1972: "Autogyros"

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Soupspoon
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1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:05 pm UTC

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Title text: I understand modern autogyros are much more stable, so I've probably angered the autogyro people by impugning their safety. Once they finish the autogyros they've been work on in their garages for 10 years, they'll come after me.

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(You Only Live Twice came out in 1967, but for a moment I thought it might actually be a 1972 reference.)


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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby jozwa » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:35 pm UTC

I don't think I've ever heard of autogyros. What an interesting thing. For a second I thought Randall was making stuff up (like with those xkcd phones).

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby richP » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:38 pm UTC

Forgot one other key advantage: you can get around after the apocalypse.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Soupspoon » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:40 pm UTC

richP wrote:Forgot one other key advantage: you can get around after the apocalypse.

Snakes On An Autogyro isn't a problem, it's a solution!

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rhhardin
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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby rhhardin » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:53 pm UTC

I don't know what the one thing is, and whether the normal instinct is thought to be nose up or nose down in a normal airplane (cusiously, after a widely-distributed warning about tailplane stalls in icing conditions, where the correct response is to nose up not down, a commercial flight crashed in Buffalo in icing conditions from the pilot nosing up instead of down in a stall.).

My recollection of the normal autogyro fatality was a hard landing followed by decapitation.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby The Devils Engineer » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:03 pm UTC

Ahhhhh....autogyros......anyone of a certain age will remember the small ads for the Bensen B-8 Gyro-Copter in the advertisers section of Popular Science or Mechanics Illustrated. Bensen sold thousands of plans for them. If anyone is interested, plans for various autogyros cans be looked at from here: http://www.gyroplanes.pwbiz.net/plans.htm .
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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby akb74 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 4:02 pm UTC

Once they finish the autogyros they've been work on in their garages for 10 years, they'll come after me.


Crap! How did the autogyroers get up to our balcony?
Last edited by akb74 on Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:12 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby pernishus » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:28 pm UTC

rhhardin wrote:I don't know what the one thing is, and whether the normal instinct is thought to be nose up or nose down in a normal airplane (cusiously, after a widely-distributed warning about tailplane stalls in icing conditions, where the correct response is to nose up not down, a commercial flight crashed in Buffalo in icing conditions from the pilot nosing up instead of down in a stall.).


In a glider, you put your nose down during a stall to gain airspeed. I believe Randall is saying to keep your nose up in an autogyro.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby qvxb » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:23 pm UTC

Autogyros carried the mail in the 1930s.

http://postalmuseumblog.si.edu/2015/04/ ... -mail.html

It was developed by Juan de la Cierva. Cierva died in the crash of a KLM airliner in 1936. He was honored on Spanish stamps in 1939.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby pkcommando » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:27 pm UTC

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby somitomi » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:15 pm UTC

The fact I particularly like is that helicopters are also capable of "autorotating" allowing them to not plunge like a brick if the engine fails.
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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby GlassHouses » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:39 pm UTC

somitomi wrote:The fact I particularly like is that helicopters are also capable of "autorotating" allowing them to not plunge like a brick if the engine fails.

Which also comes in handy when the tail rotor fails.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby NelC » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:41 pm UTC

I'm not sure that it's accurate to call autogyros "common" in Europe. As a Brit, I don't recall that I've ever seen one live. Whereas in my present location I get to see and hear private fixed-wings and helicopters any day of the week, if the wind is right for their approach to the local airport.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby yakkoTDI » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:53 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
richP wrote:Forgot one other key advantage: you can get around after the apocalypse.

Snakes On An Autogyro isn't a problem, it's a solution!


The comic itself made me think of the Gyro Captain from Mad Max 2. Snakes on an autogyro just reinforced that. I know what I am watching when I get home from work tonight.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby RedwoodRhiadra » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:52 pm UTC

I first heard about autogyros from reading "The Shadow" pulp novels from the 30s - the Shadow flew one pretty regularly. I think trans-Atlantic once even (which is absurd, but pulp heroes did that kind of thing pretty regularly.)

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:47 am UTC

OK, I had to go read about these on Wikipedia.

Third sentence: "While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the autogyro's rotor must have air flowing across the rotor disc to generate rotation, and the air flows upwards through the rotor disc rather than down."

So the thing pushes itself upward by throwing air... upward?

This is why I had to go into electrical engineering. Y'all mechanical engineers just can't keep yourselves from breaking the rules. Like Newton's Third.

