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08/18/12
 
 
 
 RC Autogyro Models
 

 
The Exciting Part

An RC Autogyro or Autogiro ( A la Mr. Juan De la Cierva, considered the father of the autogyro) offers a totally new R/C flying experience, but in order to fully enjoy these unique and exiting models, it requires a bit more understanding of the flight dynamics as compared to RC airplanes or helicopters, for that matter. Best to start simple and build up to this level, as typically done with any type of RC model.

The problem and Solution to RC Autogyros, for first time pilots.

The problem

 

RC Autogyro models have been around for many years, but their popularity has suffered in the past due to their inherent complexity for the first time pilot.

Most RC Autogyros on the market have been aimed at expert flyers and no company, that I am aware of, has taken the time to look at them "seriously" from a beginner pilot perspective, as MIA Micro-FLIGHT has. This is the main difference between our RC Autogyro work described in this section and those of other companies. Some have touched the subject on the surface with models considered trainers, but still difficult to learn with.

It is said that larger models fly easier, true, but they also have to be lightweight, not to mention the control-steering has to be designed in a way that assists, not hinder, the first time pilot. Many rc autogyros kits, passed as trainer models, are heavy, large and difficult to learn to fly with, especially for someone just getting into the RC Modeling field. A crash that ends up in pieces is not a confidence builder.

Unlike other companies who make larger CC and electric autogyro kits, at a much more expensive cost and complexity, or ones who make plans only for the more advanced RC enthusiasts, or dedicated club members, MIA Micro-FLIGHT decided to take a different approach and thus this section shows the result of that effort.
 
The solution - MIA's Logic and Approach

Over the years, MIA has been pioneering many ways to make RC Autogyros, easier to assemble and setup while maintaining a high level of durability and attractiveness, as can be appreciated in this web sites' autogyro section.

MIA's point of view on RC Flying models, in general, has always been that, the simpler, perhaps larger but also ultra-lightweight models fly a lot better and easier. Not only that, but more importantly are more "crash-proof" than a full scale larger version and are better suited for first time pilots.

MIA's goal in developing MIA RC autogyro kits has been to offer total ease of build, setup, and most importantly ease of flying ability. As with all of MIA Product's design approach this goal also encompasses ultra durability and the cool looks that MIA Micro-FLIGHT has become well known for.

Setback on Autogyro Kits
 
Over the past 12 years of being in operation, MIA has been consistently producing a variety of Upgrades for the small size helicopters, while at the same time, developing other models such as RC helicopters, airplanes, trikes, microlights, ultralights and autogyros. Unfortunately, heavy workloads with the smaller stuff, and outside work responsibilities has made it difficult to properly offer kits in the later categories, in past years. However we hope to change that in 2012.
 
Model Kit Availability
 
We are hoping to have some models sometime this year. I can't say for sure whether it will be a MIA Breeze™, MIA BBW™ or a MIA Little Nellie, James Bond 007 theme ( You Only live Twice - Movie) , or a MIA Roto-Trike™, MIA MPG™, or even something that I have not yet shown but has been cooking in our MIA Lab. But it will will be a kit, the average model builder, helicopter, airplane, hobby enthusiast can build easily, fly, and enjoy, with minimal damage to the model, in the process of learning to fly it.
 
MIA MPG™ MIA Pusher Gyro
 
 

 

 

 

MIA BBW

Below is the MIA BBW RC Autogyro, for example, which stands for Bensen-Brock-Wallis, names of daring men, who I admire, so I've appropriately named one of my most successful  RC autogyros, in honor of them. But most successful, to me, does not mean it is easier for an rc model enthusiast, as this particular "Pusher" style, as with most pusher style designs, that are out there, in kit or in DIY plan are generally more complex in nature.

 

The Photo and Article that got me hooked!

Ken Brock's Autogyro, basically a Bensen frame with a few of Ken's own mods, such as pilot molded seat which doubles as gas tank, under seat stick control,  horizontal stabilizer and offset rotor head.
 
Below a refined MIA RC model of Kens autogyro, built strictly from the photos above, next to a smaller version of a GMP Rebel Helicopter, a favorite of mine, which I redesigned for electric flight. Models designed and built with the use of CNC aluminum, injection molded parts and modern RC electronics, motors and batteries.

I did both the RC autogyro and helicopter model for self enjoyment and not to offer them for sale. These are one of a kind.

Below, a  more creative version of the same model above, but done lighter and more durable. I implemented many unique features into this model having learned from past models what held strong and where it needed improvements. The cool profile pilot was also molded as a 3D figurine as shown with my other smaller MIA RC Trikes, Ultralights, Microlights and Autogyros.

A brief look at the mechanics and Dynamics of an RC Autogyro

Imagine if you will, having to push a pencil perfectly straight on a table by blowing on it and without having it shift direction, it is very tricky to do,  and you have to do it at the center of gravity.  A pusher autogyro is very similar, but even more complex, since you have other aerodynamic forces acting upon it , when in motion. 
 
Some people who fly these types of RC model autogyros, have built up enough understanding, about them, to fly them with some degree of success.  These type of "pusher" designs, especially the larger and heavier models over 2 lbs, are not easy to fly, even considering that a larger rotor or light wing loading is employed. This is just the nature of pusher designs, something that everyone interested in building or trying one of these types of autogyros should be aware of and be prepared to deal with. NO ONE IS EXEMPT FROM THE FIRST CRASH, but that is how most autogyro  RC enthusiasts including myself have learned.
 
