Gyroplane flying and design books?

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,139
Location
World traveler
I am looking for a few books to better understand flight dynamics, design issues and piloting of gyroplanes/gyrocopters/autogyros/etc. Does anyone have any feedback to share on any of these books or other titles to suggest? Cheers, Matthew

  1. The Gyroplane Flight Manual by Paul Bergen Abbott
  2. Understanding the Gyroplane by Paul Bergen Abbott
  3. A Dream of Flight by Igor Bensen
  4. From Autogiro to Gyroplane by Bruce H. Charnov
  5. Flying the Gyroplane by Martin Hollmann
  6. Modern Gyroplane Design by Martin Hollmann
  7. Gyroplane Flying For Beginners by Patrick Howell
  8. An Introduction to Ultralight Gyroplanes by Dave Organ
  9. Autogyros, Gyroplanes & Gyrocopters - Same Aircraft - Different Names by Dave Organ
  10. Weltflug: The Gyroplane Dream by Andreas Stuetz
 

ragflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2007
Messages
233
You will not believe this. None of them unfortunately are good and or have significant errors. Your best way to learn is to join the rotarywingforum.com and read all the archive posts of Chuck Beaty. There is a wealth of information there.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,591
Location
Memphis, TN
All I know is, preferred turns are into the rotation of the blades. Makes them maintain their speed. Lots of turns with the blade rotation, slow, can slow the rotor. An airport buddy had a RAF and he would do most turns into the wind and into the blade rotation. He recked it once with too low rotor RPM, not much damage. Fixed it and flew it for some more years. Sold it to some FAA guys who totaled it. They need a lot more respect than what people say. About 80 miles away there is a commercial Gyro CFI, people go to him from all over.
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,139
Location
World traveler
Any other ideas for books? ragflyer is right...I do find it hard to believe that there is nothing good in any of those books and nothing else out there! ;-)
 

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
3,087
Location
Thunder Bay
Whatcha thinking up over there, Matt? A Verner-powered all wood mini Cierva that packs into a container?
 

PW_Plack

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
154
Location
West Valley City, UT
All I know is, preferred turns are into the rotation of the blades. Makes them maintain their speed.
Not sure where you came by this info, but it's the first time I've heard it, and it doesn't square with my experience. Rotor RPM will increase when turning in either direction due to increased G loading.

The rotor on modern gyros is mounted on a freewheeling gimbal, so the rotor doesn't know or care which way the fuselage is turning, and the fuselage follows the rotor anyway. A dangerous loss of rotor RPM CAN happen if G-loads are reduced, but if you stay within the envelope it should not be an issue. A gyroplane doesn't stall even at zero airspeed, but it trades that airplane "coffin corner" for one of its own.

Regarding the books, the Abbott books are still highly sought-after but somewhat dated, and they're out of print. Bensen's book traces his personal story, Charnov's is a scholarly historical text which won't have much help for designers. Hollmann was an actual aeronautical engineer but has some misinformation; the last four I've never seen.

The FAA's Rotorcraft Flying Handbook isn't on your list, but is pretty decent. It was produced under contract by Jeppesen with input from several sources, but also has a few errors in physics. It is officially obsolete and out-of-print, having been superceded by the Helicopter Flying Handbook, but is still available as a free PDF download here, with a notice on the cover that it is now for gyroplane pilots only.

I'd echo the advice to read Chuck Beaty's posts on the Rotary Wing Forum. Chuck is a physicist and long-time gyro designer/builder/pilot. He gets a little frustrated trying to lead the unwashed masses to safe outcomes, and dismissive of the need for aesthetic appeal in a gyro expected to see volume sales, but he's a wealth of both theoretical and practical knowledge.

