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Autogyro embarked in Battlships

Started by ysi_maniac, April 23, 2016, 02:04:19 PM

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ysi_maniac

Would it be intelligent to embark  an autogyro in post WWI battleships? instead of hydroplanes.
Will die without understanding this world.

Weaver

#1
I've always thought so.

The usual criticisms of autogyros was that they were small with limited capability, but that was largely due to the fact that the autogyros tested were the ones that were available and they were small ones because they were generally built as private ventures by small companies. I'm not aware of any autogiro of the period with, say, a 500bhp engine.

To get take-off and landings on a ship you could either have a disengagable drive to the rotor, or more simply, have a landing platform with reasonably smooth airflow (possibly retractable) and simply steam into wind to allow the autogyro to land vertically relative to the ship. A more powerful machine would also be less vulnerable to over-deck turbulence than a lighter one, in the same manner as fixed-wing planes.
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

- Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

sandiego89

I would say for acting as a gunnery spotter, and observation (getting a better height of eye) near the ship they would be quite appropriate. Not so much for long range scouting.
Dave "Sandiego89"
Chesapeake, Virginia, USA

zenrat

The Germans had the Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Wagtail which was a manned Autogiro kite launched from U-Boats.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Achgelis_Fa_330
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP6VnbeWXSY
Fred

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

PR19_Kit

Quote from: zenrat on April 23, 2016, 10:33:50 PM
The Germans had the Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Wagtail which was a manned Autogiro kite launched from U-Boats.


I've got a 'kit' of one of those, and it's enclosed in a black paper envelope about 3" x 4"!

The whole thing is done in etched nickel-silver, apart from the landing skids which consist of a length of grey styrene rod 1.5 mm in diameter which they expect me to split down the middle before glueing either side of the etched skids!  :o
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

jcf

Quote from: Weaver on April 23, 2016, 02:45:47 PM
I've always thought so.

The usual criticisms of autogyros was that they were small with limited capability, but that was largely due to the fact that the autogyros tested were the ones that were available and they were small ones because they were generally built as private ventures by small companies. I'm not aware of any autogiro of the period with, say, a 500bhp engine.

To get take-off and landings on a ship you could either have a disengagable drive to the rotor, or more simply, have a landing platform with reasonably smooth airflow (possibly retractable) and simply steam into wind to allow the autogyro to land vertically relative to the ship. A more powerful machine would also be less vulnerable to over-deck turbulence than a lighter one, in the same manner as fixed-wing planes.

Not really as the autogiro was a late-20s conception that was under constant development until the late-30s when it finally
reached the abilities hoped for by its creators. The only successful 'large' autogiro was the Pitcairn PA-19 and it was of the
earlier, four-bladed rotor with wings design. With the later three-bladed direct control wingless type, none of the larger,
heavier types built were successful, with ground resonance being the critical difficulty and cause of crashes. Bigger more
powerful engines just created bigger problems, adding horsepower was not a viable solution.

Sitting on the fantail the airflow from the forward motion of the ship would not be enough to spin a large rotor to takeoff
speed and even if you got it going fast enough, it wouldn't enable vertical takeoff, autogiros with a rotor-spinup drive still
required a take-off run, jump-start capability machines were a separate, more involved development.

Interestingly Weir's team under Bennet* at Cierva in Britain and Pitcairn's folks under Stanley at American Autogiro
Corporation and Pitcairn were both working on advanced designs with powered spinup jumpstart rotors and buried
engines driving pusher or tandem props.

Pitcairn referred to their work as the 'composite' or 'autogiro-helicopter', Weir called the UK version the 'gyrodyne'.
Letters between the two discussing the projects and descriptions in Pitcairn's papers are dated from 1937-1939.

One interesting bit in the correspondence was that both teams took pains to make sure that Kellet new nothing
about the new development path, Kellet had been a problem all along in terms of keeping to the licensing and patent
agreements, and his sale of autogiros to Japan and furthermore 'licensing' them to Kayaba was a breach of agreements
with Cierva, ACA and Pitcairn as Kellet's rights for outside sales were limited to the Western Hemisphere, and he had
zero authority to sell licensing rights. Technically the sales also violated the US embargo on selling potential war
material to Japan.

