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-   -   Why do you fly autogyros? (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/autogyros-191/5523670-why-do-you-fly-autogyros.html)

Lizard 03-07-2007 05:32 AM

Why do you fly autogyros?
I have thought why I like to build and fly autogyros. What is the thing that makes you build and fly these machines?

Here are some reasons, why I do this:
:) It is fun to experiment with something different. I have flown fixed wing planes long time before these. This gives a lot of new challenges. Also the flying with "almost invisible wing" makes it harder to see it in the air.

:) Autogyros are different from other flying "normal" flying machines. You don't find these often at flying sites. You are sure to get lot of attention if you have an autogyro with you.

:) I love the sound of whirling blades in the air.

:) The idea of autorotation amazes me even many years after my first pair of blades

:)The flying characteristics are special. Those are not suitable for all purposes, but capability to fly at low speeds and vertical descending makes it fun and interesting.

:) The mast and blade structure is simple even it differs from "traditional wings" and especially compared to helicopters. This makes it relatively fast to build.

:)Autogyros are interesting piece of aviation history. I like to talk about it with people.

On my list you see that the flying characteristics is just one reason. There are much othere reasons why I do this.

floridagyro 03-07-2007 12:49 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
That was 7 reasons for flying autogyros. Here are 10 reasons for not flying gyros.

They are more difficult to fly.
They crash more often.
Club members think you are crazy.
They do strange things for no apparent reason.
They are generally more difficult to repair after a crash.
It cost a lot more because they crash more often.
The wife thinks you're crasy because you spend all your time repairing instead of flying.
You have to show up at the field with a conventional airplane or heli to demonstrate that you really do know how to fly.
Some guys in the club will attempt to build and fly one only to get discouraged and upset at you for getting them started and they don't listen to your suggestions anyway.
You get reamed out for standing on the runway trying to take off when somebody wants to land.
The wind is always blowing the wrong direction or it's too little or too much.
Bill Friedlander said he made 60 takeoffs before he made a control landing. That maybe slightly above average.
You have 20 guys asking 50 questions when you're trying to do a repair or setup.
After a crash you have 20 guys telling you what you did wrong and none of them have ever flown a gyro.
On a new design, it's not unusual to make 20 trips to the field before you have the 1st successful.

I guess I'm pass 10 reasons for not flying gyros, BUT that is why we got the name GYRONUTS:D:D:D

floridagyro 03-07-2007 12:58 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?

I forgot to mention that tomorrow, Thursday the 8th is our first day of our 2 day event at SpringHill Florida Gyro meet.

Hope to see yu-all there.

I just returned from the field and have two gyros to repair before tomorrow. My wife thinks I have time to squeeze oranges and take out the garbage[:o]


Lizard 03-07-2007 01:25 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?

I find myself from your story :) We do these things because it is chanllenging, not because it is easy. The wind problem is also familiar. Much wind is not good for autogyros because it rotates the rotor on the ground after landing. Calm is also problematic.

You can see some autogyro reality on my [link=http://picasaweb.google.fi/jussika/Misc/photo#5039246777974304210]videoclip[/link] :D

Oh, and please take lots of pics and video from your gyro meet.

Randy W. 03-07-2007 02:01 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
My first gyro must have crashed at least 20 times before it came down in one piece! I was so thrilled I drove over to my wifes job and showed her it was undamaged! Generally speaking the gyro guys I have met are really good people. Because of the model gyros, I now own 4 full size gyros too! If you think the models are fun, you should try flying a Bensen with a Mac 2-stroke pushing you along! One does tend to be much more careful when you know your gonna be the first thing to hit the ground!

floridagyro 03-07-2007 04:08 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
After all the mishaps that I have had with models, I'm not sure I would get into a full size, although they look pretty safe.

You guys in Finland have it made. You just crash in the snow and pick it up and fly again.:D

My gyro looked like yours in the video only worst. I installed a new electric motor on my little Rotorshape and tested it several times in the shop with the power analyzer. I'm using a prop saver, the one with O' Ring holding the prop on. I knew by the sound on the first flight the O' Ring was holding well enough. So put on another O ring. This time that little motor had so much torq before I could do anything it went straight up into the sun. You guessed it!![:o] Couldn't see it and probably couldn't have done anything about it anyway.

