Joe Waitman and Rotorway

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knotsofast

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Are any of you guys familiar with Joe Waitman and his work on/with Rotorway Scorpions? What little I know for sure is that he was a Rotorway dealer and was involved in building and selling composite rotor blades.

Why the interest? I've recently acquired a Scorpion that he had done some work on. If I can I would just like to know more about the man and his involvement with Rotorway. I had in the past heard his name associated with composite rotor blades but just recently learned of his being a Rotorway dealer.

I have Rotorway asymmetrical blades that I was told Joe built. Since they do have the rivet mod I can surmise they were built between 94 when the rivet mod was introduced and 2000 when the previous owner threw a sheet over the project and started flying gyro's. I was also told he built the rotor head that, as best I can tell, is not stock. I would really like to know more about this rotor head modification he did, if anyone knows anything about it.
 

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TFF

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That is an interesting project. I know nothing of the man but I would do a lot of comparison of a new Rrotorways and see how they are different and why, and see what is feasible. How close is it from flying?
 

D Hillberg

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the only change would be the steel straps that held the Whitman blades, It has the later 133 swash plate with the added pitch arm. the rest looks stock give it a good inspection and run it up.
 

knotsofast

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Thanks for the input guys. The ship was originally a 78 Scorpion 133 so obsolete would be an accurate description. The guy I got it from purchased it around 86. Unclear when but he also got his hands on a partial 145 Exec kit that was being purchased in installments. At some point in time started to "upgrade" the Scorpion with the 145 engine, rotorhead, and blades. Today it's all still obsolete, all except the blades that is. Lucky for me, after the rivet mod was completed, they are exactly the same as the blades that Rotorway currently sells with their kit.

When will it be flying? Your guess is as good as mine. One little voice says clean it up, inspect it, and get it running. Another one says strip it down, inspect with a fine tooth comb, and start over. Yet another says to do both. I think I'm leaning toward the voice that says to do both so it could be a while.

Hillberg, please take a closer look at the rotorhead. The long rods are not pitch links, they are cyclic control links and connect the swashplate to the head. The pitch is controlled by the cable. Even the 145 prints I have only show one cyclic control link. I have not yet seen another cable head setup with the two control links. Mind you, I've only been studying these for 8 years and I simply may have not run across one yet.
 

D Hillberg

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those two smaller rods are to the walking beam for collective pitch, the two pitch links on the swash plate are late 133 the early 133 only had one pitch link and a balance weight. I ran across 3 with the dual p/c links and collective cable out in Corona in the mid 80s. even an exec 90 with the same controls that was later changed to the newer collective/cyclic mixed controls, it was turbine exec serial #5
 

stuart fields

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I've essentially zero experience with that Rotorway design, but I did hear Homer Bell who has a bunch of Rotorway experience tell a guy not to try to fly the cable type rotor head unless he was a pretty competent helo pilot. I had met Joe a number of years ago but if I remember correctly Joe did not build the blades but worked in conjunction with Mc Cutcheon who was building gyro blades to develop the blades that Joe was selling. There were some issues regarding the location of the blade c.g with respect to the center of lift. In a symmetric airfoil, the center of lift doesn't move with changing angle of attack. If it is forward of the c.g you can get a positive pitch moment which can lead to problems. The Safari helicopter design included a strong spring on the collective to manage collective forces. Guess what you had if you were changing radio frequencies or waving to friends when the spring broke?
stuart fields
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TFF

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Enstroms have a spring. Adjusted the wrong way the collective is either heavy or light.
 

knotsofast

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Thanks Hillberg. He told me it was a factory deal but when the Exec prints that came with it showed otherwise I was scratching my head. Good to know there are, or at least were, others out there.

Stuart, just to clarify, I don't have Waitman blades, I have Rotorway blades that were assembled by Joe. Kinda like Rotorway blades that are assembled by Homer. But I did know there was some kind of a connection between Waitman and McCutchen.
 
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