* Yes, the same Bennet who did the Gyrodyne, Gyrojet and Rotodyne at Fairey.

P.A. 33/33B/34 420 hp, suffered a variety of issues, but generally OK.

Westland Cierva CL.29 , 550hp, never took off due to 'vibration' (ground resonance)

TSAGI A-12, 670hp, looked like an I-16, originally unstable with serious rotor-head
vibration, spring-damping developed after much work, highest speed 153mph, lowest 32mph,
destroyed when a rotor-blade disintegrated in flight, a not uncommon problem as giros
weights/powers/rotor speeds increased.

TSAGI A-15, 700hp, large two-place, 60' rotor, ground resonance as experienced with other
companies large 'giros, most likely never got off the ground.

So work was done on larger more powerful machines, with little result.

"Conspiracy theory's got to be simple.
Sense doesn't come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated crap
actually is than they ever are about
whatever's supposed to be behind the
conspiracy."
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

zenrat

#6
Quote from: joncarrfarrelly on April 24, 2016, 11:06:55 PM
...Westland Cierva CL.29 , 550hp, never took off due to 'vibration' (ground resonance)...

Shame as it was IMO rather attractive looking.

http://www.aviastar.org/helicopters_eng/cierva_c-29.php

Quote from: PR19_Kit on April 24, 2016, 05:23:55 PM
Quote from: zenrat on April 23, 2016, 10:33:50 PM
The Germans had the Focke-Achgelis Fa 330 Wagtail which was a manned Autogiro kite launched from U-Boats.

I've got a 'kit' of one of those, and it's enclosed in a black paper envelope about 3" x 4"!

The whole thing is done in etched nickel-silver, apart from the landing skids which consist of a length of grey styrene rod 1.5 mm in diameter which they expect me to split down the middle before glueing either side of the etched skids!  :o

That's so it'll fit through a 1/72 conning tower hatch.  ;D
Fred

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

Weaver

#7
Quote from: joncarrfarrelly on April 24, 2016, 11:06:55 PM
Not really as the autogiro was a late-20s conception that was under constant development until the late-30s when it finally reached the abilities hoped for by its creators. The only successful 'large' autogiro was the Pitcairn PA-19 and it was of the earlier, four-bladed rotor with wings design. With the later three-bladed direct control wingless type, none of the larger, heavier types built were successful, with ground resonance being the critical difficulty and cause of crashes. Bigger more powerful engines just created bigger problems, adding horsepower was not a viable solution.

Sitting on the fantail the airflow from the forward motion of the ship would not be enough to spin a large rotor to takeoff speed and even if you got it going fast enough, it wouldn't enable vertical takeoff, autogiros with a rotor-spinup drive still required a take-off run, jump-start capability machines were a separate, more involved development.

Interestingly Weir's team under Bennet* at Cierva in Britain and Pitcairn's folks under Stanley at American Autogiro
Corporation and Pitcairn were both working on advanced designs with powered spinup jumpstart rotors and buried
engines driving pusher or tandem props. Pitcairn referred to their work as the 'composite' or 'autogiro-helicopter', Weir called the UK version the 'gyrodyne'. Letters between the two discussing the projects and descriptions in Pitcairn's papers are dated from 1937-1939.

P.A. 33/33B/34 420 hp, suffered a variety of issues, but generally OK.

Westland Cierva CL.29 , 550hp, never took off due to 'vibration' (ground resonance)

TSAGI A-12, 670hp, looked like an I-16, originally unstable with serious rotor-head
vibration, spring-damping developed after much work, highest speed 153mph, lowest 32mph,
destroyed when a rotor-blade disintegrated in flight, a not uncommon problem as giros
weights/powers/rotor speeds increased.

TSAGI A-15, 700hp, large two-place, 60' rotor, ground resonance as experienced with other
companies large 'giros, most likely never got off the ground.

So work was done on larger more powerful machines, with little result.

Well the question was about post-WWI battleships, so that covers the 1920s and 1930s.

