Author Topic: what would you do to make a better Helio?  (Read 28352 times)

Doug Johnson

what would you do to make a better Helio?
« on: May 12, 2011, 03:30:56 PM »
lots of graphite, kevlar and titanium?

All flying Tail like the Zenith's to increase crosswind component by reducing tail size? Of course the stabilator stays.

Maybe Flaperons like the original Helio plane had? that Canadian accident report that was posted here made me wonder about frise ailerons. Frise Ailerons sure work well!

Direct injected compounded rotary engine  to decrease the noise and put that exhaust to work? plus they can be made to burn about anything.

I think with a lot of fiddling there's still room to clean it up aerodynamically.

Any other ideas? anybody?

Doug   
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 05:30:07 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

greatlakeshelio

  • Guest
Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 07:46:19 PM »
I began initiation of a follow-on production Helio when I was in pursuit of Helio Aircraft in 1982. As an aeronautical engineer and pilot, my emphasis was on making the ultimate Helio.

1) Ultra-high strength plastic extruded roll cage
2) continuous spar eliminates wing carry-thru
3) Turbine power
4) 4400 pound max weight
5) 180 knot cruise
6) 44" wide cabin with true six-place seating..

I have the drawing somewhere and when I locate it, I'll scan and post..)
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 08:36:12 PM by greatlakeshelio »

Doug Johnson

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011, 10:06:04 AM »
Stephen,

Aeronautical Engineer? That and your exposure to Helios in the Army explains to a certain degree your interest with Helio's and gives your credentials.

You need to write up a short Helio courier Autobiography of yourself and post it at your topic "who, is that guy".

My only credentials are, Pilot, & former Helio owner and re-builder.

I'm looking forward to seeing your drawing.

Doug


Doug

greatlakeshelio

  • Guest
Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 10:34:30 AM »
My exposure to Helio came long before the U.S. Army. I worked for a dealer in Michigan in 1965 that taught me to fly the H-250 when I had a mere 15 hours of flying time in PA-28 Cherokee's. That it where my passion became a reality. It was after I came home from Viet Nam that I made the pursuit to purchase Helio after the company folded in 1974. I got in contact with Alvin Goldhush and made the presentation. Marketing is where Helio Aircraft failed, the company basically played all their cards on the Stallion program for the military, as such it bit them hard.

Doug Johnson

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 03:10:52 PM »

Stephen,

Since you pursued the purchase of the Helio assets, David Maytag and LLC and the present situation must be causing your frustration Level to rise to a pretty high point. The one time I talked with David Maytag, I received no satisfaction at all. My understanding was and I've never known much more than I was able to pick out of Alaska Air Progress and a couple other magazines was that it was a convoluted mess and that no none knew exactly who owned what or exactly where the assets were for those years between 1974 and 1991. And of course the New and friendlier FAA wasn't being very helpful even back then.

Doug
Doug

greatlakeshelio

  • Guest
Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 09:42:19 PM »
When Robert Sinn purchased Helio Aircraft LTD in 1982 I already had a plan to make it work, I started a company called Helio West in 1980 to do just that. When the airplane went into production in 1983, I read a magazine article on the new H-800/700. I about choked..This loony bin from Cessna AG division put together a flying dump truck. You mean Clarence Brent and Dean Tremain didn't laugh at this? We know what became of that after Loren Abbott didn't pay the rent with the assets from Aerospace Technologies INC. Then in late 1985 I had Larry Montgomery contact Adams Affiliates in Tulsa to pursue the type certificates. We were ready to sign the paperwork in 1987 when the Black Tuesday stock market crash squashed all hopes of that. Then this loser Darus Zehrbach comes along and claims to have Helio around 1990 after he bought Taylorcraft and shows up at EAA AirVenture pawning his "Z" aircraft engines to which he ripped everyone off and was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for extortion/embezzlement..Yeah!! team..Now we have just what we had at the end of 1974...what a pity!! 

