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Old 09-15-2009, 10:04 AM
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GeorgeBass GeorgeBass is offline
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Unhappy ROTORDYNE Blades

I've been trying to contact the current owner of RotorDyne, so that I can
replace the rotors on my gyro (got damaged in use on another machine).
So far, I've only been able to listen to their answering machine, leave my
messages, call again, leave another msg, call again, etc., etc., etc.

These were a fairly old set (7.5" cord, 23' overall, about 20 yrs old) that
worked well in the cold air of winter, but, limited my use to a seasonal gyro.
Most important things I need are: HAND STARTABLE, complete, undamaged
& boxed for shipping, RotorDyne 24' rotor blade. My positive experience with
this company's product, forces me to continue using these blades.

I believe that the newer, 7.75" cord, & a pair of 11' blades with a 2' hub bar
will be the best for me. This is the setup I wish to buy, SOON.!!! If there's
someone with such a set of rotors, that may be heading to El Mirage KBFF in
another week, I'd be happy to pick them up there. Just let me know.

Any info or assistance in finding this would be greatly appreciated. I can
be reached on our home phone (928-567-0553 please leave msg, I'll return
your call ASAP) or at my e-mail (george_bass_0@hotmail.com).

George Bass
TheAngelDriver
Camp Verde, AZ
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Last edited by GeorgeBass; 09-15-2009 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Incomplete information
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:44 AM
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Terry_Smith Terry_Smith is offline
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Unhappy Reason...

George,

Jerrie Barnett purchased RotorDyne a bit ago, but just passed away. So, I'm not sure of the status of the RotorDyne line. I had heard his step-son (?) was going to continue the business, but as of now, that's all I've heard.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2009, 11:16 AM
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MikeBoyette MikeBoyette is offline
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There are alternatives. I would suggest giving my dad (Ernie Boyette) a call at 813-634-3370. He has Dragon Wings in stock ready to ship.
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  #4  
Old 09-15-2009, 11:49 AM
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Kevin_Richey Kevin_Richey is offline
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Question

George:

Not Rotodyne blade-related, but:

Is that your Angel gyro?

Do you know Dennis Renner?

He sold kits and I believe plans also for his Angel-style gyro...He claimed it was ultralight-legal.

Flown her yet? If so, how many hours?
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:25 PM
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GeorgeBass GeorgeBass is offline
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Default Kevin Richey - Dennis Renner

Yes. This is the PROTO-TYPE machine that Dennis built about 20 years ago.
I purchased the gyro, the plans, and all rights to the product and/or any
part thereof (nearly five years ago, now). After going thru the gyro from
tip to tip (hadn't been flown in about 12-15 years) and getting some neat
instruction, I have flown the ANGEL UL GYRO. Dennis and I live quite close.

Due to some employment changes, family changes, and friend changes, I've
only been able to accrue about 15 hours on her, but, she flies GREAT. Or,
maybe I should have said DID fly great (altho not in the summer).

Another gyro nut, and my mentor, had wanted to try my blades on his gyro,
to see if they would spin up, BY HAND, as the SportCopter blades he had,
were not able to do so. He wanted to get rid of the extra weight, as well as
the damage, from the electric pre-rotator that was appearantly happening.
This person has well over 600 hours in his gyro.

I loaned them to him, but, they didn't develop enough lift for him to get out
of ground effect & he ended up plowing a new row, next to the runway.
Totalled his gyro & my blades, & hub bar. That's why I'm looking for another
set, but, I believe that I need 24's.

Dennis & I have conversed about it & believe that the 24 ft RotorDyne's
will do just fine, but, as mentioned, I've been unable to make contact
with the producer (see a previous post indicating that the death of the
owner (Jerrie Barnett, who may now be piloting at a much higher level)
may mean I will have to change my plans, AGAIN.

George
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Last edited by GeorgeBass; 09-16-2009 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:34 PM
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Mike Boyette;

I've not ruled out the possibility of having to go with your blades, but, as I
mentioned, one of the most important items is the HAND STARTABILITYof
any blades that I purchase. This is an ultralight, and I intend to keep it
that way.

I've tried a set of SportCopter blades, but, was unable to maintain ANY rotor
speed with which to develop lift. In fact, with another person spinning them
up, me in the pilot seat with the engine running..... the blades slowed beyond
anything other than FLAPPING, within 100 feet. Just not possible for me.
(Nor were they possible for the owner of them, who added an electric pre-
rotator to his SportCopter Lightning.)

If you have more options, I'd sure like to hear them. I've D/L'd several of the
spreadsheets that your dad and Chuck Beatty had compiled for gyro use. I
am trying to be careful in my choices, as they've suggested.

