What is the ultimate bush plane?

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Turd Ferguson

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Mar 13, 2008
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Seen that video already, but yes very cool, thanks for sharing.
If you ever have the chance, visit one of the PRA conventions. Lots, and lots of gyros doing really cool things.

Based on videos and other sources, a gyro can certainly be built that has STOL performance, and perhaps one can even be built that is capable of hovering in the right conditions but by that time all that is incorporated, the machine will probably have a very large price tag. I think a gyro would be a blast just for afternoon buzzing the local area which is why I'd plan on getting a gyro rating but not sure I'll ever be able to own one.
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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Memphis, TN
JTO Autogyros have much more stout prerotator gearboxes over the standard. Standard probably get the RPM to 50% of flight. It takes much more engineering and power to get 100% then the question becomes how close are you to a full helicopter? Dont get me wrong a full helicopter control system is more work in design, but once you have the lathe and milling machine running, to will not be that much more to make.
 

autoreply

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Rotterdam, Netherlands
Don't agree about the limited use of gyro's. I don't particularly like them, but I've seen them operate along side for years and you get 90% of the functionality of a chopper for 10% of the complexity and cost. Controlability, gusts etc, no big deal whatsoever.

Prerotation? Even a starter motor with a 1 hp power output works just fine for a high-inertia rotor.
 

Dan Thomas

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Sep 17, 2008
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The reasons I have read they are safer is that autogyros have a lot less that can go wrong with them in the air in comparison to a helicopter, are already in autorotation so if the engine shuts down, you go into a controlled landing, cannot stall, and are often better in high winds (not always as you pointed out).
The gyros often get into trouble when the disk gets unloaded. The pilot must be careful to avoid zero G or anything even close to it, or that rotor RPM decays real quick, the blades cone up, their drag goes way up, and it snowballs from there. I could see where a downdraft could cause some hazards.

As far as hovering in a high wind, that would only happen if the wind was up a slope. Most lighter aircraft can maintain altitude in that situation with the power off. A horizontal wind makes no lift for anyone unless they're flying a tethered aircraft of some sort.

When I was young I was fascinated with gyrocopters. Wanted one real bad. I recovered from that disease.

Dan
 

Battson

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Jan 30, 2012
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New Zealand
This gyrocopter conversation, in terms of an ultimate backcountry aircraft, sounds far fetched to me.

I see real problems around real world conditions in the backcountry:

Things like very rough T/O and landing surfaces, with variable slopes, obstacles, and corners need to be considered (it's not just about short take-off - STOL is easy when it's at your home airport with endless margin for error). Landing slowly means vulnerability to variable wind conditions in terms of being blown off target or losing control.

So many R22, R44, and R66 have killed people in the backcountry [and elsewhere] because of the problems with the teetering rotor-head and disc unloading in turbulence (inadvertent negative g-force). The BC means turbulence at any time, regularly severe, and often dealing with it is part of the SOP.

One of the main reasons people go backcountry with aircraft is as efficient transport - which usually means taking a fair load with you. The aircraft has to be ruggedly durable to deal with above conditions when carrying a decent load, as well as remaining high performance with that load on board.

I can't say whether gyros would do all of the above. But I have my doubts.
They seem to invariably be [relative to conventional BC aircraft]: underpowered, delicately built, of questionable design-suitability for the task, with limited "usefulness", and generally designed for things other than being a rugged workhorse.

If someone posts a photo of one on 30" tundra tires and HD landing gear, with room for 1000lbs useful, then I will retract my comment. :whistle:
 

Georden

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Sep 17, 2006
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Calgary, AB Canada
So many R22, R44, and R66 have killed people in the backcountry [and elsewhere] because of the problems with the teetering rotor-head and disc unloading in turbulence (inadvertent negative g-force). The BC means turbulence at any time, regularly severe, and often dealing with it is part of the SOP.
this isn't just a robinson issue, all teetering rotor heads suffer from this. I think saying "so many" is a bit of an exaggeration. When you count all the hours safely flown in bell helicopters I don't think unloading in turbulence is a common cause of accidents. How many hours are flown in 205s, 206s, and 212s daily in the mountains? Probably about as many as all fixed wings combined.
 

Battson

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this isn't just a robinson issue, all teetering rotor heads suffer from this. I think saying "so many" is a bit of an exaggeration. When you count all the hours safely flown in bell helicopters I don't think unloading in turbulence is a common cause of accidents. How many hours are flown in 205s, 206s, and 212s daily in the mountains? Probably about as many as all fixed wings combined.
Well, just here in NZ, in the last decade or thereabouts, I'd need both hands to count the number of deaths caused by crashes from the teetering head "mast bumping", or disc unloading in other words. Many have been around my home region. To me, that feels like "so many" so that's why I chose those words.

Yes they fly a lot of hours, but they would equally fly a lot with fully articulated rotor heads had they been designed that way. I think that is why you'll see the G2 claim market share from the Robby in next few decades.
 
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