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Autogyros


The_Rocketeer
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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.

http://imgur.com/a/nTZLk

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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