My Other Lifelong Dream, Gyrocopter.

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Frank Sanoica, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Still unrealized. The first, of course, was building a 1/8-scale live steam locomotive. The other, is this:




    This is about the simplest Auto-gyro build imaginable. Note it has a non-powered fixed-pitch rotor, which the pilot gives a few pushes by hand before moving forward. Forward motion is provided by a conventional engine-driven propeller. It appears to be very maneuverable. Quite some time ago, I did some studying about these contraptions, and learned they can "turn on you" for several reasons, creating hazardous conditions. Indeed!

    Frank
     
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  2. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    Building the locomotive is something you should start.
    Riding the contraption that sounds like a large mosquito should be avoided.
    :D
     
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  3. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    Frank already did build the small-scale locomotive ,@Bess Barber , and it was totally awesome ! ! There are pictures on this forum, probably in several places when the topic has come up.
    Look in “personal diaries” for Frank’s thread, “My Life-long Dream”, and the whole saga of building it is found there.

    http://www.seniorsonly.club/threads/my-life-long-dream.7260/
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bess Barber
    Ah, I had forgotten, you are fairly new around here. A very long story led up to my finally designing and building the locomotive, which I detailed here quite awhile ago. Suffice, for now, that I explain it took 2002 to 2009 to complete it, locomotive was 8 feet long, weighed around 1,000 lbs., the tender 5 feet long, about 400 lbs. A few pics, taken in Missouri Ozarks, where we resided that decade:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    At last! One thing that we both share is the fascination with gyrocopters! (or whatever folks wish to call them)

    I’m a rotary wing man all the way with the possible exception of the dislike of jumping from them. For that, I like a fixed wing.
    I had a buddy in N. Idaho who was a fellow Huey door gunner in Nam and we had plans to build one or two but sadly, it never came to fruition.
    I still do dream of building one and have even investigated the kits that are on the market but like the 1/4 ton Jeep I want, it’ll probably never make it out of the dream state that it’s in.

    The one thing about all the designs that I have perused is the lackluster attention that is made concerning a tail rotor. I think I would design one with at least something a little better to provide more stability to prevent screwing myself into the ground.
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole

    Finally, eh? Here's one I could easily become overwhelmingly interested in, especially building it myself:

    [​IMG]

    "The Wallis WA-116 Agile is a British autogyro developed in the early 1960s by former Royal Air Force Wing Commander Ken Wallis. The aircraft was produced in a number of variants, one of which, nicknamed Little Nellie, was flown in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice."

    See: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallis_WA-116_Agile
     
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  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I could easily fall in love with the Agile Frank.
    That said, I was thinking more on the lines of something that has a little more lift as opposed to the autorotation type of rotary wing.
    Joe (my Idaho friend) and I envisioned having a main rotor and a small tail rotor along with the prop all tied in via a type of small transmission. In essence, we planned on taking a kit and doing a little reconstructing.
    The math was pretty easy but having someone who could actually produce the working elements such as yourself would have been a real boon.
    Still, even if someone such as yourself was there, it was all about time and money for which, mine was wrapped up in a restaurant and Joe was, well, Joe was just Joe and he did whatever he did.

    I still occasionally look at the kits and whilst looking at them I sorta dream a little. Don’t get me wrong, I like to dream. It’s kinda like eating a piece of cake ........but without the fine finish of having the frosting.
     
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  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Bobby Cole While living outside Phoenix, we drove past miles of crops growing. Suddenly the weirdest chopper I'd ever seen, appeared flying parallel to our roadway, nearing the end of his crop rows, spraying the ground while flying no more than ten feet off the ground! I immediately pulled over at the end of the field, wanting to see how he bailed out above the cross road. It suddenly veered nearly straight upwards, then twisted over in a sort of half-upside down roll, coming back down to flight level right above the last crop rows! I thought choppers can't fly upside down!

    The sound was as weird as the craft. Twin rotors, two blades each, counter-rotating slow enough to see the blades! Slow-running gas turbine engine, the whine far less than those I've heard at 40,000 rpm. Rotor noise was "fluff-fluff'-fluff" like.

    A flying buff coworker told me it was likely a military surplus built in the '50s, bought for crop dusting. If you've never seen one of these babies, brace yourself!

    Kaman Helicopters, various models built.




     
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I’d first seen one in Long Bin and was told it was a Kaman “Husky” and really do not know what military applications they were being used for. It’s a freaky looking critter and was touted as being one of the most stable helicopters made. I did have some reservations about it’s safe handling though because in the land of blade strike and FOD (foreign object damage) like bullets and such, I don’t think it would take much to cause some serious damage. I could very well be wrong.

    Later on in about the year of 2002, I saw one from a distance being used in the lumbering business in N. Idaho. The were using it to haul large trees out of the forest which amazed me because for the size, I didn’t think it was a good candidate for heavy lifting but day by day, there it was doing the job. Great vid’s by the way @Frank Sanoica!

    Edit: I just looked it up and it seems that there were only a few made so actually seeing one or two in action kinda makes me feel like I was given a sort of privilege one might say.
     
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Years ago I saw a recreation of the 1st successful helicopter by Sikorsky. It’s simple in nature so I think with a smaller rotary wing span hence a smaller tail sporting the tail rotor, I think it might be a doable thing!
    Here’s a picture of the real one:

    upload_2019-7-6_15-52-36.jpeg
     
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  11. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Very Well-Known Member
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    @Bobby Cole This would be me if someone suggested I ride that thing......
    download (13).jpeg
     
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  12. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Is anyone but myself, Frank, and Faye familiar with the Cierva Autogyro?

    It was developed in 1923 by the Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva, and has an unpowered main rotor which develops lift from forward speed, as in the takeoff taxi. It therefore cannot hover.

    It came before the Sikorsky Helicopter.

    The Autogyro was even featured in a song from the 1920's.

    That's all....
    Hal
    Cierva_C.6,_Madrid_2.jpg
     
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  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    The OP may state that it is about autogyros but since the “spinoff” or helicopter comes from the Greek word Helix meaning “Rotory” of which both machines apply to their workings (rotary wing), I can easily state that the helicopter falls within the same parameters as the OP without going off topic.

    Note: All of my military “friends” died about 51 years ago. Since then, the vets that I find a kinship with I call a buddy. Let’s just stay at the level of buddies.
    Don’t know why it makes a difference, but it does.

    Note 2: I still want to build a gyro but since I live next to the arsenal, I’d probably get shot down. Another one bites the dust!
     
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  14. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    OK, OK, Bobby...you win!:(

    The Helicopter is not too far removed from my thread topic Autogyro, so I'll see your tail rotor and raise you 2 free-wheeling main rotors! :D

    Hal
    Cierva_C.6,_Madrid_2.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  15. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Anything with a rotary wing, I’m in!

    Even one of those caps with the spinner on top is cool!

    See, here’s one thing I really like about the gyros.
    Fixed wing aircraft kinda want to fly whereas a rotary winged aircraft is pretty much forced to fly.
    The gyros on the other hand are kind of a mix. With the autorotation aspect employed with the rotary wing it sort of says, “give me a little push” and I’ll fly.
     
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