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Thoughts on using the wheel struts as wings? aka ArrowCopter, SmartFly

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  • Thoughts on using the wheel struts as wings? aka ArrowCopter, SmartFly


    As a newbie I'm looking into options for buying a gyro, I have come across a couple of gyros that use the wheel struts as wings, and wondering why this isn't a more popular configuration (there is only one example of an Arrowcopter here in Australia, and no SmartFlys).

    It looks aesthetically nice, is safe for landing / takeoff as the wheels are spaced wide apart, can provide extra lift for the gyro improving stability / economy at cruising speeds (less rotor drag needed for lift & less drag from exposed strut/wheels) and can also be used for storage (eg. fuel - better than storing fuel inside the cabin in case of crash).

    The main disadvantage is lowering the centre of gravity (especially if used for fuel) but wouldn't the extra lift and horizontal stabilising forces of the wing compensate?

    Looking at the photos of both the ArrowCopter & Smartfly, they both look to be high thrust line. If the wings do compensate for a lower CoG I assume this only helps at higher speed, so might be still an unsafe configuration. Thoughts?

  • #2
    Anecdotal evidence on the Yank forum has shown the "wing struts" to be helpful giving extra lift in flight. I would imagine one of the disadvantages of the "wing strut" is extra weight.
    i have seen the only Arrowcopter in Australia fly a few times but Never with two people on board, I'm assuming that weight is an issue.


    • #3
      Rick, I think the ArrowCopter can take 2 although it is a heavy machine as you say so would need to watch the overall gross weight doesn't go over the 600Kg.


      • #4
        Found another gyro that uses fairings over the main landing gear to create lift, Silverlight from America (none here in Australia). Another consideration is the flexibility of the wings for rough landings, they would want to be able to handle bumpy strips and a reasonable bounce (but if they flex by pivoting on the body they won't be able to transfer lift).


        • #5
          One must also take into consideration that the fact that winglets must never be great enough to unload the blades at high speed. I can't see any problem with a little bit of extra lift.