The Gyroplane - latest addition to Britain's home-made aircraft "club" - was tested by its inventor, Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis at Shoreham Airport, Sussex, UK.
The Gyroplane - latest addition to Britain's home-made aircraft "club" - was tested by its inventor, Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis at Shoreham Airport, Sussex, UK. Dec 5.
Skimming hundreds of feet above Sussex homesteads and River Adur below, the gyroplane's flight was watched with interest by enthusiasts at the airport.
The plane's rotor is unpowered - so Commander Wallis has to taxi up and down until the blades are windmilling fast enough for lift - a system used for the first gyroplane in the 1920's. Once the rotor is turning well, the take-off is achieved in about 100 yards - in still-air conditions. Cruising speed is 60 m.p.h. - top speed 85 m.p.h. and the range about 100 miles.
A former bomber pilot, Wing-Commander Wallis built the machine for GBP200 in his garage. Tests have been so successful, he plans to use it for the journey between his home and station at Fighter Command Headquarters, Surrey.
Commander-Wallis first thought of building his gyroplane just after the war when he saw an unpowered German model. Later, with the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command, he saw a powered American machine based on the German ideal
His gyroplane took nine months to build - and has already proved ample compensation for its owner - who at 43 has few opportunities for flying.