APT ... Autogyro Progressive Trainer - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2014, 01:40 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
Build Log

APT ... Autogyro Progressive Trainer

As some of you guys also know, I am very much a newbie when it comes to autogyro … I have had a couple of failed attempts, and MANY crashes … but did manage to get about 3 minutes flight before crashing once again beyond repair

All in all I crashed and repaired my “Crane Fly” more times than I care to remember and each time it got harder to repair and I got more and more despondent

It is very frustrating and discouraging for an experienced fixed wing pilot to feel like he is a failure and I was ALMOST at the point of giving up and going back to flying fixed wing airplanes when … in stepped Tom Wright and said “please Tony, don’t give up” and he sent me a video of one he made a couple of years ago … a basic model with a fixed head (rudder and elevator only) and a small wing with turned up tips … and, with a little persuasion from Tom, I agreed to build it and have another go

As I started to build it (to Toms specs) I thought … “this is it” … as novices, I / we need a design that is SIMPLE and BASIC, easy to build and VERY EASY to fly and … EASY to see in the sky without getting disoriented (which I found to be a BIG problem) and as a real novice, I would test it

This venture hasn’t been without its problems and glitches, the damn thing would insist on doing its own thing and falling out of the sky … a mixture of wing position and size, tail size, balance … and me not quite building to Toms specs

After much swearing I almost gave up (again) and had not been for Toms help and guidance, persistence and determination to get me flying I would probably have given it away altogether

So … between us, Toms expertise in autogyro and mine in Sketchup design / drawing we have designed what I think is the ultimate trainer for first time autogyro pilots … and … if I can do it … anyone can

ENTER …. “Easy Autogyro” .. Progressive Trainer

Starts with a fixed head, rudder and elevator only and a small wing .. progressing to a single function head and eventually to remove the wing

I have been flying the final design now less than a week and have already moved on to the next step and flown it with the moving head, next step will be to reduce the size of the wing and then remove it altogether

The prototype was built with what I had on hand, and I am waiting for CF tube and more metal geared servos to arrive from HK (my blades already arrived yesterday from AJ Blades) so I can build it again to the plans I have drawn up

As always, I will do a pictorial build log of the prototype and videos of the progress

Last edited by Lockey; Oct 28, 2014 at 01:52 AM.
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Oct 15, 2014, 03:54 AM
Mike's Ma Maaaaaaaaan
PaulB's Avatar
Sitting here at my desk and our ‘system’ has had a catastrophic failure so I just lost a couple of hours work

Looking out of the window to see perfect flying weather and I am in the office

Opened RC Groups and lookey here, something to smile about

Been wondering what you were up to, I thought that you may have thrown the towel in which would have been a shame. As you quite rightly say, Tom is a real Gent and always willing to help in way which he can (it was his Crane that got me ‘properly’ into these evil contraptions).

So you put your ‘stabilisers’ on, like ‘yer Dad did to your first bike, and now you are rocking and rolling. Good result. This will sort the orientation issues out and give you more time to get on with learning nice ‘crossed controls’ (opposite aileron/ rudder) turns and then my friend, Robert will be your fathers brother.

Keep up the good work both of you, now Tom, how about trying to get Dave back into the fold???????

Oct 15, 2014, 05:49 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
Hi Paul, good to see you here mate

Yes, its like having trainer wheels on your very first bike ... thats exactly what it is is mate

I helps the orientation a lot and also smooths out some of the bumps



Anyone wanting to start building, I have posted the plans and build guides

I will add a materials and component list as soon as I get time, I also need to add a build guide for the rotor head and bearing assembly and delta plate etc and will add this to as soon as I get the time

The plans are absolutely free, only request is ... if you build, please post pics of your build here on this thread and if possible a video of your flights, especially any maidens

Any questions, help with the build or flying, Tom or myself will be more than happy to help if we can

Plans are now available at: http://www.lockeysrcplans.com

Please enjoy

Last edited by Lockey; Dec 04, 2016 at 06:37 AM.
Oct 15, 2014, 05:51 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
This was the very first flight, of the first prototype

The motor didn't have enough power AND I think it was pilot error that brought it down at the end

Anyway ... here is the maiden

WAG Maiden (3 min 58 sec)
Last edited by Lockey; Oct 15, 2014 at 06:00 AM.
Oct 15, 2014, 06:17 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
After the second flight … which was a disaster from start to finish, we decided that I needed to make the tail fin a bit bigger and we also upped the size of the wing by 25%

A new, heavier undercarriage was fitted and this made the front a little heavier

This was the second flight before the mods ... still with rudder and elevator only


WAG (6 min 34 sec)
Oct 15, 2014, 07:43 AM
Allways the hard way!
georgy's Avatar
Hey Lockey,

You are realy taking away all my excuses!

I am too embarressed to talk about my 1st attempt... a CFL. (Actually, 1st was a Apache, which lasted about 3 seconds! But seconds dont count so i will not talk about that!)

Maybe this one will be the ticket

Oct 15, 2014, 08:53 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
Originally Posted by georgy
Hey Lockey,

You are realy taking away all my excuses!

I am too embarressed to talk about my 1st attempt... a CFL. (Actually, 1st was a Apache, which lasted about 3 seconds! But seconds dont count so i will not talk about that!)

