Gyrocopter An Introduction
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Gyrocopter An Introduction

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A Gyrocopter, Gyroplane, or Gyro for short, can be considered a cross between a helicopter and a fixed wing airplane. A Gyro uses rotor blades like a helicopter, but uses a propeller for power, as ...

A Gyrocopter, Gyroplane, or Gyro for short, can be considered a cross between a helicopter and a fixed wing airplane. A Gyro uses rotor blades like a helicopter, but uses a propeller for power, as does a fixed wing airplane.
The rotor blades on top of a Gyro are mounted on a free spinning bearing and teetering system. These blades get their lifting power from the air moving up through them. As they move through the air they spin like a windmill. This spinning produces lift.
The forward motion of the Gyro provides the air moving up through the rotor, and a propeller provides the forward motion. As with a fixed wing airplane, in the absence of engine power, gravity must provide this forward motion.
To differentiate a helicopter from a gyro is simple. In a helicopter the rotor blades are powered. This power to the rotor blades creates an equal and opposite torque on the helicopter fuselage. A tail rotor is required to counteract this torque. A Gyro does not create this torque and therefore does not need a tail rotor

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  • By Tim O’Connor [email_address] Version 2.0a 2004 Free to all Additional work by Gary (Kaminski) in Ory-gun
  • * Juan de La Cierva was killed when a commercial fixed wing airplane stalled after takeoff. The ability of fixed wing aircraft to stall was what prompted Juan to invent the autogyro as a safer means of travel.

