Have you ever heard of a gyroplane? They were popular in the 1920s and 1930s

According to Plane and Pilot “Gyroplanes are one of the last remaining secrets in the aviation community. Despite the fact that gyroplanes (also called gyrocopters and autogyros) first appeared in 1923 and enjoyed some years of popularity, few general aviation pilots know much about them.”

There was some anticipation that the gyroplanes would become so common that they could drop in at local service stations like automobiles, hence the name developed to autogyro.

With the advent of helicopters, people almost forgot about gyroplanes. They are not helicopters because they are fixed-wing aircraft.

Invented by the Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva to create an aircraft that could fly safely at slow speeds, the autogyro was first flown on 9 January 1923, at Cuatro Vientos Airfield inMadrid

The vintage film below shows Captain T. Courtney, the famous test pilot and the inventor.’ C/U of Senor de la Cierva talking, the camera pans across to Captain Courtney wearing his flying hat. The two men chat.

Almost forgotten after heliocopter was invented

With the advent of helicopters, people almost forgot about gyroplanes. They are not helicopters because they are fixed-wing aircraft.

Below is a humorous film we found from 1931 which features a gyroplane landing in Miami.

In the following film, an autogyro in 1931 lands perfectly on a Paris street with many people standing around.

Invented by Spanish engineer

While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the autogyro’s rotor must have air flowing through the rotor disc to generate rotation. Invented by the Spanish engineer Juan de la Cierva to create an aircraft that could fly safely at slow speeds, the autogyro was first flown on 9 January 1923, at Cuatro Vientos Airfield inMadrid.[1] De la Cierva’s aircraft resembled the fixed-wing aircraft of the day, with a front-mounted engine and propeller in a tractor configuration to pull the aircraft through the air.

An gyrocopter was very expensive in the 1930s and only people with the financial backing or corporate sponsorship were able to afford one.  The gyrocopter was able to take off from a small piece of real estate and was truly a great human achievement. The gyroplane of 1930 was cutting edge aviation technology. It  was capable of flying at very controllable slow speeds without the risk of stalling the aircraft and yet was about as fast as any fixed wing aircraft of the time.

There was even an attempt to make the gyrocopter a seaplane as can be seen from this film from this silent film from 1935.

Amelia Earhart set a record in a gyrocopter on April 8, 1931 when she reached the incredible altitude of 18,415 feet in a gyrocopter.  In the film below from 1931, Amelia Earheart is flying the autocopter.

Light-Sport Gyroplanes: An introductory guide for discovering these unique aircraft

SEE ALL BOOKS BY DONNA R.  CAUSEY

Light-Sport Gyroplanes: An introductory guide for discovering these unique aircraft (Paperback)


By (author):  Ira McComic

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me

All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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