The autogyro may have been under development in that period, but it wasn't well funded with government money and contracts, being essentially in the hands of a small number of small companies. Had official interest been followed up with serious money then those companies would have hired more engineers, built more prototypes, flown then more intensively and developed the state of the art faster.

The ground resonance problem also plagued early helicopters but it was eventually solved, and big autogyros like the Rotodyne did eventually fly (yes, we can argue about what exactly to call the Rotodyne but the fact remains that it's rotor was unpowered in forward flight). Who's to say how much faster it might have been solved with a seriously funded development contract?


This is a Cierva C.30 landing and taking off from the Spanish Navy seaplane tender D├ędalo in 1934 (first ever autogyro take-off and landing from a ship):





The take-off run was 24 metres, compared to the overall ship length of 127.4 metres, and since the take-off was over the stern from a stationary ship, there was no, or very little, wind-over-deck assistance.

By way of comparison, a King George V-class battleship was 227m long. Here's a KGV with that 24m take-off run superimposed. Note a couple of other things too:

a) The length of the existing aircraft deck amidships was about 16m, so the amount of space aft could be considerably increased if that was replaced by a stern aircraft deck,

b) The ship's maximum beam was 31.5m, so the autogyro could have taken-off cross-deck from amidships with the ship at anchor. Obviously that's impractical, but it demonstrates how much space was available for an angled take-off run.

"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

- Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

jcf

Throwing government money at it would have been a double-edged sword as it was pretty much all being
done by Juan Cierva, Harold Pitcairn and their assistants, it was coming out of their heads. Pitcairn supplying
the bulk of the funding in the US, Weir doing the same in the UK, both were very wealthy men because of other
family business enterprises.

A large influx of government cash, and requirements in the early-mid 1930s, would have further complicated
things and likely slowed the process down by adding layers of bureacracy and conflicting requirements, as what
they thought they wanted in a machine and what Cierva in the UK and Pitcairn could provide were different
things. Kellet and his chief engineer would have become a bigger problem in terms of working against concerted
development, as all he was interested in was his own pocketbook.

Some funding would have helped with rotor blade developments etc., but it wouldn't have had much effect on the
rate of development. It really wasn't the same as airframe or engine development in the larger aviation industry
as in both cases they were working on incremental improvements of existing and understood technology, the autogiro
was a very different animal. By the time the technology was developed, the late-'30s, getting money from either
the US or UK governments was an exercise in frustration for the autogiro men, in part because those entities felt they
hadn't had a useful return on the monies they had disbursed previously. In the US domestic politics were also a
likely factor.

Cierva was a mercurial man who constantly came up with new ideas, Pitcairn was of a calmer nature, but
was also brilliant and many of the ideas that finally led to succesful developed 'giro came from him, he had
been working on rotary flight since before meeting Cierva, and he was a demon for getting patent protection
and worked to make sure that the developments by Cierva in the UK, and by ACA in the US were patented in
a timely manner in both countries. He did this to both protect Cierva's legacy and to hopefully recoup in the
long run the monies spent by both development teams.

I'm well aware of the various shipboard tests, however the reality of how the machines flew and landed,
would make operating off of a small deck, on a pitching ship, at sea with the wind blowing interesting, to say
the least.

The majority of helicopters produced in the WWII period used Pitcairn/Pitcairn-Cierva patents, they made
the machines possible.

Brooks Cierva Autogiros, and Gunther's Harold F. Pitcairn (which is written using Pitcairn's personal files
and correspondence) together give the best picture of the reality of the autogiro in the 1930s, how it came about,
what it was, what it could do and when.

