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From Autogiro to Gyroplane
By Bruce H.Charnov
Predating the invention of the helicopter by two decades, the Autogiro was the world's first rotary-wing aircraft. The helicopter had the advantageous ability to rise straight up, while the Autogiro/gyroplane could only taxi. Yet the gyroplane was safer and more stable; both aircraft should have had value in market. Why did the helicopter survive and prosper, while the Autogiro became a nearly forgotten historical footnote? Why didn't the Autogiro catch on, and why is it being revived today?
This book tells the 80-year history of today's gyroplane and its antecedent, the Autogiro. The author explains that the near-eclipse of the Autogiro was caused by a potent combination of bad luck, the impact of the Great Depression and World War II, and bad business decisions. Only by understanding the amazing manner in which this aviation technology has persisted and evolved can one fully understand the basis for its future.
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