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Dennis Fetters Mini 500



 
 
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  #41  
Old June 18th 04, 02:52 PM
Barnyard BOb -
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Hoppy wrote:

Bryan wrote:

2-stroke engines can be just as if not more reliable than 4-strokes. Look
at the big rigs on the road, a very large number of them are 2-stroke
engines pulling very heavy loads for hundreds of thousands of miles.


Yeah, 2-stroke diesels. Valves, not ported cylinder walls. Pressure lubrication,
not diluted oil/fuel mist.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Heh, heh.

Bryan is obviously correct...
for as far as he cared to take the argument.

I suspect the reason we haven't seen much of 2-stroke or 4-stroke
aviation diesels with valves and pressure lubrication is that they've
been heavy and more costly to manufacture than the gas 4-strokes
we currently enjoy. Cheap gas in the past also played a large role.
However, times are a changing, so stay tuned, eh?

Kudos to you, Hoppy, for filling in the blanks.


Barnyard BOb - born in the dark, but not last night.




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  #42  
Old June 18th 04, 03:48 PM
Stan Premo
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They'll fly if you throw 'em hard enough!
"Barnyard BOb -" wrote in message
...


2-stroke engines can be just as if not more reliable than 4-strokes.

Look
at the big rigs on the road, a very large number of them are 2-stroke
engines pulling very heavy loads for hundreds of thousands of miles.

It all comes down to engine design and installation. The fact that an
engine is a 2-stroke has nothing to do with reliability!

Bryan

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The REALLY big honking 2-stroke rigs on the road are...

EMD locomotives built by GM


So, what you say is definitely true and correct.

However, pigs and locomotives have yet to fly.



Barnyard BOb - retired Union Pacific RR



  #43  
Old June 18th 04, 04:51 PM
Rich
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Dennis Fetters wrote in message m...

...snip... I was not smart enough
to read the Rotax statement. Well Rich, I did read it. Better than
that, I understand it as most people do and was able to see beyond it


Iteresting that you have the abilty to "see beyond" the facts that
don't fit your plans. Unfortunately, your customers lacked the abilty
to "see beyond" your retoric and realize that the cute little
helicopter was in fact beyond the abilty of even very experienced
helicopter pilots to operate safely.


Rich, there is no need to be mean or insulting to people.


Which is why I have not been mean or insulting to anyone.


If improperly installed a 4 stroke will fail too.


I never stated a 4-store wouldn't fail. My statement said a 2-stoke
was more likely to fail without warning then a 4-stoke. You appear to
have "looked beyond" the without warning part.

Rich
  #44  
Old June 18th 04, 06:40 PM
Dennis Fetters
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John,
Thank you for your kind post giving us your view.

John Ammeter wrote:
Dennis,

I'm sure no one will doubt your ability to sell helicopters.
You designed a product that would appeal to many people; in
particular, to the new builder or pilot.

It was "cute" and "sporty", to say the least....

Unfortunately, due to the very nature of your customer base,
most of the new owner/builders had little or no real
experience in building aircraft, let alone a helicopter with
its many specific needs.



Correct. 73% of our buyers had no helicopter experience whatsoever. 99%
had no experience building a helicopter. 91% never built an aircraft of
any kind.

But, even with this great deal of inexperience most all were capable of
building and flying the Mini-500. It is a simple helicopter to build and
fly, yet still being a helicopter and unforgiving to neglect and to
stupidity.


Where you failed your customers was in failing to realize
that you absolutely had to detail exactly how the 2 stroke
Rotax was to be installed. Your failure was most likely due
to your expectation that the builder would know more than
they did...



Thank you for your opinion, but I don't think that is the case. We had a
very nice and detailed assembly manual. The parts were even designed to
only fit one way. We had no problem with owners assembling the engine
into the helicopter correctly. In fact I can't remember one that I saw
incorrect. The problem came to the jetting, of which we gave out plenty
of instructions, newsletters and advisories, but some customers simply
refused to change the jetting. They would say "it flies fine in a hover
with the stock jets, so I'll wait and see how it does in flight before I
do any changing". Of course then, it was to late. We told them why and
what would happen, but some of them did it anyway. Later we even started
taking the jets out of the engine before we shipped it and made them buy
jets using the same chart we always sent. We could not provide jets
because of different altitudes. Remember most of the customers did what
they should. It was only a few that didn't, but those are the ones you
hear about.


If/when you ever get back into the kit sales business I'd
strongly suggest you hire someone to write the builders
manual in such a way that even the newbie will know exactly
what to do and how to do it.



No thanks, I don't need the grief of dealing with the public.

But, as I said, we had one of the best manuals out there. Time after
time the FAA inspector would comment to the customer on how nice and
detailed the manual was, and so would the customers. We sent a set to
the FAA in OK, they said the same thing.

But, there was a problem. We started to notice that most everyone we
talked to at the air shows or on the phone were building according to
the pictures and drawings, because they were so detailed, and ignoring
all the written instruction. Even when it said at the first of each
chapter "Read and understand this entire section before applying the
directions". We sent out letters and did all we could to warn them about
omitting even the simplest details. How many times did I tell a guy he
should disassemble his Mini-500 and start again, but this time READ!


Also, I'd suggest a motor that wasn't so dependant on EXACT
jetting for dependability. When the motor worked as planned
an FAA standard pilot could fly the helicopter... BUT, when
a 200 pound pilot attempted to fly the helicopter at the
2500 foot elevation of Las Vegas and 80 degrees it was not
possible to get out of ground effect. I was there and saw
it...



Well, the Rotax was not so dependent on exact jetting, just proper
jetting. And again, most customers did fine, it was only a few we had
problems with. You had summer jetting and winter jetting. Some failed to
switch, and some failed to rejet to helicopter all together.

Later we came out with the PEP system which took away the need of summer
and winter jetting. So long as you put the proper PEP jetting in, you
had no problems, no more engine failures after that.

I have customers flying all over the world at those altitudes and
weight, but there are other factors why a Mini-500 can't hover at that
altitude. I had a Mini-500 customer at 180 pounds that couldn't fly at
500 feet. After inspecting it and finding a few adjustments, and pealing
off the improper blade tape that ruined the laminar flow of the blades,
it flew fine.
But admittedly, the performance is not going to be good at 2500 feet.
Remember, a Mini-500 with one pilot and full of fuel is fully loaded.
You take a Brantly with two people and full of fuel and it's fully
loaded, and it won't hover at 2500 feet either.

But, with the introduction of the PEP, that added enough available power
that you would perform very well at that altitude. I have owners using
the PEP and flying from 6500 feet and loving it.

But not all the customers complied with the mandatory PEP, and they
still had some problems. It is a fact that a Mini-500 with all the
latest upgrades fly fine, and still are. But I firmly believe that no
one should continue flying any aircraft that no longer has factory support.

I look at myself and can say I have failed in many things by wishing I
would have done some thing better or differently. Hindsight is 20/20.

I wish I would have made my factory on higher ground the first time, so
I would have avoided loosing my factory in the floods of 93 and
occurring all the expenses to start over.

I wish I would have never gave Rick Stitt and Lee a job.

I wish I would have never met that back stabbing Fred Stewart and sold
him a kit.

I wish I would have continued paying Jim Campbell every month for that
worthless ad in his rag magazine so he wouldn't have turned on me like
the dog he is.

I wish I would have never designed the 0.001" bushings to be on the
cotton picking inside of the check plates so head shifts wouldn't be
such a pain in the ass!!

But, unlike most people, I DID get off my ass and do something, and am
still doing something, and I'll never regret that. So did I fail at
anything? No, never failed, maybe could have done a few thing better,
but never failed.

Did I fail with Revolution Helicopter. No, we did an outstanding job
against all odds. We did what few have been able to accomplish, and we
are proud of that. We closed because we were defeated after a 2 year war
with Stewart and his coolies, a small group of people that cheated and
lied to everyone about us, while advertising in Kitplanes magazine they
wanted to start their own helicopter company, so they needed us out of
the way. Our ammunition could only be the truth. But you don't need fire
to stop someone's sales, smoke will do if you keep it up long enough.

In the end, Fred Stewart is the one that failed. He never could start
his own helicopter company, or offer assistance to Mini-500 owners as he
promised, and now he has a worthless Mini-500 with no factory support.
He has no victory either, because there is no honor in stabbing a friend
in the back, or defeating someone with lies.

Again, thanks for your view, hope I put some light on mine.

Sincerely,

Dennis Fetters

  #45  
Old June 18th 04, 07:10 PM
Dennis Fetters
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C.D.Damron wrote:
Dennis,

While the language is losing it specificity due to improper usage and the
incorporation of distorted definitions in modern dictionaries, there is
general agreement that the words, "fact", "truth", and "honesty" are not
synonomous.

You often select factual statements in an attempt to prove some larger truth
or your own honesty. The omission of critical facts makes it possible to
present factual statements while failing to be truthful or honest.



C.D.
I believe that is what I'm here about, but the other way around. It is
some people here that are making posts that are incomplete so that they
take on a bad meaning. That is a fact, just read my responses over the
last few days.


