My name is Gerald and my father John Young and Bill Farmer were the ones to design and build the Youmer. They had great hopes of being able to build a complete aircraft able to be sod as a registered flyable gyro. They came close but didn't quite make it. I believe the gamble my father designed was registered or copyrighted? I still have the skymatic for the craft. The shell was made from a fibreglass body of a scuba diving submarine.
The first person I actually saw flying a gyro was Bob Farmer flying his Youmercopter; -not the version pictured above but a Bensen more or less, with a pod. The only recollection I have of Bob flying the amphib version was a flight or two straight down the runway without turns.
Here’s a picture of Bob Farmer standing next to the hydrogen peroxide tip jet helicopter he was testing.
This version used the pilot’s legs for landing gear.
I have to agree with you Larry that in the photo, Bob Farmer does sort of resemble Capt. Wallace Binghamton (Old Leadbottom) from McHale's Navy. I can never get enough of that old TV show. Joe Flynn was excellent in that part.
I wonder how Bob was able to pre-rotate the rotor of the Sikorsky R-4, and how well it flew as a "towed gyroglider?"
Bob didn’t say how he started the rotor on his R-4 Wayne; I’m only repeating snatches of conversation that I recall from many years ago; nor do I vouch for his veracity. I will say that he was an exceptionally skilled pilot.
However, with the collective bottomed out, rotor start wouldn’t have been very difficult.
You are welcome John , some day I should do a history article on the Sikorsky R-4 ... I have an original autographed 1944 book by Colonel Hollingsworth Franklin Gregory on the history of the helicopter
He was a Sikorsky Helicopter test pilot of sorts , and was one of the first licensed helicopter pilots , his official job was with the army as an evaluation and procurement officer for army equipment.
Smart guy and great pilot who had many valuable suggestion for Sikorsky to implement on the R-4 and it turned out so good the Army ordered 100 of them , it was the first helicopter production run in history , much credit was given to Sikorsky's use of the reliable Warner Scarab 7 cyl radial engine.