WHAT TYPE OF TRAILER SHOULD BE USED TO TOW THE HELICYCLE©?
This is an important question, because hauling a helicopter on just any old trailer is a guaranteed way to destroy the airframe tubing structure in short order. The frame of the helicopter is designed to absorb flight loads for a long period of time. These loads have to do with lift and torque and have nothing to do with bouncing over the highway. Trailering the HELICYCLE therefore requires a correctly sized spring, tire and axle set-up. In addition, the method of securing the skids to the trailer deck and the proper support of the tail boom is vital to preserving the airframes integrity while towing. The answer to whether or not to trailer any two bladed helicopter with the blades installed is simple: NO. Here's why. It is true that the rotors can be supported to keep them from rotating and flapping up and down. This however does not solve the most important problem. Centrifugal force holds the blades rigid in flight and they are strong in tension. At rest, the blades are prey to bending up and down (flapping) and to bending laterally (in plane). When you drive over a pothole or bump on one side of the trailer the ship will lurch in a lateral plane. The mast could move 2 inches or more to one side and then the other in a few milliseconds. The tip ends of the rotors cannot keep up with this acceleration and three things can happen.
1. The blades will be forced to twist momentarily (an unnatural condition.)
2. High bending loads will be placed on the pitch spindles and pitch bearings. Since no centrifugal load is present, these loads can easily exceed the bending loads imposed during flight. This is not a good idea!
3. The lead/lag adjustments of the blades are subject to being forced In the opposite direction to flight loads, this could shift the adjustment, resulting in a dynamic imbalance on the next run-up.
The HELICYCLE blades were designed for ease of removal and replacement without any adjustment. It's only a 10-minute project. Across town trips with the blades on may be okay, if great care is exercised to avoid rough spots. Blades must be properly supported, of course. Now that we've pointed out the pitfalls, what are the correct trailer design parameters?
1. The HELICYCLE is very light, the trailer must be light and lightly sprung. We use only two leafs in the springs.
2. the trailer must be tandem wheeled. A single wheel falls more deeply into every rut and continually bounces the airframe.
3. We need to tow the ship tail first and this means a long tongue on the trailer. The tongue must be rigid in both the horizontal and vertical planes.
4. We would like to use the trailer for a take off and landing pad, so the wheel base needs to be wider than normal and the top of the tires should not be a skid hooking hazard.
5. The tail boom of the ship has to be shock supported vertically, but free to move laterally.
6. The skids need to be lashed to the deck at the proper position and the clamps constructed so that they may be installed and removed quickly.
7. Lastly, a winch and ramp system is needed just in case the ship can't be flown on the trailer at a particular location.
A good engineer/designer can probably come up with a trailer that meets all these specifications on the first try, however it's quite a tall order, unless you're very familiar with the problems.
TO THIS END, WE ARE PROVIDING BLUEPRINTS & CONSTRUCTION DETAILS FOR A WELL-TESTED HELICYCLE TRAILER YOU CAN BUILD YOURSELF. IF YOU DON'T WIRE-FEED WELD, YOU CAN PRE-CUT THE SQUARE TUBES FOR THE FRAME AND HAVE THEM WELDED AT A LOCAL SHOP. REFER TO: CONTACT THE FACTORY, FOR ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS.