Ok, after receiving several E-mails requesting more information
on Gyroplanes, here is my second write up. In our last
article we touched on some of the sport Gyroplane history
and design as well as the evolution of these aircraft.
Now I hope no one went out and bought the first Gyroplane
ya saw on E-bay.
Don’t get me wrong, there are several nice used
Gyroplanes for sale.
Actually, right here on Barnstormers you will find some
great deals, both for homebuilt Helicopters and Gyroplanes.
That being said, let’s review some off the things
future Gyroplane pilots should look for,.
Buyer beware! There are still a lot of out dated Gyroplanes
floating around on the market. We need to pay attention
to this for the F.A.A. has recently changed some rulings,
greatly affecting Gyroplanes and other ultralight aircraft.
If you are looking at a used Gyroplane, look for one which
is properly licensed and inspected.
You may find a Gyroplane listed as an Ultra light, look
over these ads very carefully. If it is over 254 pounds
empty (and most Gyro’s are) it will not be a legal
Now, there are a few Gyroplanes that are truly ultra light,
but you can rest assured they are stripped of all bells
and whistles and if it has a VW or Subaru engine, you can
bet it is not a true ultra light.
Other points regarding your Gyroplane, many have been
designed with what is referred to as a High Thrust Line.
This means the line of thrust of the engine is higher then
the center of gravity. Why is this of concern?
If a Gyroplane has a high thrust line, and a high powered
engine, the resultant thrust contributes to pitch instability
in aircraft. If a Gyroplane pilot, in a high angle climb,
pushes the stick forward without reducing power (as a pilot
might in a fixed wing aircraft) it could unload the rotors.
This is a bad thing. When a Gyroplane’s rotors are
unloaded, it can go over on its back and not recover. This
is referred to as a bunt over.
A well designed horizontal stabilizer will help prevent
a bunt over, but a center line thrust design Gyroplane
is much better.
In the center line thrust design, the propeller's thrust
is lower down and pass through the aircrafts center of
gravity. The Gyroplane I am building is of the center line
thrust design. Below is a picture of my Falcon Gyroplane.
This aircraft is modified with a larger Subaru engine and
buck horn stabilizers. These stabilizers (designed by Don
Parham) have proven very helpful in stabilizing a number
of high thrust line Gyroplanes.