View Full Version : What kind of gyrocopter is this
05-14-2004, 07:23 AM
I just found this picture on the web. That is Dr. Bensen with a strange gyrocopter. Does any one know what kind of gyro is it? :confused:
05-14-2004, 08:06 AM
That is one of artist/designer David Gittens machines. He has been featured in the PRA magazine a couple of times over the years. That is David standing next to Dr. Bensen.
Whether his machines, and there were several, were honest attempts at creating a serious flying machine only David knows. However they are interesting exercises. Especially his open tractor gyro that more or less had the pilot in a standing position in a saddle like seat. I'm not sure if all of his machines actually flew. Or how well they flew. They sure had some of the 'sizzle' that Paul Bruty talks about. If they had anything else going for them then I would have thought that he would have secured a backer and produced a kit. But then again, maybe that wasn't his intent.
If I recall correctly, Don Parham knew David and if so maybe Don will jump in here ane give you more details.
That gyro is David Gittens' first design and was called the Wind Dancer. It never flew. The engine David planned to use was a single rotor Mazda but it was never installed on the ship.
I had the airframe in my shop for a while and it was finally sold to a local fellow who apparently never completed it. The airframe was welded 4130 round tubing and was pretty much center line thrust, so it would probably have flown pretty well and been stable.
David never got anything to market. I asked him once why he didn't produce something to make some money. He said that he had to keep designing to keep his spirit free and didn't want to get into the headaches of production. I told him that it might keep his spirit free would it would not keep his belly full. My suggestion didn't do any good. He is now in central Florida--still designing, but I doubt that he is making much of a living.
05-14-2004, 09:52 AM
There is a FANTASTIC new book out on the history of the gyroplane called "From Autogiro to Gyroplane". It has several pages of information on his development projects. If I recall a foreign company tried to make a deal with him for producing kits. I don't recall the details and the book is on loan but I think they dropped the ball or screwed him over somehow.
If I had any spare cash right now I would be buggin you for the name of the person who bought that frame. Just in case I get a wind-fall don't forget who has it! :D
05-14-2004, 02:03 PM
You guys interested in what David Gittens has been up to need to check this web page out.
The COMPLETE David Gittens! (http://dwij.org/about_us/dwij_resume.htm)
Be sure to read the articles he's written about his gyro designs... some are very detailed and vivid accounts, such as this one:
A DREAM TO FLY - Creating the Ikenga 530Z Autogiro (http://dwij.org/dwij/530Z_history.html)
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