Autogiros, also known as gyroplanes or gyrocopters, are rotary-wing aircraft that are similar to helicopters, but with a distinct difference in their design. Unlike helicopters, autogiros have a non-powered rotor that is kept in motion by the forward movement of the aircraft. This rotor provides lift, while a conventional engine and propeller provide forward thrust. Autogiros were first developed in the early 1920s by Juan de la Cierva, a Spanish engineer, and have since been used for a variety of purposes, including military reconnaissance, search and rescue, and civilian transportation. The rotor of an autogiro is mounted on a mast that is tilted slightly forward, allowing the rotor to spin freely as the aircraft moves forward. This forward motion causes air to flow over the rotor, which generates lift and allows the aircraft to take off and fly. Unlike a helicopter, the rotor of an autogiro is not powered, which means that it cannot hover in place or take off vertically. However, autogiros are able to take off and land in much shorter distances than fixed-wing aircraft, making them ideal for use in small or confined spaces. Autogiros are typically smaller and less complex than helicopters, which makes them easier and less expensive to operate and maintain. They are also more stable and safer to fly than helicopters, as they are less prone to mechanical failure and have a lower risk of rotor stall. However, autogiros are not as fast or as maneuverable as helicopters, and they are limited in their ability to fly in adverse weather conditions. In recent years, autogiros have gained popularity as recreational aircraft, with many enthusiasts building and flying their own gyroplanes. They are also used in agricultural applications, where their ability to take off and land in small fields makes them ideal for crop dusting and other tasks. Overall, autogiros are a unique and versatile type of aircraft that offer a number of advantages over traditional fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
Juan de la Cierva, rotary-wing aircraft, non-powered rotor, lift, forward thrust
CITATION : "Thomas Harris. 'Autogiros.' Design+Encyclopedia. https://design-encyclopedia.com/?E=317561 (Accessed on December 07, 2023)"
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