The Company has been developing innovative vertical lift gyroplane and gyrodyne rotorcraft technologies for more than two decades. These advanced sustained autorotative flight technologies enable aircraft to be both runway-independent and economical, and yet not be constrained by the physics imposed speed, range, and payload limitations of a helicopter. After 25 years of research and development, with over 60 patents issued and under application, the Company has successfully developed innovative technology that has brought autorotative flight into the modern age, technology that has much to offer today.
Proven Technology Although the Company has introduced important refinements to advance gyroplane design and manufacture to today’s standards, the basic concept incorporated in the Company’s gyroplanes remains faithful to the proven technology of autorotative flight, invented by Juan de la Cierva in 1923. Demonstration by de la Cierva’s “Autogiro’ of the safety and simplicity inherent in autorotation, quickly led to the emergence of new gyroplane designs on both sides of the Atlantic, widely used during the 1930’s and 1940’s in mail delivery for U.S. Post Offices and for military service in Europe.
Highly Scalable Technology A great value of GAC’s technology lies in the fact that it is highly scalable and could be applied to a wide range of new and existing airframes creating new types of aircraft with vertical takeoff andlanding (VTOL) capability. GAC’s gyroplane and gyrodyne technology could be the solution for the intense commercial and military need for vertical lift aircraft that are safe, economical, reliable, fast, and capable of meaningful loads and ranges. Gyroplane and gyrodyne platforms could replace both airplanes and helicopters for a variety of applications, both manned and unmanned, thereby creating entirely new markets for vertical lift aircraft that cannot be serviced by existing VTOL technologies.
Safer Form of Flight The inherent vulnerability of an airplane is its susceptibility to an uncontrollable stall at low speeds. With an autorotating rotor, Cierva eliminated that problem for his autogiro and all subsequent gyroplanes, allowing a controlled glide and easy landing without needing a runway, if the engine fails. Helicopters, using a powered rotor rather than in constant autorotation for routine flight, present much greater difficulty in making a safe landing in an emergency.
Furthermore, while visually the gyroplane resembles a helicopter, it is closer in design to an airplane. A typical gyroplane has largely the same drive and controls as an airplane: a tail, rudder, and a main engine used for forward thrust by a propeller. The only element of a gyroplane in common with a helicopter is its rotor system: rotor blades, rotor head, and controls; it has none of a helicopter’s complexity: transmissions, gearboxes, tail rotor, rotor drive shafts, etc., all safety-critical components that are major contributors to helicopter emergencies and accidents, and thus the much inferior safety record compared to airplanes to which the gyroplane is more akin.
Superior Mission Readiness Capability The complexity of numerous safety-critical components is a major cause of the low reliability record of helicopters. Indications of failure of any of these components will ground the aircraft; more significantly prevention of incipient failure necessitates regular and frequent short-interval inspections and maintenance in areas with difficult access, significantly reducing mission readiness and both daily and annual utilization.
Significant Cost Savings The relative simplicity and absence of safety-critical parts of a helicopter, enables the elimination of the acquisition costs of those components, as well as the costs to the manufacturer of the testing of those parts to ensure safety and acceptable reliability. Further, the superior mission-readiness and utilization capability of a gyroplane will enable many missions to be performed effectively by a much smaller number of gyroplanes than would be required by using helicopters. Relative to purchasing a fleet of helicopters for a mission, acquisition costs for a fleet of gyroplanes will be significantly less, as they will be smaller in number and with lower unit prices.
Operating cost savings from the use of gyroplanes can be very substantial. Notably, these will result from a considerable reduction in line maintenance labor and parts costs, fewer scheduled overhauls, lower pilot training costs and lower insurance premiums, as well as reduced incremental costs resulting from irregular operations.