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What is a Gyroplane?

A Gyroplane is a flying machine similar to a helicopter but in some ways akin to an airplane. It has a rotor blade like a helicopter but cannot climb vertically and requires an airplane-like roll or run to become airborne. Other names frequently referred to are "Gyrocopter" or "Autogiro".

The key to understanding what makes a gyroplane fly is understanding the principle of auto-rotation. Unlike a helicopter, the overhead rotor on a gyroplane is not powered (i.e.it is free-wheeling). The passage of air upward through the rotor blades causes them to spin resulting in the blade aerofoil (shape) creating lift. The rotor blade is kept turning by the weight of the aircraft hanging from the centre of the rotating disc as well as the forward speed of the gyroplane which is achieved with an engine and propeller.

The origins of the gyroplane go back to 1919 when a Spanish inventor named Juan De La Cierva conceived the auto-rotation concept and developed the first rotary-winged aircraft. The development of the helicopter evolved from these early gyroplane origins.

Cape Gyro uses a RAF 2000 (www.rafsa.co.za) gyroplane.
RAF 2000 GYROPLANE RAF 2000

GTX SE FI
DIMENSIONS  
Length: 13.6 FEET
Height: 8.5 FEET
Width: 5.0 FEET
Aircraft Dry Weight: 810 LBS.
Payload: 730 LBS.
Gross weight can be set
as high as Category Weight: 1540 LBS.


ENGINE EJ 2.5 ENGINE

FUEL INJECTED
Manufacturer: SUBARU
Displacement: 2500 cc
Horsepower: 165 HP
Cooling: LIQUID COOLED
Ignition: ELECTRONIC,


REDUCTION UNIT
Manufacturer: RAF
Type: HTD COG BELT
Ratio: :.10 TO 1


PROPELLER COMPOSITE
Manufacturer: WARP DRIVE
# of blades: 4
Diameter: 66 INCHES
Pitch: GROUND ADJUSTABLE


ROTOR BLADE
Manufacturer: RAF
Rotor Span: 30 FOOT
Balde Cord: 8 1/2 INCHES
Materials: COMPOSITES

ALUMINUM SPAR

FOAM CORE


ACTUAL DISC LOADING
Take-off Weight when set at Category Weight: 2.18 LBS./sq feet


FUEL CAPACITY 25 US GALLONS
Endurance ( 1/2 HR RESERVE ) 3.3 HRS
Fuel Consumption ( 80% OR 4200 RPM ) 6.5 US GALLONS/HR
Unusable Fuel: 1/2 GALLON
Approved Fuel: PREMIUM AUTO-GAS
Grades: 91-93 OCTANE


PERFORMANCE 2.5 FI
Minimum Speed ( MIN. ALTITUDE 300FT ) 20-25 MPH
Cruise Speed 90 MPH
Recommended VNE 100 MPH
Maximum Speed 140 MPH
Stall Speed N/A
Take-off Air Speed 30-35 MPH
Take-off Roll ( SINGLE OCCUPANT ) 0-75 FEET
Landing Roll 0-10 FEET
Rate of Climb 1500- 2000 FPM
 

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