George
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:42 PM
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George,
Would you post some pictures of your gyro? I have not heard of this design and since you have all the rights maybe you could write some captions with the pictures to explain any unique design features. What does it weight and what engine? I know someone with Rotordyne blades, I will ask the length and if he wants to sell them.
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Last edited by Friendly; 09-15-2009 at 09:25 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:36 PM
C. Beaty C. Beaty is offline
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Once upon a time George, there was only one set of metal gyro blades in all of Florida.

They were Bensen serial #1, owned by a Dan Manning who also was the founder and first president of the Sunstate Rotor Club. Dan had persuaded Bensen to sell him the first set of prototype blades.

I wanted to fly those blades so bad I could hardly stand it but Dan refused to let anyone else try them.

So my partner, Bob Carbonell and I snuck out to the airport on a Wednesday and stole Danís blades. Iím not a crook; I was fully prepared to reimburse Dan for the cost if I had busted them.

Try as we might, we couldnít start those blades. Pat them up as fast as we could with a double team effort and it was flap, flap, flap.

Then in complete frustration with the blades barely ticking over, they started themselves. I had stopped, let go of the stick which dropped back to the rear stop, and facing into a gentle breeze they had come right up.

The lights came on.

With wood blades, give them a shove and haul buggy.

With metal blades, you have to force air through the rotor disc. Stick nearly on the rear stop and taxi slowly.

All metal blades can be hand started, some more easily than others.

Hughes 269 blades are the most difficult and Rotordynes are likely the easiest.

But it all comes down to technique. The air has to flow through the rotor disc. Edgewise flow counts for nothing.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:12 PM
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Mr. Beaty;

I will continue to take all that I hear of, and by you, as gospel, for I know
that you have an enormous amount of experience. Your recounting of the
blades in Fla. was similar to my own experience with my friend's SportCopter
blades. HOWEVER, we had about a 10-12 knot headwind and I was 'rolling'
as soon as he finished patting them up. Fruitless efforts.

On the other hand, the metal RotorDyne blades that I had, would spin up
with only ONE PUSH, wind or no wind, just start your taxiing & they would be
up to speed by the time you reached the end of the runway & flyable in 150-
250 feet. AWESOME BLADES. With no noticable stick shake, at least for
this "newbie". These are the reasons for the requested info, or assistance in
locating another set, altho a bit longer than my 23's.

(24's are what I'm searching for, preferably a pair of 11 ft blades, in the 7.75"
cord, with a 2 ft hub bar. My 'normal' field elevation is 3550 MSL, so a little
warmth & you can get pretty high, even before you start the engine.....
density altitude is often 6-7,000 ft, or so.)

Fellow by the name of Richard Ankrom(?) at the Phx Regional Airport, & his
staff, also tried those SportCopter blades, to no avail. The gyro's owner
had taken his training at that facility. The recommendation was that if he
wanted to fly it, a pre-rotator was needed on the machine.

Again, I'm honored that you've taken the time to add some input & experience
to this thread. If you believe that Mr. Boyette's blades could function as
well as the RotorDynes, I would be very happy to try a set. Thank you,
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"I may not be as good as I once was, but,
I'm just as good once as I ever was."

Last edited by GeorgeBass; 09-16-2009 at 07:43 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:34 PM
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Friendly;

Since I'm fairly new to this type of communicating, Iwill try to build a little
"folder" with some pix, & perhaps some text, as well. I also have a few
small videos, taken during our initial re-entry into the flight envelope.

As a starter: ANGEL was an Ultralight Gyro, by design. Since I needed to
replace several items in preparation of flight, I also, inadvertently, added a
little bit of weight (i.e.: new HEAVY tires, new cables, new brake levers &
new rudder pedals..... I'm not as tall as Mr. Renner is. Also, added shielding
for the ingnition system, so I could use a radio.) I do believe that I can be
in the U/L category again, with some weight management, but, since the
primary focus has been on flying & developing skills required, I was not too
worried about that at the moment. Fortunately, I have a very friendly
airport to fly from, & I hangar at a friend's home on another field.

A large portion of our (my) time was spent troubleshooting the engine, which
is a Rotax 503 Dual Carb, Single Electronic Ignition. I've never experienced
ANY problems with the DUCATI Ignition, only with the Rotax engine & Bing
carbs. After much effort, a call was made to Steve Beatty @ Airscrew
Performance, in Glendale, AZ. He diagnosed the problems, made suggestions
which were followed, & the engine runs near perfect at this time.

One of the most unique aspects of this design is the construction..... totally
chromoly tubing airframe, covered in aircraft fabric & painted. The weight
of the airframe only, prior to assembly of any other items, is FORTY POUNDS.
Pretty hard to beat that, I think.

