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Old 07-18-2019, 06:22 PM   #1
jadnashua
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New Toy

I've been working towards a pilot's license for awhile...it seems to be much harder the older you get, and I'm no spring chicken! Anyway, last month, I got my sport pilot license for gyroplanes, and then ordered a new plane. The 30th of June, I flew to Milan, Italy and built my new plane with factory assistance. We started on that Tuesday, and finished it the next Tuesday, then I flew it on Wednesday. Now, I'm waiting for it to show up in New Hampshire...it's supposed to be stuffed in a container and moved by ship to my airport in Nashua, NH (KASH). Anyway, here's a few pictures...one of the inside showing the instrument panel (the protective film is still on the displays) and another from outside where we took it to test fly it. After we did some loops and landings to check and balance the rotor blades (they're balanced to 1g before mounting, then they fine tune them with a fancy accelerometer and special software), I flew it south about 50-miles to the panel importer's field where they had the second panel that had to be ordered, and installed and initialized that. The wiring was already there, so it was mostly plug and play. Anyway, I expect to be flying around New England by fall, and will then upgrade my license to the next level as well to private pilot.
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Old 07-18-2019, 07:43 PM   #2
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Very nice Jim. I’m sure since you helped build it, it’s first class work!

Love designing and building aircraft systems but never felt disciplined enough to actually fly one all by myself.

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Old 07-18-2019, 08:18 PM   #3
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Pretty slick, Jim. That'll be very visible from the ground.

What's the ceiling on it?

I've got a general idea of what everything does except one part. It looks like some kind of metal at the back of cockpit.

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Old 07-18-2019, 09:14 PM   #4
jadnashua
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The engine is rated for full power up to 15Kft...higher than I'd fly - don't plan to fly using oxygen, which is required up there. Someone a couple of years ago got one up over 28Kft, and that one has less power than mine (Rotax 914)!

The engine is the Rotax 915is. It's fuel injected, turbocharged with liquid cooled heads. So, it has three heat exchangers: coolant, oil, and air (intercooler for the turbo). There are actually two radiators in your circle - the larger, higher one is the coolant, the lower one behind and below it is the oil. The intercooler is below that bulge on the left rear top fuselage that ducts air to it.

Gyroplanes are weird animals...fly sort of like an airplane, but also somewhat like a helicopter. Except to help prerotate the rotor, there's NO power to the rotor in flight...it turns and produces lift because of the movement resulting from the thrust of the engine, or the air going through it as you descend sort of like a windmill...so, it's fully stable and safe when landing after an engine failure (which, you hope never occurs). Can't stall like a fixed wing, and is inherently stable in staying upright. Top speed on this one is 100Knots (about 115mph). It can fly as slow as 40 and maintain altitude (go slower, and you'll slowly start to descend), but is fully controllable down to 25mph, so it is very maneuverable. You need a runway to take off, but in an emergency, you can plant it without roll on landing, so you don't need much space. It's best at going low and slow...better to observe things. www.magnigyro.it
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:20 PM   #5
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Glad you got it successfully completed, Jim. Looks great. Bet I could buy me a new pickup for what you've got in that instrument panel!

I'm sure you're gonna have a whole gaggle of fun with it when it gets there.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:30 PM   #6
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The two EFIS list for less than $10K combined, not counting wiring, sensors, and installation. So, no new pickup! THe certified version of those only adds about $5K...built on the same production line, but come with more paperwork to prove they're certified.

