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Little Wing Autogyros LW-1

Cierva had patented the concept of aligning the propeller thrustline with CG (For increased longitudinal stability) very early in the Autogiro's development. The missing ingredient in the Bensen type gyro was the horizontal tail. The Autogiros of old had huge horizontal tails and tractor mounted propellers which were located in the center of aircraft drag and center of gravity. These aircraft were forgiving and pitch-stable. Herron "copied" Don Juan de la Cierva Codorniu.....the father of practical rotorcraft.
The first 2 prototypes utilized elevators for longitudinal (pitch) control. On these craft he locked the rotorhead in the fore-aft position and designed a means of trimming it for fine adjustments. Side-ways tilting of the head was used for lateral control. The first of these prototypes was the LW-1, built it from a wrecked Piper airplane fuselage. The rotor pylon was attached to the fuselage through four large isolation dampers, and a wide outrigger type landing gear with oleo struts. This aircraft was powered by a Continental 0-200 engine of 100 horsepower. Lateral control was accomplished by using push-pull cables directly connected to the control torque tube. Centrifugal flyweights were developed for the rotorhead to prevent the two-bladed rotor from flapping into the tail at low rotor speeds, and an automotive starter for a prerotator to start the blades.
This aircraft was taxi tested and then test flown. It flew remarkably easy. It also had no stick shake. It was, however, not a very good performer due to its weight and the small diameter rotor used for testing. It was primarily a "proof-of-concept" aircraft anyway. The concept seemed to be on target.

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