Hafner A.R.III Gyroplane
|Hafner AR.III at Heston, 1935|
|National origin||United Kingdom|
|Manufacturer||A.R.III Construction Company|
|First flight||Autumn 1935|
Design and development
The single-seat Gyroplane had a three-blade auto-rotating rotor fitted above the fuselage on a strutted plyon. A 90 hp (67 kW) Pobjoy Niagara radial piston engine was mounted on the fuselage nose. It had fixed tailwheel landing gear and the rear fuselage included a large dorsal fin to provide directional stability. An unusual feature was the control system which was equipped with spider-actuated cyclic and collective pitch control of the rotor blades; this mechanism, a variant of the swashplate-actuated rotor control, became a standard feature on helicopters. In 1935, the Gyroplane was manufactured at the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company's factory at Denham, Buckinghamshire. In autumn 1935, the Gyroplane, registered G-ADMV, first flew at Heston Aerodrome, piloted by V.H. Baker. On 6 February 1937, it flew at Hanworth Air Park, having been modified as the Mark 2 version. It was tested at Farnborough, and leased to the Royal Aircraft Establishment for research, but it was scrapped during the second world war. A two-seat A.R.IV and three-seat A.R.V were planned, but construction was stopped when Hafner was interned under Defence Regulation 18B.
- Prototype single-seat autogyro powered by a Pobjoy Niagara radial piston engine.
- Experimental rotorcraft to meet Air Ministry Specification S.22/38. Powered by a 210hp de Havilland Gipsy Six II engine, construction was started by Short Brothers as the Fleet Spotter, but was stopped in May 1940 when Hafner was interned.
- Experimental rotorcraft to meet Air Ministry Specification S.22/38. Powered by a 210hp de Havilland Gipsy Six II engine, construction was started by Short Brothers as the Night Shadower, but was stopped in May 1940 when Hafner was interned.
- Crew: one
- Length: 17 ft 10 in (5.44 m)
- Main rotor diameter: 32 ft 10 in (10.00 m)
- Empty weight: 640 lb (290 kg)
- Gross weight: 900 lb (408 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pobjoy Niagara, 90 hp (67 kW)
- Maximum speed: 120 mph ( km/h)
- Jackson 1973, p. 319
- Orbis 1985, p. 2057
- Flight, 19 September 1935, p. 318