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Rotorway Corner

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Old 20th Jan 2001, 06:18
  #21 (permalink)  
Kyrilian
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Sorry to continue this digression...

Lu,
You seem so worried about suing. If someone blatantly flies contrary to the POH suggestions and kills him/herself in the process, I think the family has no right to sue RHI anyway. If I go out and race my car to 150mph and the tires (speed rated to say 100mph) explode and I get killed, I feel it would be totally unreasonable for my family to go and sue the tire manufacturer.
I guess I'm sick of hearing about suits made by families where the driver/pilot 'was' at fault, pure and simple. It sucks, but he/she has already paid the price and in many cases nobody else is to blame... Not to say all suits are bad. Without them many companies would put out crap, but come on!

Well, sorry for my rant! It wasn't all aimed at you Lu--I just had to get that off my chest

On a different note,
What are the most significant mods made to the Rotoryway? I thought I heard about someone installing retracts. I know that someone has installed a turbine in the CH7. Anything similar done to a Rotorway?

Does anyone have numbers for the power required (frictional forces) between a shaft (like on an R-22) and a belt (such as that on the Rotorway)? Slipping seems like a problem, though a toothed belt may reduce that chance I would suppose.
 
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Old 20th Jan 2001, 20:55
  #22 (permalink)  
Lu Zuckerman
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To: Krilian

I agree with you relative to the many frivolous lawsuits that are filed. The point I was trying to make regarding the actions that may be taken by Frank Robinson if he were faced with a law suit is that he is protected by the instructions, cautions and advisories in the respective Robinson POHs. The reasons many of these “advisories” are in the POHs is because the FAA mandated them because of the many rotor loss / rotor incursion accidents that happened prior to 1995. The reason the two helicopters were restricted from flying out of trim and from sideslipping is because it was felt that these flight maneuvers would result in high flapping loads resulting in mast bumping. Many responses to my various threads stated that violation of these cautions was done all the time with impunity.

My comment to that was that if you ended up dead having practiced what was cautioned against then Frank Robinson would be your survivors’ worst enemy. If it could be proved that you did violate these cautions then any lawsuit would be mooted. If it could be proven that the design was at fault your lawyers would not be able to collect because FR is bullet proof in that he keeps his money offshore and leases everything in his plant.

It has always been my opinion that the rotorhead design was the root cause of many of these accidents along with the impreciseness of the cyclic control.

Check out the NTSB report on Robinson Helicopter Rotor Loss accidents and see how many are listed as cause unknown. On other reports it is listed as cause unknown or pilot error. Only one accident was the fault of Robinson as they suffered a cyclic control rod failure resulting in a crash and loss of life. All of those pilots in pilot heaven are waiting to be vindicated. If only some spirit medium can bring them back so that they could tell what really happened just before impact.

It should be noted that in year 2000 there were four rotor loss / rotor incursion accidents


------------------
The Cat

[This message has been edited by Lu Zuckerman (edited 20 January 2001).]
 
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Old 25th Apr 2001, 16:06
  #23 (permalink)  
New PalmTree
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Post Rotorway

I am very seriously considering buying a Rotorway Exec 162F & just wanted to know If anyone can point me to any good, informed sources or if anyone has any personal experience with these aircraft.
I have checkout out the accident stats & they don't seem any worse than R22's, so I am not really interested in uninformed "I wouldn't get in one for all the tea in China" type comments, but if you really know something about these aircraft, I'd be most grateful for anything you can tell me (good or bad)
 
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Old 25th Apr 2001, 17:38
  #24 (permalink)  
hover lover
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NPT,
You are in luck. 31/12/2000 this question was answered under the thread "Rotorway Exec / Robinson R22 comparison"
 
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Old 28th Apr 2001, 04:55
  #25 (permalink)  
paco
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Some years ago I was sent to evaluate one for a potential UK importer, and was quite impressed. "Stretch" did a really good demo. A product surviving in that legal environment has to have something right, and we found the key was to get it built properly - indeed, I think they now prebuild a lot more now than they did then. Some people expressed concern about the belt drive tail rotor, but I believe a tractor belt drives the Enstrom (or is that an urban legend?).

