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Helicop-Air L.50 Girhel / L.51 Girhel
In France, Helicop-Air, produced the prototype of a two-seat light autogyro-type aircraft known as the Girhel.
The Girhel is a side-by-side two-seat light aircraft to which an autogyro rotor has been fitted. It was designed with the assistance of Ing. Georges Lepere.
For take-off the rotor can be set turning by engaging a clutch in a drive-shaft from the engine. In flight the rotor autorotates and the engine drives a tractor airscrew in the conventional manner. Most of the "lift" is contributed by the fixed wings in cruising flight, so that the rotor is heavily loaded only during take-off and landing. The three-blade rotor is of wood construction, with variable pitch. Starting is by a clutch and drive-shaft from engine. The wings are mid-wing cantilever monoplane with a single metal spar, wood covering, large ailerons, and end-plates at the tips.
The all-metal fuselage structure has a cantilever monoplane type tail unit, with conventional elevators, two fins and central rudder. All-wood structure. The landing gear is a non-retractable tricycle type. The nose-wheel is steerable and brakes are on the main wheels.
The two seats are side-by-side in the enclosed cabin. Dual controls are optional. Space for baggage is aft of the seats. There is provision for carrying a litter or agricultural spray-gear.
This was exhibited for the first time at the 1959 Paris Salon de l’Aeronautique.
It is not clear whether the prototype actually flew.
Two versions of the Girhel were offered:
Girhel L.50. 90hp Continental C90 engine with Ratier two-blade fixed-pitch airscrew.
Girhel L.51. With 150hp Lycoming O-320 engine with a variable-pitch airscrew.
Helicop-Air L.50 Girhel
Engine: Continental C.90, 65kW
Prop: Ratier two-blade fixed-pitch
Rotor diameter: 10.0m
Wngspan: 6.0m
Length: 6.10m
Height: 2.70m
Helicop-Air L51 Girhel
Engine: Lycoming O-320, 150hp
Prop: variable-pitch
Rotor diameter: 10.0m
Wngspan: 6.0m
Length: 6.10m
Height: 2.70m
Weight empty: 416kg
Weight loaded: 750kg
Max speed (est.): 215km/h
Cruising speed (est.): 180km/h
Min flying speed (est.): 22km/h
Range with pilot and 234kg payload (est.): 100km
Range with two persons and baggage (est.): 1000km
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