This model works on the same principle as the real Hafner Rotabuggy from WWII, being tethered and pulled through the air to spin the blades and create an air-catching disk which then lifts the craft into the air. Craft like the Rotabuggy, Focke Achgelis Fa330  and many others would have been towed by a truck or a U-Boat to give it speed and lift, but the model I will teach you how to build will work like a traditional kite powered by the wind.

To build this model you will need;

A pin
String (use any string that you would associate with kite flying. I recommend thin nylon string.)
Wire and Pliers
Prestik/Blue Tac/Putty/Small coin} to use as ballast
Something to wind the string around
A windy place to fly it in
Packing/Floor insulation/other lightweight foam sheets (I used the kind used for protecting eggs when you buy a tray of 30.)

Step 1: Making the Rotors

First, cut a blade out of the foam sheet. Then trace it and make 2 others like it. To make the centre that holds them together, cut out an equilateral triangle with each side the same length as the width of a blade. Tape the blades to it as shown. Then poke a hole in the centre for the rotor shaft to fit through.

Cut 2 small circles out of the foam. These will help reduce friction.  Make a small hole in the centre of each one. Then place all the parts mentioned (and 2 beads) onto the pin to create the rotor hub. The order should be like this:  0-o-O-X-O-o----------------
If 0=pin head, o=bead, -=pin shaft, X=rotor centre.

Also cut out a shape like the one shown in the 2nd last picture. This is what the shaft will be connected to the fuselage with.
Some modifications made after I published this instructable: <br> <br>-Thin wire along the leading edge of each blade for better stiffness and strength + also to help the blades keep momentum when there is a short break in the wind. <br>-More ballast to counter the heavier blades (or it flips upside-down) <br>-2 extra beads on the shaft to further reduce friction <br>-Poked the tip of the pin out the side of the holder and bent it 90 degrees to prevent it from pulling out and releasing the rotors. <br>-bent the shaft slightly forward to prevent tail strikes by the blades.
That's pretty cool :) You should enter this into the <a href="http://www.instructables.com/contest/holidaygifts2012">Holiday Gifts Contest</a>!
Thanks, I have.
I have published another more in depth autogyro Instructable and here is the link: <br> <br>http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-model-De-La-Cierva-Autogyro/
Do the blades have any sort of aerofoil cross-section or twist to provide lift?
Yes. An autogyro works by remaining in a state of constant autorotation by the blades basically having a negative angle of attack of about 3 degrees or so. A bigger angle will reduce lift and allow it to spin and accelerate faster while closer to neutral will give more lift and a lower rpm number. You could just bend the blades depending on the wind conditions for better flying results.
These are great. I am going to try make one.

About This Instructable


16 favorites


Bio: I have always loved the feeling of finishing the construction of an object and if I don't have something I need or want I ... More »
More by awesomecreations: Spaulder-Style Riveted Leather Armour Necklace Seamless copper ring Make a Striped Wooden Ring!
Add instructable to: