Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

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Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby bryancobb » Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:36 pm

Hey Guys:

Let me get your opinion on something.

It's gettin cool out & now we can take our heavier friends for rides.
You still have to insure CG is within limits.
I weigh 225 pounds, and if I carry another 225 pound person, in order to
stay within the W&B limits, the following apply:

1) I have to have 10 gallons or less of fuel.
2) I Must carry 50 Pounds of baggage for ballast.

I have fabricated a 12 pound lead cylinder, 2.5" in diameter, and about
12" long. I drilled 3/4" through it longways, sawed it in half longways, and
fixed a clamp so it can be clamped around the lowest straight section of the tail rotor guard.

This way you can get rid of the 50 pounds of baggage (ballast) and you
can put in 6.5 more gallons of gas.

DANGER: DO NOT takeoff solo with it in place.
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Postby donlew » Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:47 am

Bryan,
What is the Arm Inches for the location of the weight?

Don L.
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Moment Arm For Tail Ballast

Postby bryancobb » Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:06 pm

The Arm for ballast is STA 273.5

Thanks,
Bryan
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby seneca2e » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:00 pm

I see no one commented on this and it's a very good question. My concern would be causing a fatigue failure of the flimsy tail rotor guard. Other than that it seems almost an ideal solution to the problem. Seems like in another post Bryan might have used ankle weights. I wondered how he might have attached those. Hopefully he'll see this and enlighten us. If not has anybody else done this or similiar. Certainly it has merit and as I get closer to flying mine I've been wondering about this very thing.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby bryancobb » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:11 am

You are correct. I did use 2 ankle weights hooked together in a circle against the leading edge of the horizontal stab.
Here's the only picture I have of it installed that I remember.
Image
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby Ron Spiker » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:03 am

seneca2e wrote:Certainly it has merit and as I get closer to flying mine I've been wondering about this very thing.


Just because it has been done doesn't make it authorized or approved by the manufacturer. If it were, there would likely be something in the flight manual or a service bulletin/letter/instruction about a recommended process. See what happens if there is an accident with unapproved weights hanging from the tail. I actually wish there was some document about this from Brantly, as I've seen the need for it a few times now.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby bryancobb » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:35 am

For THAT VERY REASON I carried IN THE POH, an FAA letter that addressed additional ballast and what means of adding it could be acceptable. I think you have that letter still in your POH, Ron, if it hasn't been removed.
I was willing to do it with the ankle weights as in this picture, and I was willing to mix it up with any FAA safety guy who challenged me. I flew it to many airshows and accumulated nearly 100 hrs with it like that. Several FAA saw it and never said a word.

Others can do it any way they feel fit.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby Ron Spiker » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:48 am

Good. I'll see if the owner can find that letter anywhere. That could be useful if he has it.

I've read elsewhere where you said that most of your flying in the Brantly was solo, yet you accumulated nearly 100 hours with a ballast on the tail? Did you do that much flying loaded up heavy enough in the cabin that tail ballast was necessary?
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby bryancobb » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:46 am

I put a little over 300 hours on it in 6 years. Close to 100 was spent "GOING PLACES" with Bill Malpass, Mike Warnock, or Greg Roper.
I put the weights on anytime I had a passenger.

That letter was hole-punched and put in the POH If I remember correctly.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby seneca2e » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:12 pm

Bryan,
Did you ever use your original lead bar weight? If the weight was okay on the tailskid that would have been a clean install and remove solution.

As to the ankle weights how did you secure them? I think balance is even more important than weight though neither can be trifled with. I'm sure almost everyone has flown over weight at one time or another but out of balance is not to be trifled with!
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby bryancobb » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:34 am

seneca2e wrote:Bryan,
Did you ever use your original lead bar weight? If the weight was okay on the tailskid that would have been a clean install and remove solution.

As to the ankle weights how did you secure them? I think balance is even more important than weight though neither can be trifled with. I'm sure almost everyone has flown over weight at one time or another but out of balance is not to be trifled with!


I am not familiar with an " original lead bar weight." Did Brantly ever have a standard lead ballast? If they did, this is the news to me. :o

The ankle weights I had were made with a very strong 2" wide strap which had some very aggressive Velcro. I just used the straps as they were designed, fastening the 2 weights together into a "belt" that wrapped all the way around the tail. The taper of the tail kept the belt secure against the leading edge of the stab.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby seneca2e » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:17 pm

"I have fabricated a 12 pound lead cylinder, 2.5" in diameter, and about
12" long. I drilled 3/4" through it longways, sawed it in half longways, and
fixed a clamp so it can be clamped around the lowest straight section of the tail rotor guard."

This is the one I was talking about.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby bryancobb » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:54 am

I had completely forgotten about THAT. I never used that one. The ankle weights turned out being such a good idea. The lead thing was ugly and I was concerned it would damage my T/R guard.
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby 9121u » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:25 pm

Hay guys I think your asking for ..trouble mounting any thing on the tail guard.there has been a lot of tail guards cracking that has been welded that I have seen in the past on some helicopters.If that home made tail weight would happen to go into the tail rotor or flys off and hits some one some one is going to be in bad shape..either way not a good idea at all.this could be why there was a old sb on the tailguard to look for cracks I also no its from imbalance rotor.Remember like i said in the past these Brantley's are not experimental helicopters..I..will not give any help OR ADVICE on a helicopter that SOME ONE tries to do something that is not approved by the FAA so it sounds like your on your own...good luck...
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Re: Tail Ballast For "Fat Boys"

Postby seneca2e » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:50 pm

Tom,
If you read the above thread you can see Bryan never actually used the lead weight on the tailskid. It does seem like a plausible idea though-who knows it might even dampen the buzz in that tail skid and make it LESS likely to crack. Most of those things look like they've been welded numerous times.
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