That is one of the problems with a DC gyro. Without a conventional elevator you just can't get the nose back down. Anyway, rebuilding for tomorrow and good luck in the snow stay safe with that full scale.


imsofaman 03-10-2007 03:21 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?

Why I fly gyros.....

1. Everyone at my clubs are scared of them.

2. I am THE only one that fly them.

3. They are a chalnge to build

4. They are a challenge to fly!!!!

5. The are a challenge to land!!!!!;)

6. I like to tinker with design and improvements.

[link=http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendID=1167933 87&MyToken=dea67fbc-1bf6-4adb-9e95-b9d4c70bdcdfML]Why I really love gyros!!!![/link]

JCaste 03-15-2007 07:22 AM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
I'll answer too... although I'm going to repeat many of the answers. :D They're not in a specific order.

1) I think it's a great tribute to an unknown Spaniard. Unknown in his country, at least. And I think (at least) the heli world and Spain owes a lot to this man, who lived for his passion and his country, so this is my way of giving him some credit and make his ideas live.

2) It's different, uncommon and unknown. That's very good in some senses, but also gives some troubles. You're the only one in the field who flys them (often you're the first gironut they meet). People, in best cases have very little knowledge about them and ask things. That doesn't bother me, as I like to share my little knowledge with those who show true interest. Others, instead of being modest and saying they don't know nothing about them, cover their ignorance with imagination (it's quite fun to talk to them :D). A few others will run away scared at the sight of the swirling menace and even point a cross at you and shout biblical jargon for even mentioning the name of the flying device. Of course, there is the "experts crowd" or "wise men council", don't know how you call them here, that will come over, look over like you need their aproval, and start talking bullsh** about your autogiro. They don't know nothing about them, but will give their definitive pro advice about random things like engine incidence, blade profile, history, flight theory and/or flying tips (my favorites :D!!!!). Don't even think of crashing, as they will start again saying "I told you..." and repeat the pre-flight briefing again, giving their obviously correct explanation for the incident. I'm lucky, I fly alone and the two times I crashed the repairs were nearly aesthetic. :)

3) They're challenging! They aren't designed or flown like planes, even less helis. Construction can be quite similar to the first, though. The design is quite more difficutl than on planes, because you have fewer references, they're more critical (=it's more difficult to make a sound design in general) and I think you need a higher degree of understanding to know what you are going to do.

4) They have very appealing flight characteristics! On one ocasion, I was flying at sunset. The autogiro was barely visible in the sky, but it was time to land and I made it come down towards the field. Then, when it reached the height of trees, it disappeared in the dark. I couldn't see anything at all. I had my ECDC giro very well trimmed, so I gave him my trust (as if I had other options!) and let the hands of the stick. After a few seconds, I walked towards where I thought it landed and guess what: it was a perfect landing! The blades where still turning and the prop idling with a nice poping sound. Landings aside, being able to make ultra-slow fly-bys, vertical or backwards descents, etc. are very atractive to me. I even enjoy take offs! I always TO from the ground.

5) The sound of the blades. I just love it. I'm starting to think I'll have to make something to the tips of my blades so they whistle or scream louder.

6) James Bond flys one. Enough said. :D

And, of course, 7) Just because I want to do it!

PS1. Floridagyro, IMHO it seems like you need some negative incidence in that motor.
PS2. Imsofaman, the correct, full name of the inventor is "Juan de la Cierva y Codorniu" (name, surname of father and surname of mother), or just "Juan de la Cierva" if you prefer. But "Juan Cierva" is a bit "incomplete". ;)

Lizard 03-19-2007 05:31 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Oh yes, there is still one thing that has inspired me into autogyros. It is an old PC game called [link=http://www.microsoft.com/games/crimsonskies/]Crimson Skies[/link]. There were air pirates and autogyros in the game. I thought they were cool [8D]:D Some days ago it inspired me to edit a new short autogyro video.



floridagyro 03-19-2007 06:53 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Hi Nice Video. Do you have others in your area that fly autogyros. What are you using for rotor blades and what type of hub are you using. Your gyro looks like it flies very well or you are a very good pilot.


Lizard 03-20-2007 12:02 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
1 Attachment(s)
Hi, Phil!