(On the other hand, I now understand that statement from HGttG that flying is "learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." Autogyros.)

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby zjxs » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:32 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:OK, I had to go read about these on Wikipedia.

Third sentence: "While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the autogyro's rotor must have air flowing across the rotor disc to generate rotation, and the air flows upwards through the rotor disc rather than down."

So the thing pushes itself upward by throwing air... upward?

This is why I had to go into electrical engineering. Y'all mechanical engineers just can't keep yourselves from breaking the rules. Like Newton's Third.

(On the other hand, I now understand that statement from HGttG that flying is "learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." Autogyros.)


Water, fire, air and dirt. Autogyros, how do they work?

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Cygnwulf » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:28 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:So the thing pushes itself upward by throwing air... upward?

Ok, so technically, since the rotor is unpowered, it's not throwing the air upward. The air is pushing against it. causing spin. Then, because it's shaped like an airplane wing, the spinning creates a lift effect, and that sucks you up into the sky.

And yeah, physics is weird.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Wee Red Bird » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:30 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:
somitomi wrote:The fact I particularly like is that helicopters are also capable of "autorotating" allowing them to not plunge like a brick if the engine fails.

Which also comes in handy when the tail rotor fails.


The Super Pumas that were grounded in the UK had gearbox failures that prevented auto rotation from saving the helicopter. There was even one video of the main rotor flying in the air showing that auto rotation was giving it a controlled decent but unfortunately it was no longer connected to the helicopter in question.

There was another incident with a failed tail rotor. The S92 was luckily above the heli-deck of an oil rig and was quickly planted on the deck before it's rotating speed became too great. As it was, there were a few nasty dents on the deck, but all were unharmed.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby peewee_RotA » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:41 pm UTC

Autogyros sound delicious. I'll take one with extra tzatziki sauce!
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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby DanD » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:57 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:This is why I had to go into electrical engineering. Y'all mechanical engineers just can't keep yourselves from breaking the rules. Like Newton's Third.


As opposed to electrical, where the first thing you learn is that everything is backwards, and it gets more confusing from there. :wink:

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:03 pm UTC

peewee_RotA wrote:Autogyros sound delicious. I'll take one with extra tzatziki sauce!

So is that gyros that makes itself?
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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Evadman » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:46 pm UTC

If anyone is still trying to figure this out, an autogyro stall is caused by moving too fast. Since the blade turns in a circle, half of the blade is moving into the wind and the other half is moving away from the wind. The part moving away will see effectively still air at a certain speed because the blade and wind are moving at the same speed.

Normally in a stall in a fixed wing, you pitch the nose down to gain more speed. If you do the same with a rotating blade, you speed up the blade speed and make the stall worse. The blade gets lift on one side and zero on the other side.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby rhhardin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:59 pm UTC

Ok, so technically, since the rotor is unpowered, it's not throwing the air upward. The air is pushing against it. causing spin. Then, because it's shaped like an airplane wing, the spinning creates a lift effect, and that sucks you up into the sky.

And yeah, physics is weird.


It throws air downwards. That's where the lift comes from. The wing shape is just an efficient way to throw air without generating unnecessary forward drag.

Bernoulli reverses cause and effect. The air is moving faster because it ran down a pressure gradient, not vice versa.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:23 pm UTC

Air is passing through the blade-sweep from roughly below to roughly above. There's horizontal (or, rather planar-to-the-rotors) movement, too, but apart from the bit already explained regarding forward and reverse blade speeds offset against general forward movement, this component doesn't feature much in this explanation.

If the blade weren't there, the air (assumed atmospherically stationary, give or take) would rush upwards through the non-existent sweep at the speed the rotorless craft inevitably falls, retarded only by its own cross-section and profile in the general direction of down.

But there's the blades. They are buffeted by the air and freely rotate. This robs energy from the air, plus as they are moving (unlike a static spar) they move and encounter more air than their profile would otherwise suggest, and you might even consider it as reaching a helical terminal velocity far sooner (at lower down-axis velocity) than the static blades would.

The result is sort of a 'virtual' circular parawing that retards down-axis movement. The down-axis leans (so the comic) so that a forward push actually drives the craft at an extremely shallow angle of glide-slope below the disc line, which in level flight is the equally narrow angle upwards.

