The First Autogyro of Autumn

 

Unfortunately, the first autogyro of autumn didn’t actually fly this week. I took it out with me, but the conditions just weren’t right for it. On the three flights I had with the RS352, it varied between calm and sunny and blustery and overcast. Near the ground it could be calm, but in the verticals the aircraft was being blown back towards me really quite badly. In the end I decided not to risk the autogyro as it still isn’t completely sorted out. I need some reliable flights to hone down the trim so that I’m confident in flying it. Strangely enough, I’ve just picked up my November special issue of RCM&E, which contains a large section on autogyros, “Getting into the Cone!”. I haven’t read it yet, but let’s see if it covers any of the problems I’ve had so far. What I think I really need, though, is a simulator. This is something that I’m now working on as I was doing the 3D model for it yesterday. Flight dynamics will come shortly.

Anyway, as for today’s flying, there was one guy with a drone there when I arrived. He was quite interested in the autogyro too, as he knew what it was, but had never seen one flying (..still hasn’t). Shortly after that the UMX Beast turned up on his bike, but neither him nor me flew it and it stayed in its box. I quite like flying it, but you would have to say that the conditions weren’t really suitable. It doesn’t have the power or penetration to cope with the turbulence, despite the AS3X stabilisation. We then had two drone pilots sandwich us in either side, which is part of the reason I couldn’t fly the autogyro. The one on the left was flying a DJI Phantom, while the one on the right put out a load of plastic cones and proceeded to fly what looked like a Yuneec octcopter. Apparently he is doing his commercial licence soon, so was practising for that. Only, when you do it for real, don’t go so near the road/people/trees/us and make it look like you can actually fly the thing. Don’t put the controls down to let it hover and take selfies with it. That’s a sure route to failure. Anyway, just to make sure I definitely wasn’t going to fly the autogyro, another guy with his wife and kid in a pushchair blocked me in from the back with yet another drone.

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Finally, though, we had a guy with a flying wing FPV show up about half an hour before I left. Round about this time, there was another guy walking past who spotted my autogyro, knew was it was and got his kids to try and explain to us how it flies. That’s usually my job, teaching little kids aerodynamics, but he asked whether it was a kit and actually suggested that him and the kids would like to build their own one. Obviously we talked about James Bond and little Nellie, but they were really interested in it. OK, I have really got to get to the point where I can fly the autogyro regularly in a range of different conditions. I learnt to fly radio control by writing my own simulator, so it’s time to do the same for the autogyro so that I can model its performance.

Next week I might be on the bike, though, so no autogyro, only the flying wing.

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