While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the autogyro’s rotor must have air flowing through the rotor disc to generate rotation. Invented by the Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva to create an modern gyroplane design pdf that could fly safely at low speeds, the autogyro was first flown on 9 January 1923, at Cuatro Vientos Airfield in Madrid. De la Cierva’s aircraft resembled the fixed-wing aircraft of the day, with a front-mounted engine and propeller in a tractor configuration to pull the aircraft through the air. Kellett companies made further innovations.
Late-model autogyros patterned after Etienne Dormoy’s Buhl A-1 Autogyro and Igor Bensen’s designs feature a rear-mounted engine and propeller in a pusher configuration. The term Autogiro was a trademark of the Cierva Autogiro Company, and the term Gyrocopter was used by E.
Burke Wilford who developed the Reiseler Kreiser feathering rotor equipped gyroplane in the first half of the twentieth century. The latter term was later adopted as a trademark by Bensen Aircraft. An autogyro is characterized by a free-spinning rotor that turns because of the passage of air through the rotor from below.
Whereas a helicopter works by forcing the rotor blades through the air, drawing air from above, the autogyro rotor blade generates lift in the same way as a glider’s wing, by changing the angle of the air as the air moves upwards and backwards relative to the rotor blade. A few types have shown short takeoff or landing. A rudder provides yaw control.
There are three primary flight controls: control stick, rudder pedals, and throttle. The rudder pedals provide yaw control, and the throttle controls engine power. Secondary flight controls include the rotor transmission clutch, also known as a pre-rotator, which when engaged drives the rotor to start it spinning before takeoff, and collective pitch to reduce blade pitch before driving the rotor. So-called tipjets, actually hydrogen peroxide rockets, are placed at the tips of the rotor.