Ironically if Cierva hadn't died flying to Spain in 1936, by the late-30s both companies would probably have been
building helicopters and 'autogiro-helicopter/gyrodyne' types.
"Conspiracy theory's got to be simple.
Sense doesn't come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated crap
actually is than they ever are about
whatever's supposed to be behind the
conspiracy."
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Weaver

I don't think you can just make a blanket statement that government money wouldn't have helped: it would depend on how the money was allocated, what the government expected to get back from it, and how it was administered. If the money was in the form of a general research grant to develop the technology, rather than to meet a specific service requirement, then both companies could have hired more engineers and built more prototypes. This CAN speed up development: development is an iterative process of experiment and refinement, and the more tests you can do in parallel, and the more insulated you are from the results of the inevitable accidents and setbacks, the faster the progress you can make. Good government research contracts also create business security, which allows design teams to focus on getting the right answers rather than making something they can sell next week.

For instance: use some government money to set up a separate research team focussing just on the ground resonance problem, with a big enough budget to build a series of test rigs and nail the solution. This is far more likely to get results than just building the latest prototype airframe and waiting to see if ground resonance shows up or not. This doesn't even have to be done by the companies themselves: with official interest, RAE Farnborough could do it and disseminate the results to all interested parties.
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

- Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

jcf

Yeah, if you want to apply how things were done in the Cold War and, to a more limited extent today, to a period when
such concepts and processes were all but non-existent, a truly crappy economic situation, and the war drums were a
throbbin', then sure. 
;D

Seriously though the history of the autogiro, and the reality of how much it truly was the creation of particular individuals,
not firms or groups, is one of those things that needs to be read and understood if you want to have a plausible What-If
situation, if one wants to do a bunch of 'It's the Whiffverse' hand-wavium, well that's a different kettle of fish.

That said, Harold Pitcairn's experiments in vertical flight predate his connection with Juan de la Cierva by several years,
and include 1926 experiments with tip-jet driven rotors, the test-rig used compressed air and proved the concept,
which leads to intriguing possibilities in the area of What-If, especially if combined with the 'autogiro-helicopter/gyrodyne'
concepts of 1937 and on.
;)

Oh yeah, the major thing that would speed up development would be no unsettled political situation in Spain, and
thus no Civil War which means that Cierva's attention wouldn't taken away from his work and he most likely wouldn't
have died in the Croydon aircrash. His preoccupation with Spanish politics had a very negative effect on autogiro
development.
"Conspiracy theory's got to be simple.
Sense doesn't come into it. People are
more scared of how complicated crap
actually is than they ever are about
whatever's supposed to be behind the
conspiracy."
-The Peripheral, William Gibson 2014

Weaver

C'mon Jon, government-sponsored research work wasn't invented in the Cold War: the Royal Aircraft Establishment goes back to 1918. the National Physics Laboratory goes back to 1900, and they were doing government-sponsored research on airflows over aircraft carrier decks by the 1920s. Air Ministry money (not nearly enough) was spent to develop the Whittle jet engine in the late 1930s despite there being little official interest and them regarding it as long-term research.

You have the perfect example in the USA. NACA was founded in 1915 and by the mid-1920s it was doing exactly the kind of government-funded fundamental research that could have helped the autogyro manufacturers had it been directed at them (it certainly helped the mainstream manufacturers). If anybody in the armed forces had been writing requirements for more powerful autogyros and asking NACA for help with the ground resonance problem, they'd have jumped right in.

Those individuals who created the idea of the autgyro were no different from those who thought up the aeroplane, or the jet engine, in the first place. They all took it a little way on their own, but then they had to form, or join, commercial companies in order to get finance, win contracts and make the things on a useful scale. We tend to lionise the individual inventors because we like to personalise history and we love an underdog, but the reality is that those clever invetions would have stayed firmly in the garden shed without big business, serious money and, in the case of military inventions, armed forces interest.
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

- Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

ysi_maniac

My question was oriented to produce what can,arguably, be the smallest whif project  ever done ...



... well, in fact this will be part of my Acorazado Libertad.



Inspired by Pitcairn PA-38
http://www.aerofiles.com/pitc-pa38art.jpg





This model is scale 1/600. Then 2,50 cms corresponds to 15 m. This makes me think in the size of some medium bomber of WWII. I assume this could be an useful aircraft

What do you think?
Will die without understanding this world.

Rick Lowe

"What do you (I) think?"

It's really cool and I want to see it finished!
:lol:

Cheers

NARSES2

Decals my @r$e!