RAF gyrocopter accidents

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FO Gyro
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Re: RAF gyrocopter accidents

Postby FO Gyro » Sun May 03, 2009 9:48 am

There was a fatality some time ago (+-10 yrs maybe) in a RAF in SA, with Travis du Toit, at Phalaborwa. He was a SAX Captain, and unfortunately news of the the accident spread quite widely, because of Travis' involvment in flying. I still get asked about this accident today with my airline buddies.

From speaking to people in the know, it seems that flying beyond Vne and getting into severe POI was the cause. The rotor was seen to have chopped off the rudder (again from what I understand). It was an ugly scene. :(
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Re: RAF gyrocopter accidents

Postby mikemat » Mon May 11, 2009 2:20 pm

I eventually buckled under the pressure of not having an h stab on my RAF and so conscripted a third party to build me a nice big h stab to give me complete stability in pitch - see photo attached...
Picture2.jpg
My new H stab
Unfortunately, it is just a bit too bulky and I just can't take off, try as I may, with all the additional weight. That's the last time I, for one, try to put a H Stab on my RAF gyro! :wink:
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Re: RAF gyrocopter accidents

Postby Eggbeater » Mon May 11, 2009 7:14 pm

Hi Mikemat

I have often wondered about the horizantal stab on RAFs but now i can see just how they work and increase safety. If you cannot take off then your chances of having an accident are limited to taxiing at high speed from the airfield to your home after a good few drinks at the clubhouse. I wonder why it took so long to think of them. vhpy
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Re: RAF gyrocopter accidents

Postby NickL » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:01 pm

Good one Mike. I'll try mine a little smaller and fit it on straight!! vhpy
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Re: RAF gyrocopter accidents

Postby Kolibri » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:37 am

I bought a used RAF 2000 three years ago, with 270 hours and no H-stab.
I trained in it without an H-stab, and got my SP-gyro add-on to my PP-ASEL license.
I never did like the pitch instability of the stabless RAF. It felt as though I was in a swinging bucket.

Shortly after my checkride, I installed a Larry Boyer H-stab, made in the USA for about $1100.
Everything about my flying improved because of it.

RAF Canada used to claim that their machine had a unique/integral H-stab in its hinged mast.
This simply is not true. Also, the RAF Stabilator affects only the rotor disk, not the airframe.

Any gyro with such a tall thrust offset to vertical cg must have an H-stab to reduce the PIO/buntover tendency.
Here in the USA, most RAF owners have some kind of H-stab. Those without we call "unicycles".

Regards, Kolibri
RAF2000, with Boyer H-stab and Sport Copter upgrade (mast plates, rotorhead, hub bar, rotors, 4-way air-trim).
Am also a fixed-wing pilot and owner. I fly 200+ hours/year, mostly VFR x-country.
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Re: RAF gyrocopter accidents

Postby Kolibri » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:05 am

saraf wrote:Most gyros in general today is just a copy of someone else's aircraft. The RAF was designed as a powered aircraft and did not follow the line of all the copies of the Bensen. That is why it has a patented mast design, a patented C OF G, and a patented Rotor Stabilator. This is why RAF also has industrial designs on the shape of the cabin. Because RAF is not a copy of the basic gyros of the 1950's they are free with new technology to change the RAF for the better and that is why almost every other gyro tries to sell the idea that all must be the same or they are dangerous. This is what happens when you copy, then you don't have a deep insight as to how and why things work the way they do. And if you don't know humans become fearful of change and anything different than what we are use to or have is no good.

Regards

Eben Mocke Jnr
The RAF does not have an H-stab because that would be "copying" other gyros without "deep insight as to how and why things work the way they do"? Wow. What "deep insight" exists either in RAF Canada or RAFSA Upington? To my knowledge, there's not a single engineer between the two locations.

"and that is why almost every other gyro tries to sell the idea that all must be the same or they are dangerous"
Uh, no. All gyro manufacturers (but for RAFSA) understand the safety provided by a good H-stab.
If a stabless gyro were such a great idea, everyone else would be selling one.

Regarding the "industrial designs on the shape of the cabin" . . . what?
I've 200+ hours in my RAF, and I still loathe the cabin's vortex shedding at higher speeds and "duck waddle" yaw.
It has a 100mph Vne for good reason. Aerodynamically, the RAF is a pig.
Comfortwise, the RAF cabin is quite poor (seating, and rudder pedals, primarily).

As far as Eben's "patented C of G" I can't even guess what he's boasting about there.

Regards, Kolibri
RAF2000, with Boyer H-stab and Sport Copter upgrade (mast plates, rotorhead, hub bar, rotors, 4-way air-trim).
Am also a fixed-wing pilot and owner. I fly 200+ hours/year, mostly VFR x-country.

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