American Autogyro Sparrowhawk
The American Autogyro Inc, formed in December 2002, as a division of Groen Brothers Aviation, with the objective to develop stability augmentation and other safety features for existing autogyros.
Following incremental development on several testbeds, American Autogyro launched at AirVenture, Oshkosh, July 2003, the Sparrowhawk two-seat autogyro/kitbuilt when proof-of-concept vehicle N974J (flown February 2003) was displayed. Kit deliveries then scheduled to begin in late 2003, although stability augmentation kits for gyrocopters already flying were available from April 2003.
A development aircraft was based on an RAF 2000 pod, but modified with a large all-moving rudder and fixed cruciform horizontal stabiliser with endplates.
Rudder/stabiliser intersection is in line with propeller boss for optimum dynamic stability, assisted by rudder self-centring springs. Dual control sticks operate roll and cyclic rotor control; rudder pedals also used for ground steering, in conjunction with differential braking. The structure is aluminium frame with glass fibre pod and honeycomb composites empennage; aluminium keel and mast; tubular steel landing gear; bonded metal rotor blades.
The fixed landing gear is tricycle type with a safety tailwheel, and cable-operated brakes on the mainwheels (15 x 6.00).
The single 110kW Subaru EJ22 flat-four drives a two-blade, fixed-pitch, carbon fibrepusher propeller and rotor prerotate drive. Fuel capacity 95 litres of which 87 litres are usable.
Factory-complete aircraft were available, and a law enforcement/aerial patrol version (EJ22 engine) first flew in the third quarter of 2003. A total of 28 had been sold by August 2003. In 2003 the prices were: Experimental category kit US$27,390; Light Sport Aircraft quick-assembly kit US$40,700 or US$46.200 flyaway; law enforcement version US$62,384, assembled and equipped.
The Sparrowhawk has an aluminum frame and moulded fiberglass cabin, and the Quick Build Kit price: in 2009 was $45,500. The SparrowHawk III quick build kit significantly reduces the time and effort involved. Estimated build time for the SparrowHawk III is approximately 300 hours.
The SparrowHawk III is a 2 seat, aluminum frame, centerline thrust gyroplane with a 44 inch wide moulded fiberglass cabin. The SparrowHawk provides comfortable seating for individuals with up to 6’ 6” in height and 240 lbs in weight. The kit comes with everything you need to fly, daytime VFR, except for fuel, including dual controls.