The advice usually given to newbie gyro designers is to buy a used machine of known design, and wait to design your own until you fully understand why the machine you've learned to fly was designed the way it was. Gyros look extremely simple to the inexperienced eye, but just as is the case with airplanes, there are good reasons why things are done the way they're done.
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,139
Location
World traveler
Maybe a Flying Flea with jump take off capability? ;-p Actually, I have had some exposure to gyros in the last few years and I am just looking to learn more. The studies done in Scotland that informed the development of British BCARS standards -- REF Case study search -- seem have concluded that a return to the generous horizontal tail arm of the pre-WWII gyros, even if the modern designs are generally pushers, was key to stability and safety. Now that you mention it, though, I have given some thought to a three-bladed gyro in which you could pull a couple of pins to fold two of the blades back parallel to the third and short enough in height to fit in an unmodified shipping container, perhaps by using landing gear that could be folded on the ground! ;-)
 

PW_Plack

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
154
Location
West Valley City, UT
Now that you mention it, though, I have given some thought to a three-bladed gyro in which you could pull a couple of pins to fold two of the blades back parallel to the third and short enough in height to fit in an unmodified shipping container, perhaps by using landing gear that could be folded on the ground! ;-)
It sounds plausible, but be sure you understand the ramifications of adding that third blade. It takes you halfway to helicopter cost and complexity to give up the elegant two-bladed teetering solution, and makes the design of the landing gear critical in damping ground resonance.
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,139
Location
World traveler
Nope, I didn't know that, which why I am looking for some good books! The problem I see with a teteering hup is that there is no easy way to fold the rotor blades without introducing a lot of additional complexity. Tell me, if I am still looking at a fixed incidence rotor, no cyclic or collective and control just by changing the angle of the rotor hub, just like the teteering two-blade gyros, why would I be "halfway to helicopter cost?"
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,139
Location
World traveler
I think the idea was that the teetering hubs are much simpler, just the teeter hinge serving both blades, while the three-bladed rotor needs a flapping hinge for each blade.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,591
Location
Memphis, TN
Three bladed setups will also require more advanced maintenance that goes along with the design of multi blade. Day job is multi blade helicopters; ride is great, but they require tweaking more often vs the teetering. The advantage of two blades as the can be stored blades inline without blade removal. Blade removal to a 3 blade usually makes them go out of whack.
 

cluttonfred

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
7,139
Location
World traveler
For the record, the idea of the folding three-blade configuration was not to remove the blades at all, rather simply remove a pin to allow greater freedom of movement on the existing lead-lag hinge for folding.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
12,591
Location
Memphis, TN
To put it in perspective. When I am adjusting the balance on a three bladed helicopter, I can be making adjustments as small as .003in to get it to fly smooth. Any looseness in the wrong place on a rotor system will make you miserable. Sloppy pin holes are not good. Just taking the blades off and putting them back on can introduce an error, enough to feel in the ride. Not every time, sometimes you get lucky.
 

PW_Plack

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
154
Location
West Valley City, UT
The problem I see with a teteering hup is that there is no easy way to fold the rotor blades without introducing a lot of additional complexity...
Also seldom a need. A teetering gyro's rotor comes off by removing one bolt. The rotor's total length will range from about 23' on a light single-place to 28-30' for a two-place machine. That's a little long for most garages, but not for most hangars, and it can be carried on a rack on a truck with the right rack design. If you need to shorten further, remove one blade from the hub bar by removing a few bolts, and you're down to 13' - 17'.

Tell me, if I am still looking at a fixed incidence rotor, no cyclic or collective and control just by changing the angle of the rotor hub, just like the teteering two-blade gyros, why would I be "halfway to helicopter cost?"
The magic of the two-blade is the 180º spacing. The blades change angle and speed at various stations around the imaginary disc. With two blades, the lead-lag and flap angles are always equal and opposite. In a three-blade system, you need two sets of three hinges to accommodate it.

By the way, the gyro rotor head doesn't change the angle of the disc directly when it tilts. It changes the cyclic pitch of the blades, which then fly to their commanded position. (That's why there's lag between stick movement and rotor position.) It is every bit a cyclic pitch control.

Gotta get the books just to know what you don't understand. (I did!)
 
Last edited:

wanttobuild

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2015
Messages
652
Location
kuttawa, ky
Hey Matthew
The link that Manticore provided contains a gigantic list of reference material used in the study.
Toward the end, like 90 something references
That should keep you busy for awhile
 
Top