You are so proud of those FAA accident reports that reach a conclusion of
pilot error. Both civil and military accident reports use a rather strict
standard in establishing whether an accident was the result of pilot error.
In short, the approach is to determine if the pilot could have done anything
at any point to avoid an accident - EVEN IF FACTORS BEYOND THE PILOT'S
CONTROL CONTRIBUTED TO THE SITUATION. As a result, poor design and
production can significantly contribute to an accident that is eventually
attributed to pilot error.



Please, name some of those factors that the government forgot to mention.

None of the accidents were caused by the design or flight
characteristics of the Mini-500, how simple can that be? The helicopter
had great flight characteristics compared to any helicopter. People love
the way it fly's. Kin Armstrong of Kitplanes magazine did a flight
review and said it had no bad characteristics, on the contrary he said
it had very good flight characteristics. So if no parts failed that were
installed properly and it flew fine, where is it the fault of the
aircraft or it's designer if it crashes due to strictly pilot error or
maintenance error, or stupidity?


Pilot error is not some trump card you can throw down on the table. So yes,
I think you are less than truthful or honest when you insist that pilot
error absolves you of any responsibility.



I'm not insisting, the reports are insisting. The facts are insisting.
The cause of the accidents are insisting. I will be the first to stand
up and say this accident is my fault, if it were. But if I did that
would be a lie. Now, if it would make you feel better to hear me say so
just because, forget it. I will if it was my fault, but it has not been
my fault. If you want someone to be sacrificed just for the fun of it,
then why don't you take the blame. Why not, your as guilty as I am.


The realm of experimental aviation further complicates the validity of such
accident reports. The reason for this is pretty obvious, the FAA is
trained to investigate accidents involving certified aircraft. As a result,
they will make assumptions about experimental aircraft based on their
limited training and experience.

For example, if I build a plane that is impossible to fly or a helicopter
that cannot be auto-rotated, it is still very possible that an accident
report could conclude that I was at fault for not avoiding a stall or not
successfully performing an auto-rotation. Why? Because the FAA makes
certain assumptions about experimental aircraft that are not supported by
any basis in reality.



Well if that were the case that the Mini-500 would not autorotate, then
yes, that would be a serious design flaw and I would be responsible. But
that is not the case, the Mini-500 autorotates better that most helicopters.


When I have a little more time, I would be happy to rehash the lies.



If you could just put forth one piece of evidence to substantiate your
accusations would be very helpful in giving you something to argue
about. But that has not been the case. So I'm afraid that what you are
saying is worthless and lacking.

Dennis Fetters

  #46  
Old June 18th 04, 07:20 PM
Dennis Fetters
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Hoppy wrote:
Dennis Fetters wrote:


"According to the Rotax representative, "...the modified tuning and
non-conforming parts of the engine from stock configuration..." was not
recommended;



The Rotax guy refers to non-conforming from stock, non-recommended stuff...


He later purchased the PEP exhaust from us,



Isn't that one of the parts the Rotax guy was talking about?


however, some modifications, such as the "PEP" exhaust system, were
recommended and marketed by the helicopter kit manufacturer."



Ah, that _is_ one of the parts. Rotax wouldn't recommend the PEP, but you
recommended it. Actually, you mandated it. And marketed it, naturally.



So what's your point? Did you just discover this or are you just way
behind the rest of us? I don't mean that in an insulting way, but I'm
really asking so I know.


He crashed into the top of a 50 foot tree and fell nose first to his death.
In time the PEP proved to be a deferent advantage for the Mini-500, so much
that we made it mandatory to install.



MANDATORY! Anyone else's mods were prohibited, by purchase contract and court
order. Any new mods you wanted to sell, however, were "mandatory", by phony AD.
When customers fell to their deaths, so what, you just shrugged it off.



Yes, it became mandatory. Again, are you just now discovering this? I'm
very sorry, but I don't get your point.

As for the crash of Gil using the PEP, I hope you read the part were we
begged him to follow instructions when he refused to do so, and we
offered to buy the unit back when he refused to use the recommended
jetting. So, what is the point you are trying to make?


Rotax did sell Revolution Helicopter engines directly and specifically for
the Mini-500.



They were coerced, forced to.



Oh yes, I told them I would fire each and every one of them. I'm sorry
Hoppy`, but I can't help but get a chuckle out of that one.

Dennis Fetters

  #47  
Old June 18th 04, 07:22 PM
Dennis Fetters
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Hoppy wrote:

Bryan wrote:


2-stroke engines can be just as if not more reliable than 4-strokes. Look
at the big rigs on the road, a very large number of them are 2-stroke
engines pulling very heavy loads for hundreds of thousands of miles.



Yeah, 2-stroke diesels. Valves, not ported cylinder walls. Pressure lubrication,
not diluted oil/fuel mist.

2-stroke gassers with big cylinders seize a lot, they just do. Except the Rotax
in a CH-7, don't know why that worked out so well, when a Mini-500 with the same
engine is crap.



