A study of “Gyroplane” and its historical evolution, general characteristics, flight characteristics, various designs, potential applications and aerodynamics explaining its flight is attempted. “Gyroplane” is an official term designated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) describing an aircraft that gets lift from a freely turning rotary wing, or rotor blades, and which derives its thrust from an engine-driven propeller. The focus is on highlighting the differences between a Gyroplane and a conventional helicopter, relative merits and demerits and to trace the development to helicopters from autogiros. What lies ahead in the future for gyroplanes is also discussed.
Cierva thought of designing a flying machine that remains stable, safe and controllable irrespective of its forward speed. He segregated the function of lift and forward propulsion, where the former was done by a freely rotating rotor (and not wings) and latter by a conventional pusher or tractor engine.The rotor of an Autogiro (term coined and patented by Cierva) always works in a state of autorotation and a small upward flow is sufficient to rotate the disk. Thus, as long as the machine has forward motion the rotor would produce sufficient lif...