Why don’t they make safer gyroplanes?

BEN S

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Cammie, may I suggest you get with a competant old school CFI and have them check you out in a small light single with no guages or pre rotator....or rotor brake for that matter.
You would be astonished at the amount of learning that takes place that you cohld then pass on to your sthdents.
Like Marv said "you dont know what you dont know!"(Hi Marv)
Jim V had me practice hand starting the rotors o a dead calm day until theg were ready for take off...its not only exhausting...the relatjonship between forward roll speed and the rotors slowing down was one of my bigger trainiing lightbulb moments.
True I bent two sets of rotors in my day, but that wasnt because I was in the dark about the mystery of my rotors....it was my aggressive flying/training/experimentation that got away from me.
For the first 2 years the only goodies my rig had was brakes and a seat belt. I learned a lot.
 

BEN S

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Rules to live by
"Low and slow is a quick way to get killed"
"You aint done flyin till the rotor stops turnin"
"Fly the rig, no matter the situation"
"If it dont feel right, remember your doing this for fun...."
 

BEN S

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Oh and one for Dave...
"Never fly so close to your buddy your rotor discs overlap!!!"
Hahahha
 

M._Springer

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I believe that teaching aids such as gyro models etc.

I believe that teaching aids such as gyro models etc.

are very useful in helping the student really see and understand what the instructor explains verbally. Toward that end, I made a small metal gyro model. It has moveable rudder and rudder pedals. The control stick is also moveable.

The blades are metal. To show why the spinning blades are referred to as the 'disk' I cut a circle of cardboard the same diameter as the metal blades and stitched a small sleeve onto the underside of the cardboard so one metal blade could be slipped into the sleeve. A sturdy paper clip holds the cardboard to the other metal blade, thus we have a disk that can be spun up by hand.

To show the danger of allowing the wind to get under the spinning rotor blades I would start the disk spinning and lean the stick to the side which of course leans the disk. Then I would turn on a small personal fan with the air flow directed toward the underside of the leaning disk. It was a real eye opener to the watching student when he saw how easily the gyro could be overturned by letting the wind get under the disk.

With the cardboard disk removed I could show exactly what blade flap looks like while explaining how it happens. With the model I could show PIO, Pilot Induced Oscillation, and Negative G. Both which are caused by the pilot over controlling on the control stick and both which will result in a fatality .

Correction here...Negative G is always fatal because that means the blades have lost all lift which is not recoverable. if pilot Induced Oscilliation is recognized fast enough and corrective measures taken then
an accident could be prevented.

My little model gyro flew many hours in ground school sessions. I considered it a valuable teaching aid. If anyone is interested in seeing a picture of the model I can get a pic and post it in this thread.
Marion
 

GyrOZprey

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I raided my son's lego box ...

I raided my son's lego box ...

to make a lego model gyro with the basic moving controls! Very early in my student gyro-pilot days!

Not as cool as Marion's life-like model ... but it was a GREAT learning aid for me to visualize how the rotor worked & help me conceptualize what was going on in different flight attitudes ..... during those early ground-school sessions!

I often use it as a pre-flight aid to describe the operation of a gyro - when I have newbies come along for their first flight with me.
 

WaspAir

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I can't help but think that this mutated thread carries just a hint of sentiments something like, "I learned to hand prop my open cockpit taildragger, and everybody would be better pilots if they learned without nosewheels, electric starters, or enclosures."

It is possible that design changes might make the traditional route for training unnecessary, and still permit safe operation. People trained in the C-152 seem to fly just fine, even though they didn't learn to fly as a Curtiss Jenny pilot would. Would forcing them to fly a Jenny broaden their pilots skills? Probably. Does a CFI need that experience to teach safe operation of a C-152. Surely not.

Maybe, just maybe, some of the powerful pre-rotation schemes appearing on recent designs are a small step in a similar direction. I am not asserting that we're even close to all the way there, but I'd like to think progress is possible. Unfortunately, the biggest inhibitor to designing away the need for most of the "rotor management" tasks is probably the technology stagnating definition imposed by the light sport rules, severely limiting innovation in rotor development. This is another regulatory example of "be careful what you wish for."

