Welcome to an episode about autogyros. Autogyro is not such an iconic Polish craft as many gliders or planes, but this may soon change. Autogyro you see here, along with other types, is made by Polish industry. Let’s go back in time to begin with the story. The most recognized autogyro pioneer was Juan de la Cierva from Spain. In 1920’s he wanted to create a craft surpassing an airplane in safety and universalism. This resulted in creation autogyro in 1923. It resembled a short-winged or wingless plane with large rotor. The rotor was not powered. Autogyro had pulling or pushing propeller which moved it forward while the airflow caused the rotor to rotate and create lift. Cierva succeeded in placing rotor wings on hinges. This prevented uneven lift from causing the craft to trip over. This also allowed autogyro to make a safe crosswind landing. First autogyro was brought to Poland in 1934, the Cierva C.30. Army would test it, but was eventually not interested. Autogyro was handed to aeroclub in Toruń, where it remained until the WWII outbreak. During the war Germans built a tiny retractable autogyro (Fa-330) which was used on U-Boots. Rigging took few minutes and then it was towed by a submarine, creating observation point. Range of view was 45km. Upon detecting an enemy autogyro was cut loose and the U-Boot submerged. Disassembling the autogyro would take half an hour, creating a risk for the submarine. Raoul Hafner created a small autogyro for the British Army. The Rotachute. It could be used as a single-man landing device. It was more complex and louder than a parachute. Hafner had also an idea to make an airlift for vehicles. This is the Rotabuggy – a jeep with rotor. Towed begind a plane it became an autogyro. After the war helicopters were the main focus, but today we can meet many new autogyros. This is how the modern one looks like. This episode was filmed in Aviation Artur Trendak factory in Jaktorów, Poland. This compane designes and builds autogyros. Theye are Polish-made (except for the engine). Build quality is high, with many details hand-made. Demanding clients order Polish autogyros from several continents. Each gyro is individual. You can orger one to suit your Ferrari color. Every craft is test-flown trimmed and set-up before delivery. Service station and runway are in Baranów. There you can also go on a test flight or complete pilot training. Training is somewhat similar to UAP course, but is slightly more expensive due to fuel consumption. Trandak Aviation has a design beaureau where improvements are introduced and new craft designed, such as this twin engine six-seater. Most popular gyro’s are twin seaters. Cockpit is made from composite fibers. Seats are side by side. It’s easy to communicate and use the single dashboard. Instructor can see the student. Such cabin is wide, tandem would be more sleek, but this is negligable, as the main drag is created by the large rotor autorotation. Autogyro has landing light and can fly after dusk. Cabin is far more spacious than in the plane. It has large door and all-round glazing. Visibility is better than in plane, you can actually see the nosewheel touchdown. This makes one feel in control. Polish instruments are electronic with adjustable brightness. Green illumination turnes red upon reaching parameter limit. This draws pilot’s attention to hazard. I like the charm of analog instruments, but these electronic ones make it all easier. You may order interior trim made by sports car tuners. Colors and trim material are all up to future owner’s personal wish. Company knows how to fit trim to an autogyro which is more challenging than upholstering a car. This is control column. Pitch and roll are by direct rotor movement To yaw you have rudder pedals. The shape of tailplane varies between models. Tail boom runs low below the propeller and is protected by rollers. Landing gear has disc brakes and can have various tyre sizes. Nosewheel is steerable. New models have a single main gear support similar to aerobatic planes’ main gear. It needs to be very durable, as the gyro can make vertcal touchdown (deliberate or emergency). Rotax motor with push-propeller is fitted with turbo and intercooler. Carburators can be replaced by direct injectors. Main rotor is made of Polish aluminium. In order to limit vibration one of workers specializes in pairing rotor wings. There has to be some vibration in rotorcraft, but designers do their best to limit it. Rotor is fitted with brake. While taxiing it won’t rotate. And here you see the mechanism powering the rotor. BUT WAIT! What power? Obviously in terms of creating lift rotor has no drive. But there is a procedure called prerotation. Before takeoff small torque is transferred to the rotor to prerotate it. The this drive is turned off just like starter motor, and the takeoff is therefore shorter. Prerotator is optional, takeoff without it is possible, but longer. In flight we have great speed range, only positive g-forces, and outstanding visibility. This makes flight pleasant. Autogyro is louder and vibrates more than regular plane, and it is slower. Cruising speed 150-185 km/h Vne 210 km/h. Designers limit the vibration, but you will never combat the laws of physics. Autogyros can be widely used. Not only for tourism or sport. Great menuverability (as shown) makes it ideal for crop-dusting. This is the equipment. This is the “spy” version. Cameras and monitors have their own power source. Autogyro is great for patrols and aerial photography. Especially with no door. Autogyro can stop forward movement but at the cost of descending. Still it gives time for observation or making pictures in thermovision or standard ones. This also gives the capability of vertical landing. In case of engine failure we need a field slightly larger than the craft itself. Glide ratio is 4. Autogyros are used to coordinate ground efforts of fire service units in Germany, and also in Poland. Interesting use is scaring birds over large plantations. For example starlings are not scared of a helicopter, but are afraid of autogyro. Maybe the rotors have different sound spectrum. If you approach landing too high, you can slow down and make up for the mistake during safe vertical descent. You will not shorten your approach. Autogyro is different than fixed-wing plane, but experience as glider or airplane pilot significantly helps you control the craft. Great thanks to Trendak Aviation for showing me the factory and the test flight. I was shown everything escept the new designs. Please visit Aviation Artur Trendak channel and see many gyro types in flight. I will eagerly visit similar places and show that Polish aviation is not only “Vintage Sky”. See you soon!