 From a design standpoint these "pusher" types also pose quite a challenge. The designer not only has to take into account the aerodynamics but the proper design of rotor head and blade to balance with the overall performance desired from such model. Another challenge arises when taking the rc autogyro to a manufacturing level.  It s very complex to manufacture a scale autogyro balsa kit than a profile fun foamy one. And of course there is also that other factor, which I am mostly keen on, its ability to be highly crash-proof.
 
 

Video explaining an RC Autogyro Model Teeter Head

Video of Miniature Control Setup- Fixture
to aid in the Design of some MIA RC Autogyros

 

 

MIA Little Nellie Models

Having been a fan of 007 movies, since I was young, I was inspired by the original film "You Only Live Twice" where a cool mini real Bensen based and heavily modified autogyro, piloted by British autogyro guru-pilot Ken Wallis, was the main gadget attraction.

 Other models of similar theme had been attempted in the past, but very few were really successful, these models used model fuel engines, helicopter rotors and were heavy, clumsy and not very realistic or attractive. Since my direction with models has been from a lightweight, standpoint I designed my own version using wood initially then carbon.

At the time I did this model and version of,  I had started with a few sketches based on a few photos of the real aircraft,  I had stumbled on the internet and had done some preliminary models and flight tests to test their fly-ability, performance, and crash-ability, at lighter weights with the use of lighter RC equipment

I tried several own design rotor heads, trying hard not to duplicate the real thing, so that it could have its own MIA personality. Eventually, I ended up making a replica model of the real head, it was just too interesting to pass up, something about all those little extra cool parts. However, this did not prove any better than a more simple and practical flex plate RC model autogyro rotor head.  

 
This is the model that I originally did in full scale body. MIA's work with the small helicopter upgrades, we make, made it difficult to complete it at the time I had shown this model in RC Groups, but eventually it was completed. Since that time another model enthusiast had also started making his own.  At one time it felt as if we were competing against each other for attention and to see who had the best one. :) Was not the case and my intent has strictly been for the pure enjoyment of the hobby and to see these models work with a high level of realism in RC form.

A preliminary test model (the one in red) of a basic Bensen autogyro setup, next tot MIA's Park-Flyer Little Nellie. Note, Little Nellies use a basic Bensen structure with some upgrades designed and manufactured by Mr. Wallis.
 
 MIA customers who have been purchasing MIA micro-FLIGHT kits for the past 12 years and readers who have been following MIA's work, will probably recognize, in MIA RC Autogyros, some of the parts designed in similar fashion to many of MIA's Helicopter Upgrades and past full heli Kits.

 An artistic rendition - MIA's Profile Foamy Little Nellie.

I did this foamy profile park-flyer Little Nellie model in less than 3 days, and it would have been sooner, only that I had other commitments, at the time. Inspired by a photo of Mr. Wallis flying his famous Nellie, I set out to do it quickly so that I could fly it and enjoy it , also quickly. The only way I could do that was to make it as a profile model. Carbon, plate, booms rods, make up most of the structure, with depron laminated to print. This model was flown with various types of rotor heads including 3 bladed, with various types of blade materials including MIA's original wood blades done for MIA's early Bumble Bee Sub-Micro Helicopter kits.
 
I wanted to be able to set the rotor angle of attack without having to measure it every time, during setup and so I invented the special protractor universal joint rotor support, a very unique feature of this model.  In addition, I also invented a neat way of making both the front and rear LG with suspension by using a few simple parts creatively.  All these inventive details, trademark features of MIA Micro-FLIGHT.
 
 
 
MIA Roto-Trike

The lack  of time for me to take the larger models to a flying field is a good reason why I have been sticking to the small stuff. By the same token, it is yet another reason why If I could fly more than one model without actually taking multiple ones to a local park, is what got me thinking when I designed the MIA Roto-Trike, not limited to 2 but multiple options with a shared single basic structure and control.

This model uses "WS" weight shift, "DC" direct control, a control setup that utilizes 2 servos mixed and is directly coupled to a steering  cross arm on the rotor universal hub or on the keel of a "microlight", aka microlite, ultralight,  trike, rogallo wing, ultraleve or powered hang glider. The result and this is only one or our original prototypes,  follows.

MIA Breeze
 
 Large 2-blade rotor, park flyer, ultralight, crashproof, electric, RC Autogyro.

 

In recent years technology has opened doors for the availability of RC models that are easier to assemble and fly. I designed the MIA Breeze™ with the intent to offer a trainer park-flyer kit to first time RC autogyro enthusiasts. The MIA Breeze™ unique design is based on an airplane model I had designed nearly 12 years ago which I also called the MIA Breeze™ which flew extremely well, and so I decided to remove the wing and place a simple rotor in its place. The result can be seen in the following photos and video. The model was originally designed with a female pilot thus the more femenine name "Breeze" in contrast to its mate " MIA Hurricane™", another model I hade designed at the same time I designed the original MIA Breeze™ airplane.
 
 
A simple tractor design makes for a great first RC autogyro.

Designed with first time flyers in mind or for someone who likes an easy to assemble and setup, hassle free, super easy to fly, stable ultra fun and cool looking RC Autogyro.

This autogyro is light enough and built with MIAs unique TUFF™ LG and other MIA parts designed to allow it to be ultra crash proof. The large rotor diameter and, overall, ultralight weight allows this autogyro to fly in moderate winds and also calm weather, but not limited to such, as it can also fly indoors, just as well.

If you can fly a foamy park flyer, high wing airplane, you can fly MIA's Breeze autogyro!. Simply get the rotor spinning pointing it to the a slight breeze or by getting them started with a brisk walk, then toss it gently with a bit of motor power, just like in our video. ROG's (Takeoffs from ground) are also easy from a flat ground or surface.

 

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