My perspective on this comes from flying a great deal in gyros for which "rotor management" is a non-issue. I can teach you to fly an 18A or a J-2 safely without ever balancing on the mains, without ever crow-hopping, without ever flying a gyro-glider, without ever patting-up your blades, and without ever even mentioning rotor "flap". Those skills are pretty much irrelevant. "Feel" for a low speed rotor isn't worth much if SOP never ever presents low rotor speeds. To borrow a phrase from an earlier post, all you need to do is "follow the POH" procedures.

All these designs are now half a century old. Will we get any progress this decade, or are we to be stuck with learning coping skills for the difficulties that light sport rotor systems inflict upon us?
 

rfsolutions

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A model is an extremely valuable training tool Marion! I spent a few days flying with a friend who has unfortunately been taught take off procedures by a CFI versed in the "new method". Trying to explain the why and how in a ground school situation without a model is difficult. I've reffred this person to a CFI that can teach him the proper methods of rotor management before he wrecks his machine and or hurts himself.
 

rfsolutions

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My perspective on this comes from flying a great deal in gyros for which "rotor management" is a non-issue. I can teach you to fly an 18A or a J-2 safely without ever balancing on the mains, without ever crow-hopping, without ever flying a gyro-glider, without ever patting-up your blades, and without ever even mentioning rotor "flap". Those skills are pretty much irrelevant. "Feel" for a low speed rotor isn't worth much if SOP never ever presents low rotor speeds.
Take off procedures in a Gyroplane with collective pitch and articulated rotor system is apples and oranges when compared to teetering rotor systems. If you have flown both you know the difference. Benson pilots wiped out the supply of rotor blades and tail booms for J2s from flapping blades. If you haven't flown both systems "you don't know what you don't know". My SCII has one of the most powerful pre rotators available to a teetering gyro rotor system and all my rotor management skills including balancing on the mains are still relevant.
“Modern gyros”, despite the fancy upholstery, Spaceman Spiff wheel spats and custom molded plastic knobs, are still hanging beneath a Bensen rotor from the 1960s with failed NACA helicopter rotor blades from the 1940s.

The physics of autorotation hasn’t changed since Cierva first figured it out in the 1920s.

The rotor startup process is the same whether the prerotator is engaged by a pneumatic cylinder, a bicycle brake handle or even by the “strong arm” method.

Bensen originated the rotor system almost universally used when he combined Arthur Young’s underslung seesaw rotor with Cierva’s offset gimbal rotorhead.
 
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WaspAir

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Take off procedures in a Gyroplane with collective pitch and articulated rotor system is apples and oranges when compared to teetering rotor systems.
And that is exactly my point. To push the analogy, are we stuck with flying oranges? Is there no hybrid fruit, now or to come? Can't we do better -- tangelos? nectarines?

This looks to me like a problem crying to be designed out, perhaps not as urgently as the infamous thrust line stability problem, but likewise not incurable.
Imagine how much simpler training and operating would be without such concerns, and how many accidents could be avoided. Is everybody really willing to pay that price simply to operate with SP privileges?
 
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rfsolutions

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This looks to me a like problem crying to be designed out, perhaps not as urgently as the infamous thrust line stability problem, but likewise not incurable.
Imagine how much simpler training and operating would be without such concerns, and how many accidents could be avoided. Is everybody really willing to pay that price simply to operate with SP privileges?
The problem with J2s, 18As and any other similar gyro is the complexity of the machine and the cost of maintenance. For what it costs to maintain a J2 you can maintain a helicopter. That's why the machines couldn't remain competitive and why most of them are finding their way to museums.

Learning how to fly and manage a teetering rotor system is not an issue if you get an instructor that can teach you. It's no more difficult than learning to fly a tail wheel airplane. I have hundreds of hours in a stability thrust issue RAF accident free, after receiving instruction from a competent CFI. This sounds more like hyperbole from someone that doesn't know what he doesn't know?
 

C. Beaty

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Training pilots to manipulate rotors by the numbers is like trying to train artists by the use of paint by the numbers coloring books.

A gyro pilot ought to have some idea of what makes a rotor turn just as an artist must understand perspective.
 

eddie

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one of the best things to design out of the gyro is balancing on the mains,just move the

mains back a few inch's and never have to worry about balancing on the mains again.

what Wasp Air said , lets improve the basic design,that will make it safer.



Best regards,
 

Resasi

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Kind comment Cammie, thank you.