I don't want to hog all the bandwidth here, so I'll drop out for the time being,
but, if any of your have any other specific questions, please don't hesitate to
drop me an email at: gtb@swiftaz.net I'd be happy to 'chat' about her. I
don't have a website, so have no pix on the net to direct you too, but, could
send some (or a video or 2) on a direct email to you.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:44 PM
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BEN S BEN S is offline
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Default I never had any trouble..

hand starting the blades on my sportcopter lightning. It did take a while to learn the technique, but once I got it down pat wind or no wind it was possible to do. the secret was not in the propping of the rotors so much as controlling the throttle not too much or too little. I finally settled on a forward pace no faster than I could walk casually and they would start right up.
Ben S

I now have a pre-rotator though not just because I got lazy, but for safety, I never felt super comfortable balancing on the seat with the engine running.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:02 PM
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One more point regarding ANGEL, before I call it a nite.......

I've had a couple e-mail contacts with Mr. Tervamaki regarding ANGEL's
design, as he, along with MANY other folks who've seen her, always ask
if I intend to add the large horizontal tail section, which is so common on
them these days. The reason i contacted him was that I had looked at
his downloadable gyro performance chart & the figures didn't seem to be
what we were experiencing, at the time. Also, if you look at the pic in
my posts, you'll see that ANGEL is not the "standard" gyro shape, & I
didn't know which way I should be leaning when selecting buttons.

I have to say that I've not experienced anything that would lead me to
believe that it is necessary, due to the covered fuselage, from tip-to-tip,
acting as that horizontal stabilizer. She does appear to be very stabile
in the air, as has been witnessed by several persons who've flown her, not
just myself.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:32 AM
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Doug Riley Doug Riley is offline
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George, the configuration of your gyro, with go-kart style low seating, is quite dangerous unless a large horizontal stabilizer is mounted in the prop slipstream and given the proper amount of negative incidence.

Actually, I thought that was why Dennis decided not to put his "Angel" into production. People were just starting to realize the role of this type of frame layout in fatal gyro crashes at that time.

A gyro can "feel" stable and still have a hidden, lethal instability when the CG is well below the prop thrustline, as is the case here. Jukka Tervamaki was one of the first designers to point this out, way back in the early 70's.

Rotordyne metal blades are very easy to hand-start. I have started the big 28-foot Dragon Wings on my old Dominator 2-place by hand, but the process was difficult unless there was a little breeze. My aircraft's prop turned in a direction that tended to impede prerotation, though, while a Rotax 2-stroke turns the other way. That would be more helpful in hand-prespinning.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:38 AM
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Mr. Riley;

Altho there could be some truth to your assumption regarding Dennis Renner's
choice to stop selling &/or flying the ANGEL, the primary reason stated by him
was the death of his very close friend, Richard Bentley, builder/designer of the
"Mongoose" gyro, seen in a couple of low-grade movies, I understand.

Having spoken to Mr. Bentley's son, the actual cause of the crash that killed
him, was a broken motor mount. This failure allowed the engine to cause
catastrophic damage to the entire airframe in mere seconds. Mr. Renner was
a witness to the event, & was never able to enjoy the sport again.

The comments above are from first-hand accounts by both Mr. Bentley's son
and Mr. Renner. I don't know if other reasons compounded Mr. Renner's
decision to no longer fly. Actually, Mr. Renner still has an old VW-powered
Bensen/Brock-type gyro in his workshop that he would like to sell. Very nice
looking machine, too. Sort of a bright metallic blue with red SkyWheels.

I feel that I was very fortunate to have had this opportunity to purchase the
ANGEL gyro and when the plans have been re-evaluated & updated, with all
the proper dimensions & instructions (the plans were not complete, since it
was only a prototype machine) I intend to make them available. Perhaps the
addition of a horizontal stabilizer would be a welcome change, too.

One has to remember that I live in Arizona...... we have a saying here that
might also apply to this subject: Arizona NEVER changes our clocks to Daylight
Savings Time, so, the rest of the world is wrong, right?

I try to accept reality, but, sometimes it isn't as easy as it looks. Another of
my favorite old sayings is: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It.

Thank you for your input, too.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:35 AM
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Doug Riley Doug Riley is offline
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George: Absolutely, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Low CG, high-thrustline (HTL) gyros are, however, very seriously broke.

The most efficient way to fix them is to raise the seating. The less efficient way is to use a powerful horizontal stabilizer, immersed in the prop wash and set up to create a down-load on the tail. This load must be calculated to oppose the tail-up moment created by the high prop thrustline at wide-open throttle and a low aircraft airspeed.

A gyro manufacturer owes it to his customers to do a VCG test determine the amount of tail load necessary, and add a H-stab that's "designed by the numbers" to achieve those results, with some extra to spare. The designer then can proceed to specific in-flight tests to verify the adequacy of the HS. Ordinary, recreational-style flying usually won't smoke out a pitch-stability problem until it's too late.

BTW, Rich Bentley incorporated large, immersed horizontal tail surfaces in his Mangoos. His crash was not related to what we're talking about here. From the descriptions I have read of the crash area and his flying style, it's most likely that he clipped the ground during some energetic low-level maneuvering.
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