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So everybody knows that helicopters are incredibly difficult to make in KSP because of the lack of rotor parts, and also because there's no simple way to make a collective control.

However, in a conversation with Claw in another subforum, I realised that autogyros are possible in game as an alternative to fixed-wing flight. For the unknowing, these use a freewheeling rotor to generate lift by airflow going through the rotor from below. It turns out that KSP's lift/drag model is absolutely up to the task of making one of these work.

What is required is a slightly backward-raked helicopter rotor that will begin to turn due to the force of air hitting the blades. They need to be angled such that the forward-moving side is producing conventional aerodynamic lift, i.e. is near level, while the rear-ward moving side is pitched to generate greater drag, like a pitched-down elevator, which provides some lift as well as the drag force that drives the rotor around.

I tried a long time today to make a stock autogyro, and in the end I failed because my skills with making stock roller bearings are, well, not. However, I know that others have made stock bearings that are perfectly adequate to operate a lifting rotor - all stock choppers have one!

So, here's a showcase/proof of concept using mod parts from the KAX mod to make up for my lack of bearing ability. I also challenge the community, to build an all-stock autogyro and share it with us.


What IS an autogyro?

In laymen terms think of it as a plane, that instead of having normal wings uses a helicopter style rotor disc to generate lift. It's just like a sycamore seed - the airflow moving through it makes the rotor spin, and because the rotor is spinning it generates lift.

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Ah, okay, thanks, I'd prefer to try my hand at an engine-less rotor.

I'm not sure you've understood this - an autogyro is an engine-less rotor. The only thing that turns it is the wind that blows through it as the craft moves forward.


Bravo FlipNascar on beating the 'challenge', I've still yet to get properly airborne with anything like steady rotation - other projects have been distracting me!

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