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.
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
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
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
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
Below is the MIA BBW™
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
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
I did both the RC autogyro and helicopter model for self
enjoyment and not to offer them for sale. These are one of a
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
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
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
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
Video explaining an RC Autogyro Model
Video of Miniature Control Setup-
to aid in the Design of some MIA RC
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.