This gyroplane is sold as a certified aircraft in most of the world, but in the US, you (for now) must build at least 51% and register it as experimental. If you were to buy it as a complete airplane in the US, you'd have to register it as exposition, and get advance permission to fly it anywhere...really limiting. It may be available by the end of the year as a certified aircraft in the US. Registered as experimental, you as the builder can do any work on it you feel comfortable with including making changes. On a certified aircraft, other than simple things like changing the oil, you need to pay a certified aircraft repairman to do most anything on the thing to remain legal...adding a significant cost to ownership.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:55 PM   #7
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Amazing. Glass cockpits usta cost nearly as much as a whole airplane.
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Old 07-18-2019, 11:54 PM   #8
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Very cool.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:02 AM   #9
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That is off-the-charts cool, Jim! Very, very interesting. I’m excited for you and hope to see some pics from time to time.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:32 AM   #10
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Yellow isn't my favorite color, but I don't hate it. I chose it for maximum visibility as the plane is small and often is flying slow...anything to make it more visible to others is useful. The Dynon displays allow you to hook up an external camera to them...I added one to look behind so I could tell if a big jet was crawling up my ass on a taxiway. Where most of them would be landing, it would be a towered airport, so they would help prevent someone coming up behind, but on any untowered airport, there are lots of planes that generally fly faster, often don't use their radio, so anything that helps seemed to be a useful addition. At least at the factory, I was the first one to install one. It's a pretty cheap addition, the camera is a car backup camera available on Amazon for less than $20. The USB dongle to adapt it to the display was about $180, so for less than $200, it adds, what I consider, a useful safety feature. It also lets you get a view from behind before you crank up the motor.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:43 AM   #11
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Yeah, that camera (and the paint job) sounds like a good idea, Jim. If flying at uncontrolled fields has deteriorated much like the rest of society, I expect the lack of proper manners and adherence to protocol has made it a good bit more challenging. And it was always somewhat tricky at the busier fields.

If you bring it back down to Taylor for more training, I'll want a ride, eh? Might be quicker to put it on AmTrak to Austin, though.

Is Amtrak still in operation?
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:21 AM   #12
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Yes, Amtrak is still running, and actually has a whistle stop in Taylor, TX. Costs way more than I'd like - about what a plane ticket would, and takes over a day to get there from my house. I looked into that prior to going there for training the first time.

There's a gyro CFI in NH that I may deal with. He's not a designated examiner, though, so for that test, I might need to go to TX, or one of the other places. I'll look into that once I'm ready for the exam. It shouldn't take all that long once I get my plane, since I'll have to fly it 40-hours for test. If I can't perfect my additional skills needed by then, I probably shouldn't have those privileges. I need at least a controlled airspace endorsement to fly out of my home airport. The additional skills include a dual cross-country at night, short field takeoff, and steep turns, all of which I've done in a fixed-wing, and don't see any issues with the gyro. All in all, I only need about 8-hours, and I'll be flying at least 40, so should be fairly proficient to take the test once I can fly the plane anywhere away from the designated test area (usually, about 25Nm from the home airport). That area hasn't been assigned, since we haven't done the registration yet.

Once all of that is done, I may just fly it places I'd like to go across the country. Need to get a good feel for operating expenses. I have a fairly decent idea, but reality may adjust those!
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:38 PM   #13
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Taylor, TX, is 60 miles north of me and is where my John Deere dealership is located. I wouldn't mind seeing you again, Jim. Don't need a ride, though.
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Old 07-20-2019, 03:05 PM   #14
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That was another question I had: how far can you go without having to stop for fuel? I know there's a lot of variables, but average distance.
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Old 07-20-2019, 04:16 PM   #15
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It has an 80-liter tank. Burn rate depends on lots of things, most of which is altitude (on planes, RPM is altitude, pitch is speed). The thing is generally safer to fly low versus a fixed-wing, since you don't need all that much open space to do an emergency landing and it can safely fly slower and lower...so, burn rate can vary from about 8l/hour to nearly 25. So, that would give you around 3-4 hours or so in typical terms. Ground speed could vary all over the place depending on the wind direction and velocity and your direction of travel. I saw over 100mph ground speed when flying it in Italy on that initial test flight. Regulations require you to have enough fuel to fly to your intended destination plus a minimum of 20-minutes (a fixed-wing requires more since their safe landing spots tend to be fewer)...so, in practical terms, that could be anywhere from a couple of hundred miles (or less if fighting a strong headwind) or over 400 or so. I'll have a more practical idea after I burn though a bunch during the required test period (40-hours on the engine).

This type of plane is safer than a fixed wing and helicopter given its inherent stability, inability to stall, high maneuverability, and slow landing speed with short roll-out. On a helicopter, if you have an engine failure, you've got often less than half a second to react, or there's no way to recover. On this...it just continues to fly and starts to gradually descend if the engine goes out. They've become much more popular in the last 10-years (invented in 1927) as more manufacturers have come out with more viable, modern designs. The kits of yesterday were an accident waiting to happen. These newer ones are quite a bit different.
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