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HeliTorque :: View topic - The Rotorway Kit Challenge?
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Private & Personal Flying

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The Rotorway Kit Challenge?
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afterburner
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:55 am    Post subject: The Rotorway Kit Challenge? Reply with quote

Has anyone flown the Rotorway copter?

I had the opportunity to put in some time on the stick of a well built and maintained 162F.

The fact that I am posting is a sure sign that I successfully negotiated the flight. Laughing

Before I give you my opinions, I would like to hear from the gallery on this one.

AB Heli Boy
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ExmoorHeli
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The silence either means that nobody else survived the experience, or perhaps they're just too embarrassed to own up.

I am waiting to read your report with great interest AB. The Rotorway is a nice looking heli, but it's a shame the engineering is a bit of a joke (allegedly).
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone remember the series where the vet built one? He also did a plane/4x4/old car...

Does look a nice machine but not sure how good they are to fly - seem to recall there being some problems a few years back.

W.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were mentioned on the safety course the other week. Let's just say Dick Sanford wasn't terribly keen.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PilotWolf wrote:
Anyone remember the series where the vet built one? He also did a plane/4x4/old car...

Does look a nice machine but not sure how good they are to fly - seem to recall there being some problems a few years back.

W.


Ah, you mean the 'A {insert here} is born' programs? They come round on cable every now and again. Had no idea the chap was a vet though.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the one! Yes, he is a vet apparently.

Can't remember which channel screened them originally but think they paid for his PPL(A) which was covered quite well but he had to pay for the PPL(H) which was covered in less detail.

Would love to have the space and a workshop like he had... beats a garden shed Smile

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, chief vet with the RSPCA at the moment it seems...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Evans_(TV_Host)
{edit: tried to make the URL work correctly, with no luck, you may need to cut and paste it}

The workshops were great, the plane one had a cupboard with a light bulb always on. To keep some 'dope' stable for the fiberglass (?).

I may have to look for a DVD of the heli and plane one now...
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a demo flight in an Exec 152 many years ago. It was OK, but it's not and never will be a certified ship. If you are interested in building and flying is only secondary I think they're a good idea, but in my case I wanted to fly, not tinker with a project all the time. There is apparently quite a bit of work that needs to be done on them beyond the kit instructions to make them reliable, and even at that they seem to only get about 300 hours on the engines before they need major work. For reference, the kit price now is somewhere around $70,000 US. You can be all the way through CFII and have a couple hundred hours for that much.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:13 pm    Post subject: That DVD Reply with quote

rjc wrote:
Indeed, chief vet with the RSPCA at the moment it seems...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Evans_(TV_Host)
{edit: tried to make the URL work correctly, with no luck, you may need to cut and paste it}

The workshops were great, the plane one had a cupboard with a light bulb always on. To keep some 'dope' stable for the fiberglass (?).

I may have to look for a DVD of the heli and plane one now...


Here you go
http://dvd-video.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/DVDs__helicopter_W0QQGenreZDocumentaryQQ_catrefZ1QQ_dmptZUKQ5fCDsDVDsQ5fDVDsQ5fDVDsQ5fGLQQ_flnZ1QQ_sacatZ2288QQ_ssovZ1QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em282

I bought it last year. Its ok but does not seem to get as involved in the actual flying to much, like they did with the plank .
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:03 am    Post subject: Personal Flying Reply with quote

Well, here goes with my feelings on the Rotorway kit copter.

The ship I flew was owned, and maintained by a builder who works closely with Rotorway. The 162F had all the latest upgrades. It was a beautiful ship, with streamlined looks and had the higher Talon (newest model) strut kit installed which effectively creates more of an effective swash plate angle in rearward cyclic movement, since it raises the nose higher than the standard "low" struts.

The rotor system is clockwise which took a few circuits before handling became more "natural". Once the ship was in the hover, it was very easy to maintain control. The 150 hp engine did a nice job, and she climbed out nicely with two persons on board. Stick pressure was light, and she reacted quickly to control inputs. The copter would buzz along at an easy 95kts, with speed to spare.

One of the nicest things I found when entering an autorotation was that the nose pitched up by itself to load the rotor system! In the Schweizer 300, (and I believe the R22,) the nose drops, so you need to be quick on lowering the collective, and pulling back on the cyclic. Power recovery was smooth.

The greatest limiting factor was fuel load. She carries only about 17 gallons. Although the ship was comfortable, it is certainly not meant for long flights.

The engine still uses belt drive. I counted 4 mains, and 2 secondary pulley drives. The tail rotor is STILL belt driven, which did not give me that warm and cozy feeling! I did not feel the belts a detriment in that the Schweizer 300 uses 8 belts!, however, its' the tail rotor is shaft driven.

Overall, it was a nice machine as a fun copter to fly around locally.
Construction methods seem to vary from ship to ship which does bother me a bit.

Rotorway does build a complete copter in Canada if one wanted, but export costs too much to make it a viable option.

Rotorway's new Talon has many upgrades and improvements, but it's still a kit. Rotorway is pushing for a 1000 hr TBO but isn't there yet.

That does it for my lowly evaluation. Would I fly one again? Only time will tell. Rolling Eyes

AB
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Last edited by afterburner on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A friend of mine used to own one, and I flew in it once or twice. Over here at least they are normally associated with the words "barge pole," and/or "death trap."

However I think this is largely unsubstantiated with facts about accident numbers etc - but with such a small population (46 on UK Register, not all flying) - it is hard to extrapolate meaningful data.

I also think a lot of this "superstition" relates to the fact it is a kit helicopter and the connotations that brings. If assembled and maintained properly I'm sure they are safe machine - but thats a big IF.

As for the flight itself - enjoyed it. Sure they make a great hour building machine.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:17 pm    Post subject: Rotorway Reply with quote

Helicraig,

Hey, nice to see you post again. I have been absent for awhile, but will be back shortly.

The Rotorway has its' peculiarities and takes a bit of learning. Many flyers do not spend the time to safely explore the operating envelope, and when things happen, they are not prepared.
The rotor system, although now heavier than earlier models, still is a "low inertia" system and can get you in a pickle fast if you do not anticipate the corrective inputs.

Maintenance is high since it is not what I call a "mission machine". Preflight was found to be a bit more complex in that many items needed to be checked that are not normally done: Clutch freeplay, tail rotor belt tension, etc.

However, it is what it is......a kt, and extra care needs to be observed in flying and upkeep.

It was an experience though. As for being a death trap....many say that about the Robinson. I would say that overall, "it is not what you fly, but how you fly".

Be safe
AB
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