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Advances in understanding autogyro flight dynamics

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  • Tl Motor Vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics


A comprehensive flight dynamics study of the autogyro is presented in this paper. A state of the art generic simulation of the vehicle type was developed and validated against flight data. This validation is presented in the paper and it is shown that the model can be applied to the autogyro with some confidence within well defined limitations bounds. It is also shown that the general stability characteristics of the autogyro can be considered as a mix of helicopter and fixed wing aircraft modes of flight. Most significantly the autogyro has a lightly damped, high frequency phugoid mode. Further, it is demonstrated that the only significant configurational effect is related to the relative vertical position of the centre of gravity with respect to the propeller thrustline, a centre of gravity which lies above the thrustline being more desirable. Results from preliminary handling qualities trials applying the techniques of ADS33 to an autogyro are also presented. Results from flight trials to investigate the teetering motion of the rotor are described, and the influence of the research on air accident investigation is also discussed.

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