The Possibillity of future Gyrocopters...

Discussion in 'Modern' started by MichaelHenley, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. MichaelHenley

    MichaelHenley Member

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    This may be a bit late, but yesterday I borrowed out a June '04 copy of Popular Mechanics. On the cover was this huge monstrous gyroplane which was being toted as a super-heavylifter. There's the pic below, but the picture on the front cover shows one hauling a petrol station! It also says that they will travel at Mach speeds.

    The article says that heavy-lift gyroplanes will be taking to the sky in the next decade. I think this is very unlikely. I talked the whole idea over with dad, and he said that they will probabbly guzzle fuel like nothing before them.

    I was just wondering peoples opinions on this- wether any of this will get anywhere soon, etc. comments?

    P.S. Talk about ugly! Even the shape of the design makes me doubt their supersonic capability!

    all images from popularmechanics.com
     

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  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    This has been a pipe dream for a number of years - too complex and too expensive to operate. Ever see the rotor head of a really big helicopter? An engineering marvel but a maintenance nightmare...
     
  3. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    Actually a rotor head for a gyroplane is a simple device compared with that for a helicopter - it doesn't need the complex control system as it's basically used just for lift.

    This company specialises in their modern development - some interesting ideas: Groen Brothers Aviation

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
     
  4. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    the Fairy Rotodyne was a great looking aircraft, and i believe the biggest gyrocopter yet to fly?
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I know little of rotor head design (unlike FBJ) but I would have thought to have a pay load of 2,000,000 lbs hanging from a Jesus bolt would need some super sonic materials, on the other hand maybe the set up is different these days, perhaps FBJ you can enlighten me .
    Do they still use a single shaft upon which it all hangs Joe?
     
  6. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    I think so, yes, and it appears to have been a technical success.

    The problems which caused it to fail were related to the fact that it was intended primarily as a passenger transport, not a military one. The usual reason given is that the rotor tip ramjets created a huge amount of noise, which was considered unacceptable for people living near airports. I think that there was potentially a bigger problem, though: to have an advantage over conventional passenger planes, it would have had to operate city-centre to city-centre, not use the conventional out-of-town airports. But this would have meant acquiring land for an inner-city airport at each city, constructing the airport and all the transport infrastructure required to get to and from it etc - a huge built-in cost.

    It's a pity that the British didn't see a need for such a big tactical military transport at the time, as it would have been ideal. It is technically much simpler than a helicopter (let alone a tilt-rotor like the V-22, which is an order of magnitude more complex) and has the safety benefit of two entirely different systems to keep it up in the air - the rotor, and the props+stub wing.

    A couple of years ago the Groen Brothers were proposing a simple 'gyrodyne kit' consisting of a big rotor to attach to a Hercules transport!

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Depending on the design the rotor and if it's going to be articulating, swash plates, linkages and other parts still require a lot of inspection, GREASE and inspection. Even though it's just "spinning," there's still a lot of stuff going on there and that's what makes it complicated.

    On the helicopters I worked on basically, yes. The head is usually splined, here's a few examples...

    [​IMG]Chinook

    Here's the Rotordyne head compliments of highway gold
    [​IMG]

    The head is very a big piece of machined steel and although robust requires a lot of inspection and maintenance. A portion of the A Star's mast is actually composite...


    Even without the drive mechanism they are pretty complex assemblies and even if a large gyrocopter with just a "spinning" head, there will still be a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

    And we haven't even spoken about the blades or tracking!
     

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  8. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    Being that a gyrodyne head has to do far less complex things than a helo head, the maintenance is likely to be significantly less - that's the comparison to be made, after all. And when you consider a CH-47 with two heads...

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Not necessarily - there are components of the head (where the blades attach, AKA grips) that required continual maintenance and inspection - that's my point. Again, if there is any plans to have the head articulate (pitch change), it will be just as complex as any other large helicopter rotor head (and it doesn't matter if you're talking a single head), especially if 3 or more blades are used. I've worked on helicopters for a number of years and Could tell you, helicopter or gyrodyne, if it has a rotor head, be ready to work!!

    This is all an assumption, until the thing is built we are speculating on how complicated the thing is going to be, but based on what's out there (and what I seen) and current technology, the bigger the rotor head, the more "knuckle-busting."

    BTW the aircraft shown in your drawing show multi-blade counter rotating masts - although an artist conception, do you realize how complicated that set up is on it's own!!!!
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Exactly FBJ.