I considered it a valuable teaching aid. If anyone is interested in seeing a picture of the model I can get a pic and post it in this thread.
Good one Marion, definitely cheaper/more practical than my suggestion.
 

WaspAir

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The problem with J2s, 18As and any other similar gyro is the complexity of the machine and the cost of maintenance. For what it costs to maintain a J2 you can maintain a helicopter. That's why the machines couldn't remain competitive and why most of them are finding their way to museums.
It doesn't have to be a complete J-2 to avoid the problem. There is a simple idea used in the J-2, namely a two position collective: "spin" and "fly" that could make a world of difference. I'm sure there are competent engineering minds who could manage to adopt/adapt that, or something far better that I haven't thought of, and that's also an important point... what ever happened to creativity, progress, and the desire to improve?

Learning how to fly and manage a teetering rotor system is not an issue if you get an instructor that can teach you. It's no more difficult than learning to fly a tail wheel airplane. I have hundreds of hours in a stability thrust issue RAF accident free, after receiving instruction from a competent CFI.
Then be justly proud. Good for you. But maybe not for everybody.

This sounds more like hyperbole from someone that doesn't know what he doesn't know?
When you offer baseless speculation about what I know or don't, you are revealing only your own ignorance. Watch where you tread.
 

BEN S

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Waspy, i can generally agree on pricipal with your argument. As an analogy, you need to know nothing about shooting black powder firearms to shoot a mondern weapon...
Unless of course you are refering to the concepts of trigger squeeze, sight alignment and breath holds and of course firearms safety...which anyone would consider the "fundementals"....
Perhaps the "fundamentals" of rotor mangement ARE just as relevant to a dreadnaught class euro clone as to a single light pusher?
Now if you came to me to learn how to shoot the latest sniper weapons with optical trackers and laser desinators wbich all but assure you of a hit at any distance....would I not still need to go over the "fundamentals"?
 

BEN S

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See whatI did there?
Grew up in a family of lawyers!
Ha:)
 

thomasant

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For many of us, the cost of the gyroplane and getting training is an issue. Sport pilot is an affordable way for many to fly. For some, there is still joy in tinkering and fabrication. That is where the freedom to do experimental aviation lies. Learning while building. We do it every Saturday at Anahuac.

Teetering rotors are cheap and simple to make. Understanding and learning the quirks of such systems is a trade off against the cost of owning machines with sophisticated and complex articulated rotor systems.

Driverless vehicles are now coming out on the roads. Drones are all over the skies. But the joy of feeling the air in my face and the feel of the "joy stick" in my hand that makes me enjoy the freedom of flight for the cost of four gallons of gas per hour of flight is "priceless".

If I can get all this, and the safety that comes with a spinning disc that does not stall, for the price of learning to manage the rotor system (which I believe is the heart of the machine) in all conditions, I believe it is well worth it.
 

birdy

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Imagine how much simpler training and operating would be without such concerns, and how many accidents could be avoided.
Did it years ago Wasp.
Wots causen the bent blades on tubs, besides pilot ignorance, is the stupid consept of a 300rrpm prespinner that cant be left engauged during the roll. Its just a shiney dead weight with whistles.
A 250rrpm capable spinner that is manualy engauged, and can stay that way till the machine is clear of anythn hard gives the pilot the most control over rrpm, TO distance and how mch torque is applied, with 0 risk of flappn amythn.
 

WaspAir

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I appreciate the openness that some of you are showing to looking at the issue differently, and I also am not surprised that some are perfectly happy with the current trade-off state of affairs. But just for clarity, consider that one doesn't have to go whole-hog fully articulated to get some form of collective control. The R-22s I used to fly were not multi-blade fully articulated systems, nor is my Bell 47, but they had collective control. I am NOT suggesting copying those designs, rather pointing out that there might be room for creativity that wouldn't require a huge leap in complexity to change the status quo. If one is going to be an experimenter, isn't that an opportunity for experimentation?

One effect of that could be to change what one considers the "fundamentals". Wheel landing and three point techniques are not fundamental to the C-152, even though a Jenny pilot would consider them so, and most of the currently discussed rotor management notions are not fundamental to the J-2 or 18A. What I'm talking about is removing such things from the list of fundamentals, so that pilots may safely operate without concern about them.
 
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