Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Friday, 26 August 2016

Friday Wind In The Wires

Anyone new to aviation is almost always going to be smitten by the gyrocopter. I know I was. In a strong wind these things are airborne in 10 or 20 yards. If you land into that same wind - they roll out at 10 or 20 yards. If care is taken during construction they can be trimmed out to fly virtually hands off.

Here's a bargoon over at Barnstormers...

The first time I saw one of these things was as a kid back in the late 70's. Ken Brock was the legendary rotorhead that made these things go mainstream in the US. If I remember correctly he flew the gyro in The Martian Chronicles. The gyro was a natural for the dystopic loons of Mad Max too.

The swashbuckling Gyro Captain

The mode of operation is simple - the drag induced by the main rotors carries the bird aloft. These machines are marketed as being immune to stalling, insensitivity to cross winds, superior VSTOL performance, yadda yadda yadda.  To the noob they are fascinating machines as are the eccentrics that like to fly them. They are often touted as a great way for noobs to get into the game and I couldn't disagree more. The machines are incredible, there's no doubt about it, and they can do some remarkable things that fixed wings cannot - but they are very, very high maintenance. You have to be all over the maintenance on these birds and watch your fasteners like a hawk. The hangar rats call it "the Devil's wrench". Excessive vibration can loosen any nut and bolt and it can induce metal fatigue. When these birds fail they tend to do it catastrophically and usually...somebody dies. Everything has to be torqued. Everything has to be balanced. Inspection is critical and you can literally die even when you've done everything right.

12 years ago I set out to build one and downloaded the plans off the Internet. The Gyro Bee is a common home built especially in the USA. I even got in contact with the only certified flying instructor in Alberta who agreed to help me out in checking the bird over, and learning to fly a gyro. About a week after I started my build he was killed in a mishap - testing another aviator's gyro.

These are rare birds up here in Canada and finding the expertise and support you will need to become
a good pilot - will be an up hill battle.

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