Doug Johnson

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 11:58:42 AM »
I began initiation of a follow-on production Helio when I was in pursuit of Helio Aircraft in 1982. As an aeronautical engineer and pilot, my emphasis was on making the ultimate Helio.

1) Ultra-high strength plastic extruded roll cage
2) continuous spar eliminates wing carry-thru
3) Turbine power
4) 4400 pound max weight
5) 180 knot cruise
6) 44" wide cabin with true six-place seating..

I have the drawing somewhere and when I locate it, I'll scan and post..)

I've given your points some serious thought and I have some questions.

1) The only plastic like material I've heard of that rivals the strength of steel is a combination of kevlar and carbon fiber is their a way to extrude it? Obviously you know something I don't, please elaborate.

2) I'm only familiar with the H-295 spar and that's, because of missing paperwork for the carry through spar, when I contacted Clarence Brent, I asked him about the engineering that went into his STC he just kind of laughed and said that there wasn't much engineering to it that he used a bridge truss, made it look hell for stout and used stronger materials. The Fed's took one look at it and signed it off. In a previous post there is mention of the 800 carry through is being made out of stainless is that the only difference?  You say you would use a continuous spar how would it connect to the fuselage and would it improve the headroom? Maybe you could post a drawing, I'm having trouble picturing it in my mind.

3) Everyone seems to want to put a turbine on their airplane. Wouldn't the initial cost of a turbine plus its high fuel burn, especially when using the airplane as most do, count against it? Range and loiter time is one of the pluses in the Helio. And what about turbine lag?  I've always heard that in a STOL situation where you have gusty wind conditions and marginal landing area where at the last second you need to do a go around the spool up time is a bad thing.

I've seen the Zoche Aero Diesel radial mentioned, Mistral rotary in previous posts, and other engines. Probably what we should discuss is the most likely engine to reach  production status. With the fuel situation here and world wide the Helio needs a different engine preferably one that will burn anything. I think that's one of the reasons the Rotary is so attractive. I think the rotary has the most potential if you used a compounded traction turbine on the exhaust you could quiet it down considerably (I believe noise is going to become a major issue) and increase its horse power. Direct injection using Lorentz or Piezo coils seems to be the answer for fuel delivery, emissions and efficiency.  There are some new alloys available one discovered by Nasa  allows engines to run hotter in the combustion chamber and cylinders. Rotax is using it in one of their newer engines.

4) Gross weight seems achievable. Didn't I just read in an earlier post that the 800 was rated at 4000 lb gross.

5) I'd like to see 180 kt cruise without increasing the HP all that much. When I visited Jaars back in 1993 Jim Metzler or maybe another Jim showed me a Helio that they were using for speed test mods. I didn't remember the numbers but I just read Frank Rowe's book (worth reading) and he writes that the speed mods to "The Grey Goose" gave it 7-8 knot  increase in cruise. I do remember he said there was no penalty on the bottom end. You said in an earlier post that there was a significant penalty. I wanted to get a copy of the fiberglass fairing above the windshield where wing intersects cabin  but was never able to. I also thought there was potential to increase upward visivbility although that might involve a whole new windshield. they also had a fairing at the bottom of the windshield for better aerodynamics.

6) How wide is the present cabin? I don't remember it being uncomfortably narrow, but I usually flew alone or with a skinny female passenger, at least for any long distance flights where you have the time to become uncomfortable.

I always wanted more cross wind capability, after reading the information at Zenith site on the Zenith, I wonder if an all movable vertical stabilizer wouldn't be a major help by cutting down on the size of the stabilizer. What does everyone think on that subject.

These 7 items should probably be discussed in 7 separate threads since they are each quite lengthy. I just did some searches I see that a lot of these things have already been discussed but maybe there's new thoughts and ideas.

I understand that most people believe that all aircraft are compromises but I don't want to give up any of the go slow characteristics of the Helio. I just want to see a few improvements.

Did you find your drawing?