This includes the usual effect of the wing(/rotorblade)-profile, naturally, so long as enough of the retreating blade is moving faster backwards relative to the axle of the rotor than the the air is itself moving backwards past the axle) is acting like a wing (see also the Nemeth Parasol Plane). Much as faster fixed-wings need not be as big to produce the same lift as a slower fixed-wing (and, additionally, need to scale-down to not over-drag the craft) the thin blade moves through the air much faster than the bosy of the craft (at the forward-sweep side, and needs enough lift also at the other to balance well) and generates more than the usual wing-lift element as part of forces maintaining the glide.

Variable-pitching elements may also warp the rotors according to where in the sweep a blade is, like the collective of a helicopter must do to properly work in horizontal motion, but that complicates the headpiece and might be ignored or inbuilt, rather than necessarily trimmed continually to conditions as per the helicopter. I believe control can be generally limited to moving the axis, or conversely to moving the weight of the airframe beneath the axis like a handglider pilot does by shifting weight.

The flying gyro might therefore be observed to have a lop-sided rotor (tilted over sideways, as well as backwards, the craft being otherwise vertical in its 'hang' beneath it, as the various lifting, pathways and sideways forces cancel out.

Some degree of control in the lighter gyros can even be generated by the pilot shifting in his/her seat, although I've heard that this is often last-resort when normal controls exist, but have somehow stopped working/come adrift.


Anyway, the gist (no matter how mindbendingly convoluted the full explanation is, or how badly I've explained/misexplained the details or badly composed my edit) is that air is going up through the blades, but it's not being forced up, but retarded by various compound effects that extract lift from its passage up and across the system. Net force on air is down, net force on craft is up. Unless you're not flying it properly. The rotor should normally be kept above the vehicle. If it starts to point towards the ground, you are having a bad problem and you may go to the place of God today.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Mikeski » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:05 pm UTC

DanD wrote:
Mikeski wrote:This is why I had to go into electrical engineering. Y'all mechanical engineers just can't keep yourselves from breaking the rules. Like Newton's Third.

As opposed to electrical, where the first thing you learn is that everything is backwards, and it gets more confusing from there. :wink:

But we're consistently backwards all the time! And it's not our fault that math is backwards from reality, anyway.

Pfhorrest wrote:
peewee_RotA wrote:Autogyros sound delicious. I'll take one with extra tzatziki sauce!

So is that gyros that makes itself?

It's either that, or cannibalism. In which case I'm not sure the extra tzatziki would help.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:17 am UTC

First time I saw an autogyro was in "It Happened One Night." Now I'm tempted to build one. As soon as I get a garage...

Or, hey, a smaller one, who could resist with a name like Bangbang
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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby pernishus » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:13 pm UTC

Now I want a ride in one of these things. Can anyone find some listing for places that would take passengers? Close to the Midwest if possible.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:41 pm UTC

pernishus wrote:Now I want a ride in one of these things. Can anyone find some listing for places that would take passengers? Close to the Midwest if possible.

First hit I get is in Costa Rica, but that's too mid-western-hemisphere. Probably not so convenient to you (or you to them), among other things.

Maybe ask the guys at Autogyro USA, Maryland, what they cover, or what contacts they have. It looks sparse. (Google summaries suggest the US has rules against prebuilt autogyros, leaving the field as just hobbyist-builders who can't therefore build up a 'fleet', though there are several flight training schools listed as giving courses, so someone must be learning to fly them. If you're already a pilot yourself, this lot in Denver seemingly would give you a one-time or permanent addition to your piloting portfolio. Probably not for day-tripping groundlings around, though.

(Don't your County Fairs still have barnstormers, etc? If they've not been knocked out of business (by rules, regulations and excessive insurance premiums pushed up by bad practices and bad litigation alike), I'd imagine there'd be room for the odd roaming gyrocaptain to be offering flights to the public, if you can chance upon it.)

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby JPatten » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:36 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:(On the other hand, I now understand that statement from HGttG that flying is "learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." Autogyros.)

I have decided that statement refers to orbiting rather than flying.

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Re: 1972: "Autogyros"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:27 pm UTC

JPatten wrote:
Mikeski wrote:(On the other hand, I now understand that statement from HGttG that flying is "learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." Autogyros.)

I have decided that statement refers to orbiting rather than flying.


Well, actually, flying is orbiting, albeit with a ton of thruster corrections to combat air resistance and maintain an orbital speed of , say, 7.899174481352 km/s at an altitude of 10 km calculator
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