Return Of The Autogyro

j2 autogyro revival


How would you like an aircraft that combines the advantages of both airplanes and helicopters, and yet is safer than either? The McCulloch Aircraft Corporation manufactures just such an aircraft — the J2 Gyroplane. The McCulloch Gyroplane is part helicopter and part airplane, and looks it.

autogyro j2

McCulloch test pilot Jim Reichert taxis J2 Gyroplane across Irvine Coast Country Club’s golf practice range prior to performing demonstration flight. Note airplane-type wheel fairings.

It gets its forward speed from an engine-driven propeller, like an airplane, while its lift and control come from a free-wheeling rotor, spun like a pinwheel by the air passing through it. Since the Gyroplane’s rotor is not power-driven, but air-driven, the craft flies in a constant state of autorotation.

j2 gyrocopter crusing

McCulloch Gyroplane features j in slier propeller, free-wheeling rotor, twin tail-booms, tricycle landing gear. Test pilot reports it is very responsive, easy to fly.

In the event Of engine fsilure it merely settles to earth like a helicopter with a similar, problem, but with the advantage that it doesn’t require time and altitude to transition from normal flight to autorotative flight as does the helicopter.

And since the Gyroplane’s rotor, which provides lift and control, rotates at flight rpm at all flight speeds, the Gyroplane is virtually stall-proof and maintains full control at all flight speeds.

Aside from the safety aspect, the McCulloch Gyroplane offers ease of flight, versatility, and low cost. The average non-pilot student will solo the J2 after 8 hours of instruction, according to Lawrence C. Mattera, president of McCulloch Aircraft.

A private or commercial pilot can qualify for a gyroplane rating after 15 hours of gyroplane time, 5 of which must be solo. And what other $16,000 aircraft will take off and land in less than 50 feet (making virtually every open field, parking lot and dirt road a landing field) and cruise at 120 mph too?

mc culloch j2 gyroplane

Gyroplane interior features simple panel, neat upholstery, helicopter/airplane tape control stick. Note pitch-angle indicator at bottom of right side window.

The J2 Gyroplane was designed by Drago K. Jovanovich, one of the first engineers in the U.S. to receive a formal degree in autogyro/helicopter technology, and developer of 12 prototype helicopters. Jovanovich’s J2 design is the first major breakthrough in autogyro development since the death of the autogyro’s originator, Juan de la Cierva, in 1936.

J2 gyroplane landing

J2 Gyroplane flares like an airplane on landing. Landing gear is tricycle type, with struts that extend in flight, compress on landing.

McCulloch Aircraft Corporation J2 Gyroplane Specifications
Aircraft Type 2-place, single-engine autogyro
Base Price $15,950 f.a.f., El Segundo, California
Engine Make and Model Lycoming 0-360-A
Type Air-cooled, 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed
Bore 5.125 inches
Stroke 4.375 inches
Displacement 361 cubic inches
Horsepower 180
Specific Power Output 0.50 hp/cu. in.
Landing Gear Type fixed tricycle
Empty Weight 900 pounds
Gross Weight 1450 pounds
Rotor Diameter 26 feet
Length 16 feet
Width 11’2″
Height 8’3″
Fuel Capacity 26 gallons
Cruise Speed 120 mph
Landing/Take Off Speed 30 mph
Takeoff Distance 50/300 feet
Landing Distance 50/300 feet
Rate of Climb 1000 fpm at sea level
Service Ceiling 13,000 feet
Fuel Consumption 11 mpg
Range 300 miles
Return Of The Autogyro
Article Name
Return Of The Autogyro

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