How to Build a Steering Mechanism for a Gyrocopter

yellow gyrocopter on the grass
  • 4-8 hours
  • Advanced
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Rudder pedals
Rudder bar
Horizontal stabilizer
Joystick or simply a stick which can be used for gyrocopters

A gyrocopter is an aircraft that seems to float through the air and only is operated by means of a few simple flying controls such as a rotor, a rudder and a stick. The rotor is critical to a gyrocopter’s steering mechanism because it is serves as the central for the entire system. However, even though a gyrocopter can be easy to operate and fly, accidents may occur as a result of a steering mechanism that is not designed or constructed properly. With that in mind, this step by step guide will provide instruction on how to properly build a steering mechanism for a gyrocopter.

Step 1 – Mount the Axle

Attach an axle to a tube and double check if the axle is correctly positioned. This mount point is where the outlying fixed wheels will be mounted.

Step 2 – Construct the Rotors to the Gyrocopter

When constructing a Gyrocopter, it is best to use rotors because these are safer to use and are compact in design. When attaching the rotor to the gyrocopter, take note of the 3 areas where the hub will be connected to the blades. The blades that are connected to the hub and rotor enable the gyrocopter to fly. Once the rotor causes the blades to spin, air forced downward from the 3 blades produces lift sufficient enough to force the gyrocopter off the ground and sustain flight.

Attach the rotor properly in the appropriate location on the gyrocopter (you can view your construction instructions for precise details). Also, you must install a horizontal stabilizer in order to create a dynamic stabilizer and add support during flight. Most gyrocopter accidents are caused by inproper placement and installation of the horizontal stabilizer. So check, and double check, the installation before attempting to send your gyrocopter into the air.

Step 3 – Assemble the Rudder Pedals

The rudder pedals should be connected to the nose wheel. Also, ensure that the pedals are bent to the correct angle as specified in the construction plans for your gyrocopter. Proper placement and alignment of the rudder pedals is essential in creating an easy to use control device. You will use the rudder pedals when you turn to line up your gyrocopter on the runway or when you are about to take off or land (Just as you would in a standard airplane).

Step 4 – Attach the Joystick

Before installing the joystick, make sure to choose one that is the correct length for your individual needs. This will make it easier and less tiresome to operate the gyrocopter. The joystick control is used to help you change direction during flight. The joystick is connected to the rotor head and dictates the angle of the rotor, which, in turn, forces the gyrocopter into a certain direction. For example, when you shift joystick to the right, the rotor head will tilt to the same direction, and then the gyrocopter proceeds to go to the right. If you want to go left, then you just have to push the joystick to the left, thus making the rotor head move to the same direction. When you want to go faster, you only need to push the joystick forward.