That is me flying both autogyros on the video. It is not a matter of flying skills or well flying machines. It is a matter of video editing. I can choose the clips I want to my video :D

It took some time get things right to both autogyros but after start they are well behavied (in my opinion). I have no experience on other's autogyros how those fly.

The hub is [link=http://www.autogyro.com/technic/simple-d.htm]simple-d[/link] constructed by the instructions of autogyro.com. I have a round plastic plate in the middle of plywoods. It makes structure stronger. That is the only difference to the original. Blades are 6mm*5cm*50cm clark-y balsa blades. The root is strengthened with thin 0.8mm plywood plates.

Whirley Bird 03-25-2007 05:12 AM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
I used to have one LOL
Now I know what they sell ear plugs.
But I logged 600 hours and not 1 single problem.
I also turned down the Benson blades and went with Stanzie Blades
Flew much better.
Had three all total.
Who sells a good kit or a RTF gyro?

imsofaman 03-25-2007 09:31 AM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
[link=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87jGE3oIfTQ]New Wood Rotor Head MOVIE[/link]

I am working a simple and cheap way to make a nice flapping rotor head. I take 1/16 X 12 x 12 balsa laminate the same size birch plywood on the top and bottom using Gorrila glue. Very lite ply when it is dry. The balsa center allows you slice it and add CA hinges!!!!! Too easy! For extra insurance measures....I added 4-40 flat head screws where the CA hinges are glued in. It is very dependable and strong. I have been doing lots of testing....looks great so far. I hope to fly some today if the weather improves.


normgoyer 04-02-2007 04:57 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
1 Attachment(s)
Hi guys, This picture was taken from the June 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine. I had built the stand off scale Cierva model from three-views. It had a Torp 29 for power and flew both free flight and u-control. I had seen some autogyros at the Kellet plant in Willow Grove while flying with the Navy. I had no idea how an autogyro flew but I eventually got it into the air and flew for several years. The trick was 2 or 3 negative degrees incidence in the blades. The bearing was from a ball bearing mica cable guide. The rotors were built up fo balsa and covered with silkspan and were free to bounce up and down and fore and aft. It was a super smooth flyer and needed no control at all. I later became editor of Scale R/C Modeler for over 10 years and still love the autogyros. I am about to build another one first time in 60 years. Norm

imsofaman 04-02-2007 05:13 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Thanks for the photo Norm!!!! That is one cool looking gyro!


normgoyer 04-02-2007 05:22 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
I used to fly it at local model shows and my trick was to take it off via u-control and then set the wires and handles on the ground and drink a bottle of soda. The plane flew merrily along draggign the wires. Then I woud chase it and grab the handle and bring it back. It was rock solid in the air. I didn't know what I was doing designing an autogyro but I guessed in my stupidity I lucked out. Norm

imsofaman 04-02-2007 06:40 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Nice!!!! I wish I could have seen that little show! Great story, thanks so much for sharing. I love this hobby!!!!


normgoyer 04-02-2007 06:51 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Dave, I just thought of something else, it had no controls to the rotor. I had elevator and that was it. The rudder was bent a bit for u-control pressure on the lines and the engine had two speeds, full and off. We sill had a blast flying back then without all the fancy RC we have come to depend on. Norm

rcflyerfl 04-02-2007 07:30 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Now theres a name from the past.. Injoyed the magizine Norm. Didn't know you were into Autogyro's a few years back.

Jim Mahoney

normgoyer 04-02-2007 08:52 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Hi Jim, yes, I have always been fascinated by them and have flown some of the full scale ones as well including one of the McCulloughs that was at our local airport. I have aso flown a 150 hp Lycoming autogyra and have done many articles about them for the magazines that I worked with. I also covered in depth the attempts by several companies in the past 5 years to bring it back, it will never happen, they are wasting their money in my opinion.

