WHOs THIS

Mayfield

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It's an Eich JE-2. I think his name was Lawrence. I don't remember his first name.
 

giro5

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Was that El Mirage dry lake? I don't remember the large mountains in the video nor all the "development".
 

Tyger

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I take it that was nearly thirty years ago?
It was registered to Lon L Lawrence, of Albuquerque.
 
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giro5

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Tyger I looked up the registration and it indicates this plane and another one have been de-registered due to being destroyed.
But what I was really curious about is the name or location of the dry lake where the video was taken.
 

Tyger

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I can't tell you where the video was taken, but hillberg wanted to know his name, and Mayfield could only remember his last name.
We can see that it was pretty well wrecked... by hitting a bump on the ground?
 
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giro5

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In 2009 I was at the Ken Brock fly in at El Mirage. After flying for the weekend one person took a high speed run around the lake on a BMW he hit something similar on the lake bed. It killed him.
 

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giro5

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Don't know Tyger. I heard he was going really fast. dry lakes or any place you intending to go fast in a vehicle on fly on or off of needs to be checked out. In the video above it seems this gyro gets quite a bit of speed before flying.

anyone that has an N number just has to query faa N number to get their info on the number. I looked up N982LL and N47143 which are two of these gyros. When you put the number in the search block do not include the N.
 

BEN S

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He was doing 105 mph.
 

Kevin_Richey

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That is El Mirage dry lake bed. The two hills shown @ 2:29 & 5:44 are very near the lake bed, fairly close to the Springer's home, off to the NW of "Gyro Cove". I watched Ben S. "hover" in the lee side near the top of the larger one back in 2010 for several minutes in his Sport Copter as I was flying nearby him in mine. The winds were approximately 20-25 mph @ that moment.

The mountains off to the SW off the lake bed are the same scenery of the landscape as now, also. The "development" near the lake bed is amplified through the use of telephoto lens, making objects appear to be much closer than they really are, such as that large hangar. The bldgs. are about where the "Chicken Ranch" airstrip is (not to be confused w/ the Brock airstrip is a bit to the north of the CR). The CR appears to be where we see two of these Eich machines were parked. That white one appears to have had a Subaru EA-81 for it's powerplant.

Also, the fellow flying that gyroplane appears to horse his gyro off the ground in most of the take-offs, then leveling the machine by lowering the nose. The one exception was the sequence where he kept it nose-high & descended to land again in a short-hop.

The attempt to take off prior to when his main wheels departed their attachments looked to be where he saw the upcoming hillocks that dot the lake bed in some places. We can hear him throttle back down, but he either didn't apply sufficient back stick to use the awesome braking effect the rotorblades have, or he didn't have sufficient rearward travel in his controls to do so.

It appeared from the video's last seconds of action that the left main tire/wheel came off from hitting one of those hillocks. At rest on it's side, we see the two drag marks created from the landing gear mounts w/out any wheel/tire assembly.

My guess is that the pilot knew he had lost the left main wheel & he tilted the rotorblade disc to the right in order to place the machine's weight on the right wheel. But, then it also lost it's roundy thing, where it dragged the furrow in the hard-pan first, then the left one as the machine tipped over to the left, creating the furrow made by the left side not having it's roundy thing.

Ben S. has more to the story of the 2009 motorcycle fatality of Mike S.
I wasn't there, but heard the details from him. He might be willing to share it, since it's been over ten years. But, alcohol consumption to the excess, a borrowed motorcycle, & the big lie that he hadn't been drinking, coupled w/ Mike S.'s intimate knowledge of the lake bed's hillocks locations are all ingredients in the sad tale.
 

giro5

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Thanks for the info Kevin. I had left the area a couple of hours before Mike's accident. When I got home Vance's friend "Squirl Ed"
if I remember right took and posted some pictures of the fly in. That is where I got the above pic of Mike and his gyro from. A couple of more pics I copied are as follows. Marion Springer arriving and Dennis Fetters Air Command. I got to talk with Marion for a while. These pictures and meeting Marion were the highlights for me.
 

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okikuma

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Yes, those are Eich JE-2 tractor gyroplanes. In fact, the cream with red stripe N47143 is Jim Eich's prototype JE-2. I believe his was powered by a Continental C-90. The location was at Klenzel's Ranch, now owned by Moe Rascon. BTW, yesterday was Moe's birthday. Happy Birthday Moe.

As I understand, Jim found out there was a yaw control problem with his JE-2 because of the short coupled empannage design. One can see how short the aft section of the fuselage is compared to the Little Wing Autogyro of today. Because of the short coupled empannage it was possible to go into a "P" factor flat spin during full power climb out that was not recoverable once the rotation started. A total of three JE-2s crashed because of this problem, including Jim's N47143.

The white JE-2 was powered by a Subaru EA-81. I suspect the Subaru EA-81 was not producing anything near 90 hp, and with a smaller diameter prop, not as much thrust as the C-90 would produce in Jim prototype, and thus underpowered.

Jim was a good friend of Arliss Riggs, and was inspired to create his JE-2 after the success of Arliss' own various simple tractor autogyro designs. Jim's JE-2 would have been more successful if he copied Arliss tractor autogyro fuselage dimensions and layout.

Chuck Beaty told that Airliss Riggs built his fuselages out of thin plywood veneer with a layer of fiberglass cloth and polyester resin on both sides of the plywood. Arliss carved his rotor blades from fir planks using a NACA 23012 airfoil. He then embedded rebar in the nose of the blade for chordwise balance and coverd the blade in fiberglass.

Wayne
 

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C. Beaty

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I flew Jim’s JE-2 the length of the runway during the PRA flyin at Rialto (1975?) but didn’t go around because I was uncomfortable with yaw stability.
 

okikuma

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Extending the rear portion of the fuselage behind the rear cockpit another 24" - 36" while increasing the horizontal and vertical stabilizers surface area would greatly increase directional stability.

I wish there are more photos of Arliss' N3348G than the only one I found on the internet.

Looking back at Jim's N47143, I see he was flying on narrow cord rotor blades, Not knowing the gross weight of the JE-2, I suspect the "blade" loading definitely exceeded 35 lb/sq ft.

I do have a question. Why the wider cord airfoil (cover I assume) over the blade at the blade root? An attempt to reduce turbulent flow (and drag) over the blade mounting bolts?

Wayne
 

C. Beaty

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There wasn't much in wide chord blades available during the time when Jim Eich was active.
The wide chord airfoil sections covered a long hub bar and Jim claimed that it improved performance.
 

Kevin_Richey

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Chuck or Wayne: WRT the gyro entering flat spins that couldn't be exited b/4 splatting the ground...Do either of you know why JE had so much room between the passenger's cockpit area & the engine out front? From these photos, it appears he had about the same amount of fuselage in front of the CG as aft...
Possibly to balance the weight between the pilot & the engine...?
Is that where he situated the fuel tank?
Wouldn't shortening the front do the same as lengthening the aft portion, & relocating the rotorhead more to the rear?
 

C. Beaty

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In order for the fuselage to fly level, the rotor must be positioned slightly aft of the CG so that under average flight conditions while operating at its normal angle of attack, the rotor’s line of thrust passes through the CG. Thus the location of the CG determines the location of the rotor.
That is when the rotor doesn’t have to compensate for a misaligned propeller thrust line.
 
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