And there's no possible way it would be street legal in the US.
Before another natural disaster strikes, I hasten to mention that I'd like an Icon A5 for Christmas (http://www.iconaircraft.com/). It's an airplane that one can tow, which basically has all the advantages of Terrafuga, but keeps the performance of a normal airplane - speed, range, and payload - because it does not carry a redundant engine and other attributes of a car. Unfortunately, A5 was a vapor for many years, as the company is struggling to create the impossible: an airplane that can be flown by any boater safely. Last I heard from them, they just completed and certified a spin-resistant design (on top of an unstallable wing).
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 06, 2012 06:55 PM (5OBKC)
It has 3 wheels, this opens a LOT of loopholes in US regulatory assininity.
Posted by: The Brickmuppet at April 06, 2012 07:03 PM (EJaOX)
Brickmuppet, you're right. That makes it a motorcycle, doesn't it? So it doesn't need 10-mph crash bumpers or stuff like that.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 06, 2012 07:44 PM (+rSRq)
That's nice work for a prototype - even the pusher prop folds itself up to stow away neatly.
I love regulations like that - three wheels makes it a motorcycle.... With a pusher prop and rotor blades.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 06, 2012 08:22 PM (PiXy!)
I like that one much more than the Terrafugia. Of course, aside from the fact that I couldn't afford either one, my normal commute goes nowhere near a place where you could take-off or land either one.
Posted by: David at April 06, 2012 09:45 PM (Kn54v)
I am not a big fan of autogyros for the reason that they combine the worst control response and stability characteristics of airplanes and helicopters. Only experienced rotorcraft pilots can fly them, and even then the last time an autogyro was on the market ("AT-2"), its crash record was unimaginably bad: something like 1 in 5 flights ended in a mishap. Most were related to a roll-over. I cannot imagine PAL-V being flown routinely by someone who's not a professional stunt pilot.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at April 07, 2012 07:17 AM (5OBKC)
Depends on the AutoGyro design. A lot of the kit-built sort don't have a
horizontal stabilizer, and have poor thrust/Drag lines, making them
very vulnerable to "Power Push Over", where in a climb, the pilot tries
to level out before reducing power. The sudden reduction in drag from
the rotor disk vs the high thrust line from the motor (mounted too high
for ground clearance) and the low drag line from the fuselage/Pilot
(mounted too low because long spindly landing gear is harder to design),
results in the machine toppling over. A properly designed autogyro
will have the thrust and drag much more aligned, and a horizontal
stabilizer will prevent toppling over.
Remember when they were first invented, the idea was to make a
crash/stall-proof airplane. There were some advantages to the original
(How on earth did I end up logged out?)
Posted by: Mauser at April 07, 2012 10:27 AM (cZPoz)
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