A giant scale autogyro is light years ahead in visual impact over the small helicopters when it comes to crowd reaction. I haven't built one in many years but I am headed that way in the near future, just deciding which one to start with. Norm

Whirley Bird 04-02-2007 08:56 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Hi Norm,
Many thanks for sharing that info.
Auto gyros always held my interest and when I was a kid (not to long ago:-) ) I remember drooling over the older Benson ads.
I never built a model but built up 4 Benson gyros.
Does anyone know if the early full size gyros with wings were called auto gyros?
Except for the rotors it looked like a regular plane.
I still want to get a model.
I just got into Helis and I should have picked up a gyro.
[quote]ORIGINAL: normgoyer

Hi guys, This picture was taken from the June 1950 issue of Air Trails magazine. I had built the stand off scale Cierva model from three-views. It had a Torp 29 for power and flew both free flight and u-control. I had seen some autogyros at the Kellet plant in Willow Grove while flying with the Navy.

normgoyer 04-02-2007 09:03 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Hi, the early autogyros were primarily the fuselage and tail surfaces from existing aircraft with the wings removed and the rotor mast and blades added. Some of the earlier ones by Cierva had very narrow wings usually just to put ailerons on. Eventually these wings were dropped and more controls were added to the rotors. Later versions even had a gearing to prerotate the rotor for a quicker "jump start." The first Benson style autogyros were called rotating wing kites and they were towed by submarines essentially to get their antennae high enough to broadcast. Others were used as viewing platforms. This was the same reason that Rogalla wings were invented. Norm

Whirley Bird 04-02-2007 10:24 PM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
I remember reading all about them and how the Germans used them.
The very first ones they towed behind a sub was nothing but threaded pipe and a spindle head.
I'm close to Princeton, NJ and I do remember a commercial Gyro dealer at Princeton airport.
I think but not sure it was called a J-21?.
It was big and I remember them cutting the engine and rotating down then starting the engine up again.
In Italy they make a beautiful 2 seater.
The passenger sits in a raised seat in back of the pilot.
Everything I want I can't afford..
In the mid 70's EAA had their magazine split up in 2 parts.
One for planes and the other part for rotor craft.
That was when the average person could afford to buy one.
Vegas/ http://rotorkite.biz/

normgoyer 04-03-2007 09:30 AM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
Hi, the problem with the first certified autogyros like the Air and Space and McCollough was cost. They used stock helicopter rotor heads and blades and that shot the price sky high. Also they are not fast, won't VTOL and the vibration level is quite high, at least in the ones I have flown. You must remember that when they were invented in the late 1920s there were no helicopters and the gyros were the only game in town. That is no longer the case. Norm

Whirley Bird 04-03-2007 10:49 AM

RE: Why do you fly autogyros?
On my 2nd Benson I had symmetrical helicopter blades cut down on the root end.
I then mounted them on the Benson.
The small pre rotator I has was just enough to get them to flying speed after I started moving.
The ROC was the pits and when I came in do land I dropped the throttle, went nose down like it should but when I went to flare the gyro started to vibrate so bad I never used the blades again.
Here are some of the things I had and I was told the only thing I needed was a small generator and I would have the most upgraded gyro around
1. Electric fuel pump
2. Full instruments.
3.2 Six gallon fuel tanks.
4.Tenp gauge for each cylinder.
5. Battery voltage meter
6. Battery AMPS meter.
7.1.5 HP 2 stroke under the seat to drive a flex shaft to the head.
8. Mufflers.
9. The Benson main wheels were removed and one was used for the nose wheel.
10 The main wheels were from a J-2 Cub.
11 Strobe lights.
12.Rotor TAC.
13.Engine TAC & hour meter.
. Brakes on the main wheels were from a Go cart.
Modified hub made here in Princeton, NJ by a Bell helicopter structural engineer and was close to 4 feet long.
It also was pre set to 0* and when I pushed a button on the joy stick the solenoid would pull out a pin and the blades snapped into a 4* pitch letting the machine jump off the turf.
I sold that hub to a Benson dealer (Ron Menzie) in Ashaway,RI.
Last I heard it was sold to Benson but Benson said it would cost to much to produce and so he had it on display at Kitty-Hawk,NC.
I had the 72 pound 100 HP 2 stroke MAC and really l,liked it.
I put 600+ hours on that gyro and never had any problems and that MAC was always Tacked out at 4,300 RPM
Sure miss flying them but I had to move and had no place to keep them so I had to sell all 4 Gyros.

ORIGINAL: normgoyer

Hi, the problem with the first certified autogyros like the Air and Space and McCollough was cost. They used stock helicopter rotor heads and blades and that shot the price sky high. Also they are not fast, won't VTOL and the vibration level is quite high, at least in the ones I have flown. You must remember that when they were invented in the late 1920s there were no helicopters and the gyros were the only game in town. That is no longer the case. Norm

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