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 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

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