I've not flown the Robbie, but I know people who have flown both and would go for the Rotorway, if it had doors.

cheers

phil

 
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Old 28th Apr 2001, 16:50
  #26 (permalink)  
Vfrpilotpb
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The Belts on the R22 and R44 look very similar to those that drive the main threshing drum on the Massey Harris Combine's, if they are they should be very good. The Rotorway does look quite a neat little eggbeater, BUT I have resevations as to how I have been told( by the importer)how they balance the Rotor blade's, somehow it seems a tad wrong, I would not like to be the one to find out IT WAS WRONG, but if its built right ,in theory it should fly right, or......
 
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Old 28th Apr 2001, 17:27
  #27 (permalink)  
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I have heard hugely conflicting reports from people claiming experience with these machines, some very pro & some very anti. The belt drive tailrotor does seem a bit of a worry, butmaybe that is just my ignorance of the way in which it is designed & engineered, I am sure it is nothing like the Heath Robinson device I am envisaging. However, one pilot who worked for RWI claims that they are reliable, but they do slip leading to a loss of tailrotor authority which on several occasions caused him to spin several times before it stopped. Does anyone know if the slipping belt problem has been addressed (toothed belts maybe?)
 
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Old 27th Oct 2001, 11:53
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Question Rotorway Exec Flight Theory Question

I know this is a 'professional' forum and the Exec can hardly be described as a 'professionals' helicopter, but I've got a question I haven't been able to get answered successfully yet. Can anyone help?

In all the helicopters I've ever flown (10+ types and 5000+ hrs) I've never found one that behaves like a Rotorway when either Throttle or Collective pitch are reduced rapidly in the cruise. In my experience, when the lever is lowered to enter autorotation, or the throttle chopped, 'conventional' helicopters pitch nose-down (due to V squared and phase lag). However, the Rotorway pitches nose-up, and sometimes quite harshly. Anyone out there able to explain why?
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Old 27th Oct 2001, 15:44
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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nope!!
I was always told the aircraft pitched nose down due to the a/c descending and the airflow from below the stabiliser, tipping the nose down. That make sense? Told so many different things I hardly know what to believe these days. People have different views on stuff. With that much experience, hours/types etc, couldn't you maybe figure it out. Not being cheeky or anything. Just wondering if there is anything on the Rotorway that is different to other a/c?

Isn't it used in Africa under some pretty harsh conditions with sat link to Rotorway in the US to check operating parameters etc?
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Old 27th Oct 2001, 19:11
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure about the rotorway but the Cobra pitches nose up in engine failures above 120 knots.

I vaguely remember it had to do with the rotor system at that moment producing more drag then the fuselage and the effect of the horizontal stabilizer at speed.

The problem it caused was that if you did not input a cyclic movement (actuating the flight control side of the stability system) the system would think the pitch up was an external force and attempt to compensate.

Rapidly driving the disc forward

While the nose was coming up
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Old 28th Oct 2001, 00:17
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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It may be useful to ask this question at http://www.rotorway.org
It is the website which is for Rotorway owners specially and it is hosted not by Rotorway Int., but by one of RW owners.
There are a lot of experienced desperados - what name should be used when talking about these guys who fly these tadpoles? (To be true I spent many hours in these birds myself - see some cool photos if interested at TwistAirClub
Rotorway is fun to fly but it's also real piles to keep it flying.


[ 27 October 2001: Message edited by: GyroBeast ]
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Old 29th Oct 2001, 13:26
  #32 (permalink)  

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The Rotorwy Exec seems a super smooth design of a small two man/woman Heli, but the CAA here in the UK, will it seems, only allow this type to fly on a permit, and by all accounts, this is very nearly impossible to get, a high time pro Heli pilot friend has asked me never to seriously consider sitting in , let alone flying in one of these, he says that they are totally unreliable , not safe, and allsorts of things like that, can any of you out in Rotorhead land add more, or even knock this view!

[ 29 October 2001: Message edited by: Vfrpilotpb ]
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Old 30th Oct 2001, 00:34
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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to vfrpilotpb,

I own one so I'm a little biased (now quite a few of you out there know my identity!). However, it all depends on the build quality. The kit, as shipped from the factory is very complete and the build instructions are generally excellent - BUT, there is always room for people to ignore them/misunderstand something and it could be possible for mistakes to get missed on the engineering inspection. It's a hoot to fly especially as it has no governor, but just not at all practical. Limited power brings on a whole new meaning! It's a hobby helicopter for folks who like fixing as well as flying - I'm glad I got mine however - at least I will be when I get the Permit issued! (not as difficult as you imply).

