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Apr 21, 2014, 08:06 AM
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Buhl A-1 Autogyro


The Buhl A-1 Autogiro

There are very few things remarkable about Buhlís entrance or contributions as a company. The aircraft that they did design however does have a place in the history books in regards to future gyroplane designs. ...

Key figures to the success of the A-1 Autogiro were Buhlís chief engineer, Eitenne Dormay (sic)and pilot, James Johnson and one other gentleman by the name of Alfred Verille (sic), another aircraft designer. ...

Most obviously important in this endeavor would be the other founding member of the company Mr. Lawrence D. Buhl. Buhl started his first aircraft company in 1925 as the Buhl Aircraft Division, Buhl Stamping Company in Detroit Michigan. ...

They created the A-1 Autogiro in 1931 with the first flight on December 15, 1931. The flight was conducted by James W. Johnson the company pilot and successfully completes the first flight of this aerial photography platform. The design by Dormay was intended to provide an optimum photography platform for both commercial and military applications. ...

The ship was powered by a 165 hp Continental A-70 engine. She was 27 feet long with a wingspan of 32 feet and a rotor diameter of 40 feet. Dormayís creative genious lay in the placement of the powerplant, he chose to locate the engine behind the cabin for optimal viewing ahead of the aircraft. In doing so Dormay created the first pusher style autogiro in the world. A design which would become very popular after World War II and is still the most prevolant design found in todayís gyroplanes.

Buhl Aircraft Co, closed uin 1933 due to the depression. Only one A-1 autogyro was built.

Last edited by TedD60; Jun 01, 2014 at 06:44 PM.
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Apr 22, 2014, 06:11 AM
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md6364's Avatar
Is this the same company that designed the Buhl "Pup"?
Last edited by md6364; Apr 22, 2014 at 07:22 AM.
Apr 22, 2014, 06:21 AM
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Small corrections to names: Dormoy and Verville, IIRC.

Jim R.
Apr 22, 2014, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by md6364
Is this the same company that designed the Buhl "Pup"?
Yes. Also:
Buhl-Verville CA-3 Airster
Buhl CA-1 Airster
Buhl Airsedan
Buhl Bull Pup

I was thinking I might dig into these next.

Apr 22, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by JRuggiero
Small corrections to names: Dormoy and Verville, IIRC.

Jim R.
Noted. I cut and pasted and quoted from a direct source so I made notations appropriately.

Thanks Jim.

May 31, 2014, 04:56 PM
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Attached you will find scale drawings of Buhl A-1 Autogyro. Althought these drawings may look like plans for a model of the Buhl, they are scale drawings produced to aid in the restoration of the a/c currently on display at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.

These drawings come to us through Packard Pursuit (Charles L. Neely). He shared quite a lot of other intersting and historic information about this a/c, which I will scan and post here as I get time.

Below is a drawing of the Continental A-70 used in this a/c.

Last edited by TedD60; Jun 01, 2014 at 08:24 AM.
Jun 01, 2014, 12:44 PM
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Interesting...very interesting. I'll bet I could kit that. Never heard of this autogyro before..

Jun 01, 2014, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by PT Gyro
Interesting...very interesting. I'll bet I could kit that.
I think it should make for an easy build ... a pusher with elevator and rudder.

My thoughts were to try one built around the motor and other gear from a wrecked HZ Champ.

If it were a gentle and easy flyer, it might prove interesting to a lot of folks new to r/c as well as new to autogryos.

Jun 02, 2014, 08:40 AM
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Glad you were able to post this! I suspect quite a pain in the neck(?). Good show!

If I may, I would add just a bit of caution. The plan for Hiller Museum A-1 is for a mock up display and not an actual restoration. Would also suggest caution regarding questionable rib sections and other construction features. Definitely not aircraft grade.

That being said, this is probably as good an outline as any yet available and could provide a decent data source. When in doubt, consult the photos!

I can't recall if the article gives a reason for the rotor's"opposite" rotation??? It probably has something to do with pusher prop rotation?
Nov 23, 2015, 11:43 AM
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Mark Winstanley's Avatar
Did anyone go-ahead and build one of these?


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