Almost all the CH-7 helicopters were built and test flown by the
factory, not the customers. There are less than 100 CH-7's while there
are over 500 Mini-500.


Dennis Fetters

  #48  
Old June 18th 04, 07:38 PM
Dennis Fetters
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Rich wrote:
Dennis Fetters wrote in message m...


...snip... I was not smart enough
to read the Rotax statement. Well Rich, I did read it. Better than
that, I understand it as most people do and was able to see beyond it



Iteresting that you have the abilty to "see beyond" the facts that
don't fit your plans.



It's true, I don't ware blinders and I have a forward thinking mind. I
and many others know why Rotax puts warnings on their engines. Who
don't? Even food and rides has warnings. Please, be reasonable.


Unfortunately, your customers lacked the abilty
to "see beyond" your retoric and realize that the cute little
helicopter was in fact beyond the abilty of even very experienced
helicopter pilots to operate safely.



So are you saying that every lite aircraft out there today has pilots
that lack the ability to "see beyond"? Rich, please be fair and not so
selective. Even today Mini-500's are flying with the same Rotax it
started with and with no problems. The proof is historical now. It says
that if you build and maintain your Mini-500 according to the latest
factory instructions, your Mini-500 will fly as designed. History, fact.
But, this may not be true in the future. I now have no way of knowing
what potential and unforeseen problems may occur since there is no
further factory continued testing.


Rich, there is no need to be mean or insulting to people.



Which is why I have not been mean or insulting to anyone.



Then please allow me to apologize if I took you wrong.


If improperly installed a 4 stroke will fail too.



I never stated a 4-store wouldn't fail. My statement said a 2-stoke
was more likely to fail without warning then a 4-stoke. You appear to
have "looked beyond" the without warning part.

Rich



No, I didn't. In fact, if there was a proven reliable 4 stroke that had
the power to weight needed, and was available new in-the-box at a rate
of 5 a week at the time we designed and built the Mini-500, I would have
probably used it. But there was nothing like that. The Rotax 582 was the
best available engine, and still is running well.

Sincerely,

Dennis Fetters

  #49  
Old June 18th 04, 11:39 PM
Matt Whiting
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Dennis Fetters wrote:



Matt Whiting wrote:

Why? the trouble has never been that one of our Rotax powered engines
quit because it failed from over excursion. Not one Rotax in a Mini-500
failed from the engine wearing out, ever. The only failures that ever
occurred was from failure to jet the engine according to instructions,
using poor fuel below 86 octane, or running out of fuel, or improper
coolant mix or leak, but never the fault of the engine. Nothing beats
the power to weight of a 2-stroke and the ease of maintenance. It was
the right engine.

So where is this the fault of the designer or the aircraft? It was made
plan in instructions, AD's and advisories not to make these
mistakes. We
flew the factory helicopters hundreds of hours to prove the design
worked. Sure there were some development problems, but each one was
solved and made available. The truth is that the engine worked well.

Like it or not, your comments are unfounded, uninformed, based on lack
of experience and unappreciated.

Dennis Fetters





Sorry, but that isn't correct. I ran two-stroke motorcycles for years
with no problems. Many outboard engines are two-strokes and they have
excellent reliability records. I think the issues with two-strokes in
aviation has been improper operation.

Matt




Well, sorry Matt, but my statements are right on. In fact, you just
helped support exactly what I said. Thank you.


I actually was trying to support your point, but you reply here messed
up the thread so it appears I was replying to your message when I was
actually replying to the reply to your message. Count the "carats"
along the edge and you will see that you messed up the attribution chain.


Matt

  #50  
Old June 18th 04, 11:46 PM
Matt Whiting
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D.A.L wrote:

"

I think we all need to blame gravity, or maybe the earth, or maybe the adventurous spirit of man. He chose to do what he
did. Freedom is a wonderful thing. It does have its responsibilities though. Ignorance can be bliss, and it can kill
you.



Why are you people not trying to shut down the gun manufactures or
porsche or ferrari? They all produce/sell products to anybody who
walks through their doors and have no conscience or even give a rats
behind if those people go out and kill themselves or anybody else. Gun
manufacturers even refuse to adjust the trigger presure so that
children (who they know might or do have access) can'nt fire a bullet!
I won't even talk about the tobaco or alchohol producers! You guys
blame Dennis for the plight of people who 'know not what they do'
and/or do not fully respect the dangers of aviation. Most people fully
understand the dangers (like myself) and still wish to persue the
freedom of flight.


You need to do some homework. There have been many lawsuits attempting
to shut down gun manufacturers. The trial lawyers are trying to make
gun makers the next silicon implant/tobacco/asbestos class action sham.


Matt

 




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