Correspondence With Helicopter Builder Daniel MacPherson
…followed on from the original article: MacPherson WindFire Helicopter.
Thank you for your reply – I will look at updating the information soon with these new “insights”.
You have revealed many interesting points; I’d be interested in finding out more details when you get the time.
More on the engine set-up (mechanically) and also the issues with the Helicycle parts – I have heard many mixed conversations about this craft. I have a friend here building one (currently 75% complete).
Yes, sometimes there are benefits to starting fresh, though the supposed confidence of using ready made parts can also be misleading.
Just to clarify a point, the chip detector picked up an issue with the rotor shaft, not a part of the ring gears?
Yes: “The Design Flaw was that the all important tapered bearings which hold the shaft and lift the entire helicopter, Were installed on an Undersized shaft. Then, brass shims were installed with bearing locker (loctite) to fill the gaps. NOT surprisingly, the shims worked out. The pieces along with some steel grit set off the chip detector.”
The factory (located very near me) said they no longer build them that way. How they now build them, I do not know. I am installing a Titanium shaft Center-less Ground oversized which I will assemble using liquid nitrogen.
If your friend is uncertain of what he has, I suggest he confirm by serial number that he does Not have this flawed design, as it is an Non-Airworthy, life threatening design.
Anyway – will let you get back to it – hopefully I will be starting a new scratch built helicopter later this year. My advice to anyone considering such, is: don’t! Too much work, too much money, too much time. Build an airplane MUCH LESS of all 3. Pilots license is MUCH LESS expensive.
If you chose to ignore this advice; Do Not build a 1 seat aircraft. All the above mentioned expenses and you can not take anyone, even for a short fun flight. With All that advice, I confess, I do have another helicopter design in my computer, 2-3 seat this time.
Are you an Engineer with aircraft design experience? Have a well equipped Shop, and skill to make use of it? Preferably CNC mill? I am and do have such a shop, Still 10++ years. Lots of parts, some built twice, some 4 times.
Perhaps more later.
Adam: Thanks for the interest in my helicopter.
Interesting web site. I will have to look more when time permits.
For my helicopter: You may post what you have.
These photos appear to be from SDS’s web site, and quite old, as I am using there ignition and Induction system. Several things have changed since then.
The “RAM” engine in the below link however has only slight resemblance to my engine. Yes it is a Subaru EA81 BLOCK. The rest including the heads are all different.
There is a FEW (and ONLY a few) Helicycle parts, and fewer as time goes by. I would have been better to start with nothing. At this time: I am replacing more of the Helicycle parts.
Due to, what could have been, a fatal flaw in the Helicycle transmission, only my chip detector saved me! Thus, replacing the flawed steel rotor shaft, and top block, with Titanium parts. And doing some engine rebuild same time.
All is slow process, as I must machine almost everything. My recently acquired industrial sized CNC mill helps with parts I could not previously build. Perhaps in 2-3 months, I will be back to flying.
I do have some videos, however not real good ones. Perhaps I could send a few more if your wish.