Thanks, Doug
Doug

391stol

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 07:43:57 PM »
I always thought changing the shape of the gear legs from square to round so the tubing could be purchased to fabricate new legs easily. Lots of bending and pieces to fabricate square legs. of course this would need a fair bit of engineering to get passed by the feds. But once approved they could be jig built very easily and heat treated to spec. I understand there would have to be some flat portions on the legs.   I know of someone that would press break all the pieces that would need bending and i would donate my time welding and building jig fixtures if some one would do the engineering. I got lots of time behind a tig torch.

Louis

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 08:06:24 PM »
I always thought changing the shape of the gear legs from square to round so the tubing could be purchased to fabricate new legs easily.

Good

of course this would need a fair bit of engineering to get passed by the feds. But once approved

It was done for the 800 in a garage and some drop test.  Time have changed, but could be done.  I volunteer a frame that i have in my backyard for the drop test.

and heat treated to spec.

That is more difficult that it looks: there is no spec available.  It was not disclosed ever.  So we don't have a spec for the heat treatment.  Easy to know at what spec it is treated, but the problem, if you want to keep with the original design, is that the Fed wants also the procedure of the treatment.  They want the full recipee.

May be your idea to start from scratch, and test it to what a landing gear must be tested, is the good one

Louis

Doug Johnson

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2011, 06:15:22 PM »
I wonder if anyone has ever tried the  trailing link landing gear on an experimental Helio.

Has anyone ever flown a Wilga? If so how does the gear perform?

Doug
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 12:52:52 PM by Doug Johnson »
Doug

391stol

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 08:50:19 AM »
If i were building a experimental plane out of a helio cage i would extend the distance between the attach points front to back and leave the front strut oleo setup geometry  alone. Run another larger tube up at an angle and connect at the axle.  Make it more like a cub style gear leg and fair with fabric. I understand it would have more parasitic drag but i tend to think of bush worthy more than speed

greatlakeshelio

  • Guest
Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2011, 01:06:37 PM »
1) Frank Rowe's book on Helio does not interest me because he misses a lot of points and contains some mis-information that I'll leave for later.

2) The cause for most parasitic drag on the Helio accounts for the thrust line 5 degrees low and the wing at 3 degrees incidence, hence the windshield between the top of the cowling to the leading edge over top at the crown is where it all occurs. The other places are where the stabilator connects to the vertical fin. The final finish where the skin panels are riveted on the upper surface of the wing clearly show less than favorable workmanship. With the airframe as it is now cleaned up could 5-7 knots, design a Lopresti-style "ram-air" cowling with sufficient recovery and you have an additional 3-5 knots. Hoerner-style wing tips and 10 LBS/HP would give you 155-160 knots, unless you go turbine you will not get 180 out of a Helio with a piston engine unless you go "turbo" and fly high!! 

391stol

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 01:53:31 PM »
What was the reason for the 5 degree low T Line.  I am guessing visibility over the cowl on wheels in 3 point or not?   This could be played with if there is enough room in the cowl to bring the engine up, it would still be a fair amount of work. Has anybody cut loose the engine mounting tabs/plates and rewelded @ lesser degree.  It works on alot of other planes. I changed it on my cub but later found i liked the way it flew at 4 degrees down better. But it was 3-5 mph slower. Not to mention the visibility over the nose.

greatlakeshelio

  • Guest
Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 08:47:33 AM »
There are three reasons for the T line set at 5 degrees, visibility, attached airflow over the stab at low speed and thrust equation resulting in slow-turning propeller efficiency. You could even argue to the point of high AOA with a slow turning prop allowing attached airflow near and next to all control surfaces beyond 25 degrees.

Doug Johnson

Re: what would you do to make a better Helio?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 09:27:56 AM »
I read somewhere in the "Helioplane" information that the negative thrust line was increased by Koppen to 5o to counteract the tendency of the Helio's nose to suddenly rise sharply when power was quickly increased.

Is this true or misinformation?  I suspect it's just part of the reasoning, and that your points have greater validity.
 
Doug
« Last Edit: August 10, 2015, 04:12:04 AM by Doug Johnson »
Doug