Maybe this one will be the ticket

Hi George, the Apache was my first one too and I had a few seconds with mine as well

This one will be a pussy cat with the wing and rudder / elevator only, all you have to remember is it like starting over when you were learning fixed wing with rudder ... flick flick on the rudder and a little elevator

Although I think I need more practice with the wing on before I dare go solo again ... YES, I have flown her without the wing and with single function roll head ... but this will come later

Here is the 3rd video after the mods were done ... larger tail fin ... larger wing ... more weight up front with the heavier undercarriage. (CG moved forward)


WAG Good (8 min 47 sec)
Last edited by Lockey; Oct 15, 2014 at 09:01 AM.
Oct 15, 2014, 10:02 AM
Registered User
A design that starts out simple and very easy to fly but from which you can gradually remove the "training wheels" is a great idea!

(Watching your prototype evolve reminds me of my attempts to build an AG several years ago, only you are having much more success--nearly there, looks like.) Good luck and please keep updating.
Oct 15, 2014, 01:06 PM
Registered User
Tom Wright's Avatar
Hi Tony

You have built my design from scratch including the blades from a photo and a few dimensions that is quite an achievement , but to do this in a couple of days and start flying is even more amazing Added to this you have also produced numerous drawings and videos at the same time.

I have followed your antics with my own model and today installed a simple a roll hinge ,control arm and servo ,then went flying in the dismal weather we have here.

First a flight with the wing fitted.... no problem at all after the conversion job, and the rotor roll control proved to be smooth and easy , so off with the wing as the light was fading rapidly. A few seconds to dump the wing and off she went again as sedate as you like and just needing a tweak of up trim. The model could be flown around nicely and calmly by just using the rotor roll stick ,or by just using rudder or even the usual combination of both controls.

I am no ace pilot but have flown a few auto gyros and can say with confidence IMHO it doesn't get easier than this one.

We look forward to a build blog and some of those drawings that Tony does so well and hope those looking in will build as shown and not deviate from the design in any way at least until the model can be flown with confidence.

Oct 15, 2014, 01:33 PM
Registered User
Tinmar's Avatar
Good stuff Lockey, I m glad you havent given up yet, it s like a graph, you start good then you go down and hit rockbottom then you start going up again and then the incline does not stop, just get better
Oct 15, 2014, 07:59 PM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
Thanks for your comments guys

As you can see from Toms comments, Tom and I were mirroring each other on opposite sides of the world, only difference being that Tom is a very experienced autogyro pilot and I am a novice

The idea being that he would try something with his model and then pass the specs down to me for me to try as the novice

Its often not easy for a very experienced pilot to design something to suit a learner … obvious really when you think about it … but the way we approached it seemed to be the ideal situation … and … it seemed to work

The next video was done a few days ago when my friend Kev (Locko1) was over from Adelaide and he helped with the hand launches as there was very little to no wind at all and could not get the model to ROG

I had fitted a slightly bigger motor which did help with the power situation (it is not the ideal motor, but I don’t have the one I really need)


WAG 2 (7 min 20 sec)
Oct 15, 2014, 08:38 PM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
This is the very first attempt to fly the model with the single function head

As you will see from the date at the beginning of each video, this all happened within a few days .. not easy really given the time difference from the UK to Australia

All these videos were done to send to Tom, so very little editing was done (on the earlier ones it was mainly to edit out the swearing ) ... I would send my report and video to Tom in the evening and get a reply with further instructions and changes etc the following day when I woke up, make the changes and then go and fly again that evening

I would not expect (or advise) anyone to do this in such a short time, but as I am semi-retired, I do have more time to play

WAG with rotor roll control (6 min 19 sec)
Oct 16, 2014, 12:02 AM
Allways the hard way!
georgy's Avatar

When do you expect the specs, angles and dangles to be available for other mortals?

Oct 16, 2014, 12:26 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
This video is the final one at this stage and shows me flying (and crashing) with the wing removed ...

I think I maybe need a little more practice time with the wing on before moving on

George ... I will start the build log soon and if anyone would like to start a build right away and MUST post your pics and videos, please let me know and I will send you the basic plans

I have designed the plans to use 10 mm square CF tube, but Tom has requested that I also do a set to enable the use of Spruce (or similar) as it is much easier to acquire

There are also parts made from .8 mm fiberglass sheet, which I believe is easy to get in the UK, but it was not easy to find in Australia

With the help of Tom, I will also post what to use (or alternatives) for the whole build, I did find it a little daunting finding what to use and where to get it as this is / was a whole new ball game to me as it will be for other first time autogyro builders and fliers

Also, I am sure Tom will help with flying and any problems you might have as a first time autogyro pilot


WAG3 (4 min 37 sec)
Last edited by Lockey; Oct 16, 2014 at 12:32 AM.
Oct 16, 2014, 04:45 AM
Tony Audsley Retired Locksmith
Lockey's Avatar
I have designed the build in separate modules ... 5 of them

Front section ... rear section ... wing ... boom and mast ... and the rotor blades

The reason for this is because it is important to make it as easy as possible to repair in the event of a crash (and believe me, there will be a few)

I found that the first thing to break is the boom, so this needs to be easily removed and replaced, the mast is held on to the boom with 3 mm nylon nuts and bolts and these act as shear bolts in the event of a crash

The rear section houses the 2 servos (rudder and elevator) and the push-rods ... so if and when the boom breaks it doesn't strip the gears in the servos, it simply pulls the plugs out from the extensions

The font section is simply a box that holds the motor and undercarriage

Last edited by Lockey; Oct 16, 2014 at 05:02 AM.

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