Phoenix Rotorblades
  • Well, flew in Wayne's Dominator on Saturday. Was wanting to try out the new Pheonix Rotorblades.
    Was a little concerned about how Wayne disassembled them....removing the bolts on the hub bar. Wayne kept commenting on how it's ok because Phoenix said its a precision fit so no stringing needed. Hmmmm. I would imagine after taking them apart several times....that precision fit would get a little un- precise!

    Well, they flew well, felt solid...little stick shake until about 340 rpm...then they shook. I believe it was due to the small teeter block as well as short towers resulting in little cone angle.

    Anyone's thoughts?

    Would like to schedule a visit to Phoenix soon to see the operation. Seems nobody there has any real experience with gyroplanes.
  • 13 Comments sorted by
  • Regarding the brace that holds the hub-bar to the blade. When disassembling the rotors should the brace stay with the hub-bar or the blade or does it matter?

  • All other manufacturers recommend never unbolting the straps attached to the hub bar.
    Wayne said Phoenix Rotorcraft said to unbolt them there, he also said that because of this " precission fit" there is no need to string the blades. Pull those bolts in and out a few times and then let's see what precission means!
  • The rotor blades aren't a new thing but have been refined they have powder coat and a hub bar that looks like
    a cross between a Rotordyne and sport copter . Here is a link for the history of the blades.
  • Who's up for a visit to the Phoenix factory? It's just NE of Raleigh.
  • When we going ?
  • A few thoughts..... I am in for a visit to phoenix just give me the address and a time and date and I am in ! We can all do lunch or something. Call ahead so PHX knows we are coming and we get the nickel tour.

    Second, was surprised to hear the phx guy-s are not gyro guys. or have very little experience with gyros. If I am wrong, I apologize but kind of made my eyes go wide. Gyros are unforgiving to those who have little real world experience. College grads working for Sparrowhawk found that out first hand....

    Pulling bolts in and out of any precision reamed and fitted hole is not good long term. The schools of thought have settled on the method of leaving the plates on the hub bar and taking the blade off the straps. The thoughts being that there are smaller holes and more of them to hold a better average of alignment over a longer span. Thus keeping blades in check longer.

    A 24' rotor could be put up in one piece on a rack in a box like Brent used to have. Neat setup. Once you set them you forget it. and go fly. or only mess with one bolt to put them on the rotorhead.

    Traveling with rotor blades on a gyro unless you have a very special setup like Mike S. is not recommended.

    I hit the CTRL key but I'm still not in control ! ! !
  • The sony camera that Ron was wearing had fog in the case when he landed so I was suspecting a bad video. However, after reviewing the video most of it looks ok and viewable. That being said you can see the control stick and the rotor rpm gauge during the video. From what I know and for the most part the stick shake looked normal during flight, except times it appeared to shake more than others. That could have been when the blades were loaded more or in a turn.  

    I will post the video and more experienced eyes can elaborate.



  • Maxi W. (Mad Max). Said he liked the Fleck blades and he used the sky wheels hub said they were good flying blades.
  • Yes the fleck or vortech blades worked will IF you did proper prep work, epoxied the spars and leading edges in properly along with tip weights. Chuck Beaty commented that he would also RIVET along certain areas to keep the guts of the blade intact incase of a glue bond failure. There were a few failures one I read a long time ago a pilot in Puerto Rico died as a result of a nose weight departing a failed bond.

    I have been to see Jim Vanek at sportcopter. He has a huge oven which is temperature controlled and critical to a proper and good bond for the glues he uses. Consumer or industrial epoxy is very strong but its use is limited by lack of controls, and a zillion other factors. Process are sometimes like trade secrets and in this case your life depends on it. This is why I happly pay Jim for his expertise and incredible amount of research he has put into his products.

    Brent Brown did a set of Vortech / fleck blades with the LARGE or longer Mchutchen / skywheels hub bar and they worked well.

    The only problem with the skywheel hub is that if you start to move the adjustments around too much you can get them out of whack really quick and here is not a good way to jig and measure movements with them. So it can be kind of a move and fly, move and fly kind of a deal if your chasing a particular adjustment.


    I hit the CTRL key but I'm still not in control ! ! !
  • OK I looked at a video of when my blades (rotor hawks) were off and the braces stayed with the blades, My braces may be a bit larger than the phoenix braces but they still stayed with the blades disassembled. Is that the right way they should be taken apart?

  • The powder coated blades May be a new thing .... Not as much webbing as the fleck blade . Bad or good I don't know . I would post a pic but I don't know how. :)
  • I know a lot of folks say you should remove the bolts on the blade straps from the blade and NOT the hub bar, BUT it really depends on the blade MFG.

    Ernie blades / Dragon Wings. Remove straps from blade.
    RAF Remove straps from hub bar.
    Sport Rotors *Vanek blades.... (my 30' set) remove bolts on blade side.

    What it comes down to is that there usually is one set of holes that is precision fit and others at the other end of the strap are slightly sloppy * this is where the blades are strung  or slung.*... etc.

    If the blades are setup in a jig and are so precision drilled and bolted, they might have precision (tight fit) on both ends and at that point I would defer to the number of bolts and size to determine which end to take off.

    More bolts side is less likely to wear and cause alignment issues.

    Wayne was taking heat for his blade assembly method. The only thing I see wrong with Wayne is that he is not standing the blades up with a set of saw horses and an adjustable height center stand.  This allows the coning angle to relax fitment and slide  easier on the hub bar. Most likely the reason why he had to mallet the hardware into place.


    I hit the CTRL key but I'm still not in control ! ! !
  • The blades have no real track record.  I would feel more comfortable with sport rotors or dragon wings.   They flew good up to a certain RRPM then had significant shake.  Coning angle is probably off,  but with the current hubbar design you would not be able to fix that.