An autogyro is a strange flying machine resembling a helicopter but has no engine power to the rotor. Forward thrust is provided by a conventional propellor, usually mounted at the back. There are no wings; lift is provided by the rotor blades. Power for rotation comes from the wind moving through the rotor, like a child’s windmill. I set out to fly in one.
To get the autogiro into the air, its propellor pushes the machine forward, and the slipstream flows through the backwards tilted rotor. When the rotor is up to speed, it is tilted slightly forward to provide upward lift. Because the rotor blades are long and heavy, it takes a while to get them going. Modern machines have a flexidrive from the engine to start them off. The drive is disconnected when the rotor is up to speed, about 200 rpm. [Read more…] about Flying an Autogyro