Gyrocopter An Introduction Gyrocopter An Introduction Presentation Transcript

  • Gyroplanes Gyrocopters and Autogyros Aviation's best kept Secret
  • Gyrocopter, Gyroplane, Autogyro? Do they all mean the same thing?
    • In general YES . However, there are minor technical differences.
  • Autogyro (Autogiro)
    • The term Autogyro is used to describe the first style of gyroplanes.
    • These are tractor-style gyroplanes that have a fuselage that looks like a conventional aircraft.
  • Gyrocopter
    • This is the most common term used by the general public.
    • The term gyrocopter is a product name owned by the Bensen company.
      • Sort of like the term Kleenex TM is a brand name but not all tissues are Kleenex, some are just tissues .
  • Gyroplane
    • In the United States the FAA’s official term is gyroplane.
    • Gyroplane is the term most used by the pilots and people in the hobby
  • What is a Gyroplane?
    • Gyroplanes are a cross between a helicopter and an airplane.
    • Mostly like a helicopter the gyroplane is a rotorcraft and uses rotorblades as a spinning wing to fly.
    • Unlike a helicopter the rotorblades are not powered directly by the engine and they use a propeller for forward movement.
  • So what are we going to talk about?
    • What is so good about gyros?
    • Where did gyros come from?
    • Where are gyros going?
    • Are gyros safe?
    • How much do they cost?
    • What kinds are there?
    • Where do I get info?
  • What is so good about gyros?
    • Gyros are safe
    • A Gyroplane can maneuver and land in a very small area.
    • A well made and stable gyroplane can handle wind better than almost all general aviation aircraft
      • if piloted by an experienced pilot.
    • Inexpensive to purchase and easy to build compared to other sport and general aviation aircraft.
    • Easy to store and transport.
      • It is common practice to keep your gyroplane in the garage and trailer it to a local airport to fly.
    • Gyros are FUN!
  • Where did gyros come from?
    • Spanish inventor Juan de Ia Cierva built the first "Autogyro" in 1923
    • Cierva’s patents were used to develop the helicopter, vertiplane and rotodyne type aircraft. (many patents were stolen from Cierva)
    • Autogyro kites were ‘secret weapons’ used by German WWII submarines and under development by the English.
    • 1953 saw the rebirth of interest in the gyroplane with the invention of Dr. Igor Bensen's patented "Gyrocopter.“
  • A Brief History of Gyroplanes
    • Gyroplanes flourished from the 1920 through the 1940s, Setting world records and producing new designs.
    • Tragically and ironically* the founding fathers and heads of the leading gyroplane manufacturers were killed in non-gyroplane related accidents leaving no one in a position to spearhead development.
    • The depression finished off the remaining companies.
  • Almost a revolution
    • The amazing gyroplane technology was almost revived by both the US and UK governments.
    • The US project was military and lost funding
    • The UK Fairey Rotodyne gained approval for production.
    • It would have setup an air route that would transport passengers between metropolitan areas faster and cheaper then helicopters or commercial airlines.
    • The project was killed by politics when the British put the Fairey company under control of Westland Co. which had ties to helicopter manufacturers.
    • Westland destroyed the working production model, prototypes, drawings and tooling.
  • Igor to the rescue.
    • Dr. Igor Bensen was assigned by the US government and GE to examine captured German secret technology (gyroglider) and the British rotachute in Dayton Ohio.
    • Dr. Bensen then designed and patented the Gyrocopter a ‘pusher’ gyroplane and sold his plans to hobbyists.
    • Benson lobbied the FAA for the creation of the Experimental 51% homebuilt category and succeeded. ( Previously all homebuilt aircraft were actually flown illegally). Therefore all home aircraft builders are indebted to Dr. Benson and his gyrocopter.
  • Where are gyros going?
    • Carter Copter is breaking the rotorcraft speed record
    • Groen Brother’s are developing Heavy Lift Gyroplanes and super-safe, super cheap alternatives to helicopters
    • The Monarch Landing gear allows vertical landings at great speed without damage to the airframe
    • Some homebuilt machines such as the Gyrhino have true VTOL ability previously only found on production machines.
    • Other innovations made by various manufacturers include:
      • Center-Line Thrust (CLT) for increased stability and safety
      • Various Horizontal Stabilizer designs for increased stability
  • Are gyros safe?
    • Yes! And to many, they are considered the safest aircraft type available.
    • However, the safest aircraft is still no match for an untrained or unsafe pilot.
  • Consider an in flight engine out scenario on a fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter and gyro.
  • Engine Out! Fixed-wing aircraft:
    • When the engine stops in flight, you must descend to hold your airspeed. Even with the slowest of airplanes you’ll need a few hundred feet of flat open ground to land safely.
  • Engine Out! Helicopter:
    • You must quickly transfer to autorotation. If at any point, the rotor blade rotation speed decays too much, all control is lost.
  • Engine Out! A Gyro:
    • Is ALWAYS in autorotation mode. You simply hold airspeed and pick a landing spot. At landing you “flare” to trade the stored energy of the blades for a soft zero-airspeed landing.
  • How much do they cost?
    • Good stable single place gyroplane kits and used gyroplanes start at about $8K and can go up to $23K.
    • The average cost of an open cockpit 2-place gyroplane starts at about $13K through about $40K.
    • Enclosed 2-placed gyroplanes start at around $18K and go up and up and...
  • What kinds are there?
    • There are dozens of gyroplane kit manufacturers and models. Here are just a few of the most popular in the US.
      • Air Command
      • Butterfly (Monarch)
      • Dominator
      • LittleWing
      • Magni
      • RAF (produced in Canada)
      • SparrowHawk
      • Sport Copter
      • Star Bee Gyros (Gyrobee)
  • Where do I get info?
    • For more information contact:
      • www.PRA.org Popular Rotorcraft Association
      • www.pra73.net PRA Chapter 73 (Scappoose, OR)
      • www.prachapter34.com ( Greencastle IN.)
      • http://home.earthlink.net/~cra40/ (Chapter 40, Cincinnati)
      • www. aircommand .com
      • www.americanautogyro.com
      • www.raf2000.com
      • www. sportcopter .com
      • www.starbeegyros.com
      • Find a local chapter here: http://www.pra.org/localChapters.php
    • Also join a web forum devoted to rotorcraft:
      • www. rotaryforum .com
  • Important Note:
    • Even experienced pilots must still get lessons from a gyroplane certified instructor.
    • Gyroplanes are relatively easy to fly but are not fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. Gyroplanes have some very unique attributes that require gyro-specific training!
  • Extra Credit?
    • How do Gyroplanes compare Pro/Con to other light sport aircraft?
    • Gyros and Powered Parachutes and PPG
    • Gyros and Trikes
    • Gyros and Fixed Wing Ultralights
    • Gyros and Experimental Helicopters
    • Gyros vs. Gyros?
      • Ultralight and Experimental Gyros
  • How do Gyroplanes compare Pro/Con to other light sport aircraft?
  • Gyros and Powered Parachutes and PPG
    • Gyros
      • Faster (PPG/PPC max speed = 30mph)
      • Can fly in windy conditions
      • Greater range
      • Tip overs less likely
      • No strings, no canopy to manage or replace
      • No ‘cell collapse’
    • PPC, PPG
      • PPG, can be stored in a car
      • Easier to learn to fly
      • Mixes poorly with other aircraft traffic
      • More difficult prep for takeoff
  • Gyros and Trikes
    • Trikes
      • More fuel efficient
      • Generally faster cruise
    • Gyros
      • Controls are not reversed
      • Handle wind better
      • No wing material to wear or replace
      • Stronger construction
      • Won’t spin or stall
  • Gyros and Fixed Wing Ultralights & Experimentals
    • Fixed Wing Ultralights
      • Large used market
      • Easy to find training
      • Generally the best x-country aircraft
    • Gyros
      • Less fuel efficient
      • Harder to find training
      • Safer engine out, No stalls or spins
      • Construction easer to inspect
      • Better in wind gusts and x-winds
      • Quicker to build / easier to build
      • STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing)
      • Requires less storage space, easy to transport
  • Can you fly a Gyroplane Under Ultralight Regulatioins?
    • Yes, you can fly a rotorcraft as an ultralight if you like.
    • That means you can fly without a license and you can purchase one completely built, if it qualifies under the FAA Part 103 ultralight regulations as an ultralight aircraft.
    • Although you can fly an ultralight gyro without a license you still MUST have training .
  • Gyros and Experimental Helicopters
    • Helicopters
      • Can hover and fly backwards
      • Easier to find training
      • Expensive to buy and maintain
      • Harder to fly
      • More complex, difficult to build
    • Gyros
      • Much easier to fly
      • Except for hover, maneuvers better
      • Cheap to buy, store and maintain
      • Easy way to progress to Helicopter Rating
      • Always in autorotation, Won’t settle with power
      • More relaxed flying
  • Gyros vs. Gyros? Ultralight and Experimental Gyros
    • Ultralight Gyro
      • No license required, only good training
      • No FAA fees or paperwork
      • Low performance, short range
      • No 2-Place Machines
    • Experimental Gyro
      • ‘ Aerobatic’ performance
      • More features
      • Must be FAA registered and maintained per FAA Standards
      • Requires a license to fly.
  • Join The PRA!
    • www.pra.org
    • Worlds largest homebuilt rotorcraft org.
    • The voice of the hobby.
    • Lots of information, conventions, chapters.
    • Founded by Igor Bensen
    • Publishes Rotorcraft Magazine.
    • More!
  • Books:
    • A few recommendations
    • The Gyroplane Flight manual by Paul Abbott
    • From Autogiro to Gyroplane by Dr. Bruce Charnov
    • Rotorcraft Flying Handbook, FAA Publication
  • If you want to buy Gyrocopter plans