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Thread: Cold Weather Clothing for Open Cockpit Gyroplane

  1. #1

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    Cold Weather Clothing for Open Cockpit Gyroplane

    Can someone recommend clothing for flying in cold weather (32 - 50 degrees) in an open cockpit gyroplane?
    1. I have heard Merino Wool is a great base layer - better than cotton, silk or synthetics. Does anyone have experience with Merino Wool?
    2. How about the mid layer and shell layer? Cockpit is tight - I need thin clothing that allows unrestricted movement.
    3. My gyroplane (on order) will have heated seats and Gerbing plugs for heated clothing.
    4. I will have a Garmin G3X touchscreen. How do I keep my hands warm and use the touchscreen?
    5. What can I buy for use by various passengers of different sizes and shapes to help keep them warm? A blanket may help, but could possibly be blown out and into the prop - not a good idea.
    6. Also, where is a good place to buy this type of clothing? I live in the Atlantic City, NJ area. If not a brick & mortar store, any online stores?


    Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks. Joe

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    I fly my open cockpit Waco down to -10C. I just dress in layers, 3 layers on my upper half and two layers on the bottom. I wear joggers long johns and insulated jeans.
    I use hot packs on top of my feet in my shoes that I found really helpful. I use hunters kits that fold back to gloves. The one finger has a pad that allows you to use touch screens.
    I wear a full ski mask with ski goggles.

    Here is some info.

    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/h...-0757140p.html

    https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/r...mal-underwear/

    https://www.amazon.ca/HotHands-Body-...51985758&psc=1
    Last edited by Jetmart; 11-18-2022 at 04:40 AM.

  3. #3
    lnuss's Avatar
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    Back when I was flying a Stearman regularly, I had a snowmobile suit for the colder weather - it was windproof, as well as keeping the cold at bay. When it was just "cool" out I wore jackets and/or heavy shirts and/or sweaters. Be mindful of keeping feet and hands warm, too, since they were the first things to get cold for me- snowmobile boots were a bit too clunky for rudder pedals, even those as large as on the Stearman, but various ski clothing stores and/or winter camping clothing stores can have some pretty good choices.

    Larry N.

  4. #4
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippity View Post
    Can someone recommend clothing for flying in cold weather (32 - 50 degrees) in an open cockpit gyroplane?
    1. I have heard Merino Wool is a great base layer - better than cotton, silk or synthetics. Does anyone have experience with Merino Wool?
    2. How about the mid layer and shell layer? Cockpit is tight - I need thin clothing that allows unrestricted movement.
    3. My gyroplane (on order) will have heated seats and Gerbing plugs for heated clothing.
    4. I will have a Garmin G3X touchscreen. How do I keep my hands warm and use the touchscreen?
    5. What can I buy for use by various passengers of different sizes and shapes to help keep them warm? A blanket may help, but could possibly be blown out and into the prop - not a good idea.
    6. Also, where is a good place to buy this type of clothing? I live in the Atlantic City, NJ area. If not a brick & mortar store, any online stores?


    Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks. Joe
    Hmmm... a little different than the usual query about cold weather clothing.

    First, let me aim you at my article on comfort in open-cockpit airplanes:

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories/comfort.html

    This is, however, aimed at the Fly Baby/Pietenpol world...you're a little more out in the open in a gyro!

    First, key point: Keep the air from reaching your skin. A windproof coverall, or at least a leather coat, will be a necessity. Don't forget a scarf around your neck to keep the cool breezes from going down your neck.

    Why...yes, I *do* have an article about scarves:

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories/scarves.html

    Depending on what kind of cab your gyro has, you may want to look into a snowmobile suit. These are intended for use in sub-zero weather, driving a sled at ~20 MPH. I was gifted an oilfield worker's insulated coveralls about 30 years back. Never have worn them; a Fly Baby has pretty good protection for the lower half of the body, and a leather jacket works fine for the torso.

