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Back in "the old days"

 

A club in Sydney's Easterncreek/Badgery's creek area, had a Gyro-glider.

 

They would tow the pupil & instructor around the big paddock with a Ford, to acquaint learner with controlling the rotors.

 

I would have taken it further. But for an instructor having me on, saying $4000 an hour for training, I would have started flying there & then.

 

spacesailor

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Sound like me spacesailor. I was Schoies member 139. Never flew out of Schoies though, normally due to weather. I did my bit from Bankstown on weekdays with Mark always wears a hat and long skarf (forget his surname) after geriatric Airways had transferred aircraft to Bankstown for weekday op's. 

 

Still have occasional contact with Val Leslie who ran the club mag and was secretary to Ian Honnery who organised the air shows..

 

 

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Surprising amount of accidents in Gyros, you would think they were crashproof due to their design, idiot pilots aside.

 

The early ones (1950's Benson and Australian Bee) had no roll control, and many were towed, so you would climb up on a thermal and slide down the side to your death. It never occurred to the untrained pilot to apply rudder and glide down.

 

The rotor originally was wound up on the ground by agricultural means such as by hand, and in many cases may have been too slow for flight.

 

A recent thread on here indicated instructions were very complex for the pilot and particularly centred around having to monitor rotor speed, and what that had to be for specific tasks, and that would all be hard for a low hour pilot.

 

Then there was the low flying excitement.........

 

 

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The early ones (1950's Benson and Australian Bee) had no roll control...

 

In 1973 I saw my first Gyro; I believe it was a Benson. Very minimal, just three magnesium (?) SHS cross members, a seat and simple rotor head controlled by a down-stick. It was being assembled in our garage in Waverton, which we had sublet to this Navajo bloke who had been in the movies. His plan was to make a doco as he became the first to fly one across the Tasman. He reckoned he could refuel in flight from underneath. He got as far as testing it at Bankstown by tethering it in a strong breeze, but I lost contact after that.

 

 

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I have little knowledge on the subject, but it would seem to me that a tractor setup supplies the air flow required to excite the autgyro blades, even looks like a lot of fun ..

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Gyrocopters feature as the aircraft with highest fatality rate (per million hrs flown), for any flying machine.

 

I'm not sure why that would be - in theory, they should be as safe as any other recreational aircraft.

 

But I suspect that the "cowboy" style of aviator gravitates towards gyrocopters, and that many gyro pilots fail to get a good grasp on the principles (and limits) of gyrocopter operation.

 

I also suspect that many gyros are too lightly built, in areas that can be easily overstressed - such as the mast and rotor area.

 

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/5773880/ar-2017-104_final.pdf

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Some had design faults that made them unsafe. from a pitch? control point of view. In the early days fatigue failure of rotors etc was a common occurrence. Any rotating wing??? travelling in a horizontal plane has fluctuating air speed on the rotor blades causing them to bend in flight cycling each revolution. They are also subject to bending due gusts etc and landing inertia loads. All OK if designed appropriately and inspected as needed. A gyro should be impossible to have the rotor underspeed in the air. They seem to be able to fly in rough conditions that normal U/L's have difficulty with and use a bit more fuel for payload/km than other flying machines. . They've been around for a long time. Nev

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The ones with no roll control killed a lot of people, partly because they were sold on the basis that you could assemble them in a shed and anyone could fly them because you couldn’t crash them because if the engine failed the gyro just freewheeled down (this was 25 years before the 1974 Trade Practices Act). The idea was that if the gyro started to roll you turned into the roll with rudder and pushed the control out to stop descent, but for someone with zero hours this wasn’t easy to comprehend, and most reports indicated the gyro slid in sideways from about 50 feet.

As far as today’s gyros are concerned there are some excellent posts explaining how you need to fly the aircraft to keep rotor speed up. Can’t remember what the name of the thread was but it was in the last six months.

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Modern factory manufactured Gyros are safe and reliable in good hands and when maintained properly. There does seem to be a tendency for them to be abused by "Cowboys" who flaunt the rules and cause problems for those who try to do the right thing. We had the Gyro nationals at our aerodrome a few years ago. There was some pretty dodgy flying by some & a few hard landings in competition. They had a spot landing comp & it became pretty clear that many pilots do not practice power off landings. The complaints we have had regarding gyros is low flying over private property, accusations of perving etc & failure to adhere to circuit procedures.

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