07 January 2008

Personal Gyrocopter fromScappoose, Oregon

Gyrocopters--or autogyros--were invented in the early 1920s. Although they look like helicopters, they are actually more like airplanes--rotary wing airplanes. Sportcopter Inc., of Scappoose, Oregon, is flight-testing the sporty looking Sportcopter "Sport".
The cabin and engine of the Super Sport are completely enclosed, with removable doors and engine cowling, giving it all-weather capability, simplified maintenance, aerodynamic streamlining, added propeller efficiency and effective protection of vital components.

The engine and drive train is a special Subaru 2.5 liter liquid cooled engine which develops 190 hp.... A new Sport Copter feature on this design is a very Powerful Prerotator System which will allow incredibly short take-offs.

The large rudder and horizontal stabilizer provide stability in slow flight maneuvering and high-speed cruise, minimizing pilot workload. The fixed vertical stabilizer is less sensitive in-flight giving more stability and better handling....
Sportcopter Inc.
Powering the gyroplane forward using the front or rear-mounted thrust propeller causes air to flow over the top rotor, which begins spinning and develops enough lift to get the vehicle airborne. This doesn't take a long runway - as little as 40 feet is needed to develop enough upward lift to get off the ground, and it's possible using aftermarket kits to perform jump-style takeoffs with no ground roll at all.

Gyroplanes can cruise at roughly the speed of a helicopter, or float along so slowly you'd nearly call it hovering. The powered top rotors of helicopters cause a torque reaction that necessitates the use of a sideways-mounted tail rotor to control rotation – which makes them mechanically complicated, expensive and quite tricky to fly. The gyroplane's design is so simple that you can buy one for less than the cost of a touring motorcycle, build it and maintain it yourself.

...A range of between 300 and 400 miles from a 30 gallon tank full of ordinary 87 octane unleaded makes the Super Sport a good day tripper, and it should be good for thrills as well with a top speed in excess of 100mph.
Gizmag
As an alternative to the "flying car", the flying motorcycle incorporates an autogyro design. From the Dutch company PAL-V:
This hybrid vehicle will be able to reach speeds of 200 km/h (125 mph) both on land and in the air, requiring only a short runway of about 100 meters (330 feet) for take off and landing. Expected to be launched in 2009, this unique vehicle enables commuters to leap over traffic jams on their way to work....The Gyrocopter will run on regular petrol and most of the vehicle's components originate in the automotive industry rather than the more expensive aviation industry. In this way, both purchase and maintenance costs can be kept relatively low (although PAL-V has not published an exact cost estimate yet).
Source

Here is another approach to the flying motorcycle.

A hybrid motorcycle/gyrocopter will be a fine combination, once the glitches are smoothed away from the design. Enlarging the folding rotor-wing design to create an automobile/gyrocopter hybrid should not be difficult, with time. And on we go . . .

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