro on the trailer you use to transport fully assembled. I do the same with my single place gyro behind my motorhome and it takes me approx. 25 min. from park to preflight.

Eric
 

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
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Good day Eric. Thanks for the question and I trust the answer will assist a little. This is the trailer that we have designed, manufactured and are using. There is a winch on the trailer nose with a tray in which the nosewheel fits. The nose wheel is tied down on the tray. The tray runs in a slide. You load or onload the gyro using the ramp at the rear. The nosewheel is tied down in the tray and the winch is used. This either for loading or unloading. The complete rear folds down as a ramp. (The yellow rib) The rotor is tied down on stanchions fitted to the trailer keeping the blades in a horizontal position. The stanchions have a floating strap system not to damage the blade. The important part is to have the dual wheel system on the trailer and the big wheels that we are using on the gyro. This allows for shocks and bumps to be absorbed before going into the gyro. The gyro is only tied down using straps over the wheels. We are using this extensively for anti-poaching, surveillance and patrolling to move the gyro at night or in very bad weather. We have not had any problems and can be ready for take off in less then 15 minutes. This is in an operational role using the pilot and technician. (Here we would have taken off from the gravel road...)
 

JETLAG03

Newbie
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Virollet 17260 FRANCE
Total Flight Time
300+ flexwing (pendulaire) training for gyrocopter (autogire)
How long and how many times (roughly) have you been using this trailer system ? Thanks in advance for your reply. Phil
 

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
Good day Phil. Thanks for the question, we have 2 similar trailers and a few Trojan gyros that we move around at random, on a bi-weekly basis. We transport them between our home base in Sasolburg, South Africa up to the Kruger National Park approx 500 km North or down to Cape Town, approx 1200 km South. There are approx. 21 Parks resorting under SAN Parks at various locations and we support them as and when required. We also visit otherfacilities to assist with game oversight, anti-poaching etc . We have used the trailers for the last 4 years on a bi-weekly basis to move the capability around.

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JETLAG03

Newbie
Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
41
Location
Virollet 17260 FRANCE
Total Flight Time
300+ flexwing (pendulaire) training for gyrocopter (autogire)
Now that's what I call a comprehensive reply, historic proof that with proper care our beasts can be safely road transported, I am sure there are many others very pleased with your reply. Are the rotors metal or resin and do you think there should be any different care in the transport of one against the other.

Thanks again for taking the time to give a full reply.

Phil
 

Braam

Newbie
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Sasolburg South Africa
Thanks for the compliment Phil.
We started off using the Magni, ELA, and other gyros for these kind of operations. What we found over time, is that people don't normally look after machines, if it is not their own. The mentioned machines uses composite rotors. The challenge is, when they are nicked or damaged, the maintenance and repair, is time intensive. Being out in the bush and having an immediate requirement had an impact on the availability for operations. Johan von Ludwig designed our own rotor head and we have extruded aluminium rotors with our own cheek plates, hydraulic pre-rotator and flexible control cables that we currently use on the Trojan and we have upgraded the standard machines to operate with this system. The advantages are lower maintenance, the rotors can easily be repaired and polished on deployment and we have interchangeable rotor blades, from 28 ft (8,5 m) to 36 ft (10,8 m) that can be fitted depending on the operation. In my opinion, if an owner uses the trailer, he will pack and look nicely after his own gyro. (Composite rotors is safe) In our world, when the machine is lent out and people are in a hurry, the aluminium rotors is just more resistant and wear receptive.
 
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