    Even swashplates require lots I repeat lots of Grease. We have to lube ours up every 350 flight hours and the inspections on them are almost daily. I remember climbing up on my Blackhawk to go flying and I saw metal shavings in the grease coming out of the swashplate. I flew another aircraft and one of my buddies took the swashplate apart and it was basically eating itself alive.

    Rotor heads are complex no matter what. By the way that is a nice drawing breaking down a Chinook Rotor head up there.

    Anyhow besides the swashplate you normally have the PC rods and dampeners, etc.

    Even if on a geyroplane if the the rotor is used for lift, it still requires just about the same componants of the helicopter rotor head to produce the lift. There has to some kind of pc rod (pitch control rod) because the blades at flat pitch are not producing eneogh lift to make a difference. You have to manipulate the angle of the blade to produce lift.

    Therefore in all acutallity the blades of the gyroplane are really no different from a helicopter.

    And you most certainly have to balance the blades otherwise the vibrations would be unbearable as well.
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Based on my experience with rotory wing aircraft and working on them you have to manipulate the pitch of the blade to produce lift. The blades can not just be positioned in one position.

    Therefore you need Pitch Control Rods, Control linkages, servos etc... more complicated than it seems.
     
  12. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I was waiting for you to chime in there - thanks!
     
  13. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I just took a look at that site, very interesting...

    Their current Hawk 4 has a rotor head very similar to a Bell 206. There's still a lot of things going on there.....
     

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  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Actually looks pretty damn close to a 206 Jet Ranger. You have the Pitch Control Rods on either side, the spindles ataching to the mast (atleast we call them spindles on the blackhawk and they are a little more complicated that those it looks like), the balance weights above those and the pins holding the blades to the spindles. It even looks like it has a miniture version of dampeners on the sides to prevent too much lead and lag.

    I might work and fly on helicopters FBJ but you have me beat far more in experience. I have to work on them quite a while longer before I reach your level. Hell you learn something every day though in this job. My theory is when you stop learning it is time to find a new job.
     
  15. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Damn guys, you taught me more about helos in this thread than I ever thought about with the rotor head and main shaft. I always looked at helos with that one shaft and thought to myself "Single point of failure". After seeing the drawings of the heads, I realize just how complex they are. Amazing!
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hey thanks guys! Adler - I may have a few more years experience on you but the environment you have operated in dwarfs my routine in working on helicopters. Dude, you do your job under high pressure and hash environments, accomplishing a mission for the country while trying to keep your own @ss alive, sh*t, one of your normal days probably equalled 3 weeks of my worse. No dude, you've reached and exceeded my level in more ways than one and when you reach the civilian world I know you're gonna make a [email protected] mechanic (not that you're not now!)!! :salute:
     
  17. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I agree with Eric, that was bloody brilliant FBJ/Adler really really interesting info I think we have all missed a golden opportunity up until now to learn from the guys on here who have a wealth of experience working (not just on aircraft) but in many fields.
    I just wondered if we should create a single list of peoples jobs then any info you need be it how to wire up a plug too the best way to strip an M16 or as we have just learned the complexities of rotor heads we would know where to get the answers. Its just a thought.
     
  18. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    You are right, gentlemen, having looked into gyroplanes some more it is clear that the rotor head is more complex than I thought. In particular, the Rotodyne type design with tip jets is actually a hybrid, as it acts as a helicopter for landing and taking off. The tip jets were switched off at a forward speed of 60 mph, and after that the rotor autorotated, providing lift just by being spun in the airstream (so it was tilted backwards in flight, not forwards as with a helo).

    However, the rotor design is not a reason for criticising the gyrodyne - after all, it is no more complex than that of a helo, and they seem to do OK, even in big sizes (see Mi-26).

    The gyrodyne makes an interesting contrast with a tilt-rotor like the V-22. The tilt-rotor has a speed advantage, and also only uses one flight system. It may also be more controllable in the hover but I'm not sure of that. OTOH the gyrodyne has its rotor and propellers each optimised for its particular flight mode, rather than a compromise. And having two separate flight systems makes it much safer, as it can autorotate down if it runs out of power, or land like a plane on its props and wings. Above all, the gyrodyne is technically much simpler to build and operate. Just look at the time it has taken to perfect the V-22, whereas the Rotodyne was a technical success four decades ago - long before computerised flight controls.

    Tony Williams: Military gun and ammunition website and discussion forum
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Thankyou I take that as a big compliment coming from you FBJ. I hope to be as successful as you in the civilian world.
     
  20. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    good God you guys get a room ;)

    all interesting stuff but annother thought's just hit me... what the hell is that bridge in the picture going over? because whatever it is they're trying to avoid it's heading right for that landing pad...
     
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