    Why...yes, I *do* have an article about leather jackets:

    http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories/jackets.html

    :-)

    Underneath? Can't speak to the Merino wool, etc. but most clothing *designed* for cold weather should be suited. Don't shop at Nordstrom's, shop at REI.

    My normal everyday wear in winter here in Seattle (where it never really gets THAT cold) is an ordinary flannel shirt. If the temperature is below 50F or so, I throw on a sweatshirt over the shirt, and don my leather jacket.

    Alternately, I put on a turtleneck sweater under the flannel shirt. This gives the layered insulation, and looks a bit more stylish if the wife drags you to somewhere other than McDonald's for supper.

    Lately, I've discovered lined flannel shirts. These are flannel shirts with a thick liner, and are very warm. Bought latest one at Costco for $20.

    Again, though: the key point is that you MUST cover all bare skin. This includes gloves long enough to cover your cuffs. Whatever coat/coverall you're wearing, you want one with knit cuffs that snug tight around your wrist. Loose cuffs act like scoops in the airstream.

    I haven't mentioned leather helmets, because I'm presuming you're wearing a bone dome.

    (If not? Well! http://www.bowersflybaby.com/stories...t_options.html)

    Keep in mind (again!) you don't want any bare skin showing under the helmet.

    When it gets really cold, I wear a ski mask under my leather helmet. The one I have is spandex, very thin, and very warm.

    For your passengers, that's tough...consider their potentially differing sizes. I'd have a selection of sweatshirts available. Maybe even some sweatpants of various sizes, that they can put over or under their own pants.

    Ski masks, scarves, etc. to block their skin off from the cold draft, of course, but those are generally pretty common sizes.

    You do need a coat to block the wind from them. That's tough, because they won't be able to wear a too-small coat, and a too-large one might let the wind in.

    Depending on whether your budget can stand it, I'd recommend an extra-large B3 or Irvin jacket. They're similar, but the Irvin jackets have a belt that might help when you put the jacket over a small person.
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    They're pretty expensive, though. Might just find a big insulated windproof jacket of some sort. Most of your passengers probably aren't going to be up for more than a half-hour or so.

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #5
    Dana's Avatar
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    I have a couple of Merino t-shirts that I use for hiking. Merino and the synthetics are good when you're working and sweating, if not I don't see the point.

    My normal cool weather attire is jeans and flannel shirt. Leather jacket when it gets cool, fleece vest and/or heavy sweater under the jacket when it gets colder. Flannel lined jeans help, too. Silk scarf to keep the draft out, and leather helmet. But like Ron's, my cockpit offers some protection.

    I also have a small hand warmer (the metal kind that uses lighter fluid) that I can slip into the inside vest picket of my jacket, that helps a lot.

    You can get gloves with touchscreen pads on the fingertips, but I find them hard to use accurately. I hang a touchscreen stylus on a lanyard in the cockpit.

    I also have a snowmobile suit I bought for paramotoring, but I rarely use it.

    Mostly for me, my fingers are the limiting factor.

    I'd like to try an electric vest and gloves. As it is, my lower limit is 40F, and that's a short flight.

  6. #6
    steve's Avatar
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    1. I will have a Garmin G3X touchscreen. How do I keep my hands warm and use the touchscreen?


    The G3X Touch uses infrared, not capacitive, touch technology so you can wear ski mittens or welding gloves while flying. I use either USAF green nomex gloves or wool mitten gloves. Garmin still has round knobs and widely spaced buttons on the G3X so I seldom actually touch the screen in flight. But you will touch the screen doing ground operations like flight planning, fuel calcs, paging through checklists, etc.

  7. #7

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    I’m essentially outdoors year round at work. Most of the stretchy stuff makes my skin itch like crazy. Found that a Nomex fire hood didn’t make me itch and really helps keep the head, neck and upper shoulders warm, even in high winds, snow and ice, while on the ramp. Big benefit, is that it tucks under my sweatshirt neck and I can still use the hood. Any of the fire equipment places will have them. Even my kids wore one when waiting for the school bus.

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