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The aircraft tries to simulate the basic flight maneuvers in a gyrocopter that uses an engine-driven propeller for forward thrust and an independent, unpowered rotor in state of autorotation, to generate the lift. The main rotor is actively driven or
prerotate only for a short duration, in preparation for takeoff. Unfortunately, due to the aircraft size, instead of some sort of tilting mechanism for the rotor, I opted for reaction wheels to provide directional control; this gives kind of
unrealistic, hyper-maneuvering capabilities but, on the other hand, it adds more fun and aerobatic possibilities.
- Type: SPH
- Class: aircraft
- Part Count: 65
- Pure Stock
- KSP: 1.10.0
Built in the SPH in KSP version 1.10.0
- rev.B - reduced blades pitch and rotor size diameter, resulting in higher rotor rpm during flight and stability improvement.
. This is necessary mostly during the takeoff phase
The never exceed speed, at which the main rotor exits form autorotation becoming unable to maintain the lift, is about 50m/s. This usually happens on descends when pushing too hard on the stick without reducing the engine’s power accordingly
The aircraft is quite stable and flies well even without SAS but it flies different and demands more control inputs than an airplane. Playing with the throttle and monitoring the rotor rpm are the key points in flying this autogyro, or a real one. …and these are the same features that make this craft insanely fun to fly. Give it a try and don’t hesitate to let me know what you think.
In case of customization don’t be surprised that even the slightest change of the parts will completely alter the flight behavior or it will make it totally unstable.
A side note regarding KSP physics:
As you may already know, the KSP physics engine totally ignores the concept of airfoil. It takes into account only the angle of attack when it calculates the lift. This is especially important when it comes to autorotation in helicopters or autogyros (gyrocopters), because the rotor blade turns backwards than in reality, only as a result of
air deflection. Deriving from this, a whole bunch of things or phenomena cannot be replicated or behaves strangely. For example, in real world, the blades of a helicopter in state of autorotation, continue to rotate or even to increase their speed, in the same rotational direction as it was in powered flight, even if the airflow is now reversed through the rotor disk; in KSP, given the same scenario, the reversed now airflow starts to decrease the blades rpm and eventually will completely reverse their spin direction.