As for the original question about pitch-up - it's possible to fly a quickstop by rolling off the throttle and leaving the cyclic where it is - the pitch-up flares the aircraft for you and keeps the NR in the green. Different!! Still don't know why it pitches up though!
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Old 30th Oct 2001, 00:34
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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VFRPB

I would like to ask your friend if he has ever flown one of these aircraft himself or if he is just like many other high time pilots that won't look at any small helicopter period. I had a CFI that had over 600 hours in Rotorways and wasn't bothered by them at all. I have almost 70 hours in them much of that as instruction given. I feel they are eaisier to fly than an R-22 and just as safe if they are maintained correctly. If you look at the accidents for both the R-22 and the Rotorway's you will find that they compare rather well. With less accidents per number registered and a better chance of survival if something does happen. I know of one high time pilot that wouldn't look at the Rotorway for any reason. However once he really needed to get somewhere and his boss's R-162 happened to be available. After that flight he didn't have any bad things to say about the helicopter. I personally think they are a great little helicopter and have no reservations about flying in them.
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Old 30th Oct 2001, 11:27
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Ref my original question; the main rotor blades are asymetrical and don't have any wash-out (twist). Could this cause the pitch-up effect I refer to?
J
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Old 30th Oct 2001, 13:52
  #36 (permalink)  

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Jelly and H43,
I really don't have a problems with the Rotorway, but Jelly make the little addendum about "When he gets his permit", it is that "When" that seems to put a lot of people of this Kit built Heli, I must admit it looks a shedful better than the R22, but you can't really compare it with the R22 as to statistic,s for there are not that many flying in the UK compared with the R22, please correct me if I am wrong, but here Up North I cannot recall seeing one at all in the flesh, ( so to speak) the High time pilot friend had indicated that there is some sort of inherrant balancing/strength problem with the blades, can you add further?
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Old 31st Oct 2001, 00:20
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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I can add further.

Regarding the Rotorway blades- they had problems in the past, compounded by an owner losing one after a bodgy (unapproved) repair. Rotorway have had a strengthening fix out there for a while involving lots of additional riveting which appears to have worked.

Many owners prefer to use 3rd party composite blades from Waitman. These are good, but allegedly can be off balance on occasion from absorbed moisture. When they dry out they are normal again.

As for other aspects... the RW is a nice looking and nice flying helicopter which does get you into building and maintaining yourself at a very reasonable price. There is lots of maintenance to do by the way.

However in my opinion (also some others who own and fly them) it is only suitable for operation in areas where you can be sure that there is a suitable site for an autorotation below.

Engine failures occur, and tranmission failures are disturbingly common.

They have had many instances secondary shaft breakages, other modes of failure include slipping and breaking V belts and bearing overheats. There is a second or third iteration at fixing that secondary shaft problem being trialled presently, which looks good.

The statistics are unreliable, making comparison with manufactured aircraft difficult. Many of the transmission failures for instance have gone unreported and do not appear in FAA/NTSB data.

I have obtained my information from existing Rotorway owners, in particular from the www.rotorway.org forum mentioned earlier in this thread.

I urge anyone thinking of building, owning or flying a Rotorway to apply to join www.rotorway.org where you will get a much more reliable and complete picture than you would get from the factory and sales network.
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Old 31st Oct 2001, 11:21
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VFR,
depends where 'up North' is exactly! However, there's one which I fly regularly in Stoke-on-Trent, another at Mold (N.Wales), another just south of Mold and one near Beverly, N.Yorks.
J
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Old 31st Oct 2001, 18:04
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Jelly,

I fly regularly in that area, Mold/North Wales and have never seen a Rotorway! You fly it often around there? I will look out for you I know a guy who has an unfinished one in a hanger on his farm just SW of Mold though.
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Old 1st Nov 2001, 00:35
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Vortex,
just read my post - not as clear as it should have been. To clarify, I fly one at Stoke. I know of one that flies regularly S of Mold. The owner of the other one at Mold has approached me (via a third party) to teach him to fly on his so I'm assuming (?) it's finished! There are also a couple flying in Essex (not sure how often though).
J.
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