|Avian 2/180 "Gyroplane"|
Avian Aircraft Ltd. was founded in 1959 by Peter Payne, together with a small group of fellow designers and engineers, who had left Avro Canada once the contract for the "Arrow" interceptor was completed. This Canadian company has its headquarters at Georgetown, Ontario, and from its inception concentrated on the design and construction of helicopters and autogyros.
This little two-seat Gyroplane was a compound aircraft flew in spring 1960 as an experimental machine, and a small production run followed. After the rotor had been set in motion for vertical take-off, movement was transferred to a four-blade, dueled pusher propeller at the tail. The Avian 2/180 underwent various modifications and improvements before being granted approval as a civil aircraft in 1967. The engine was a 200hp Lycoming LO-360 which enabled it to fly at 193km/h. In spite of its good performance, high costs prevented further development.
G.Apostolo "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters", 1984
Avian Industries was established by a group of ex-Avro engineers in Toronto in 1959 to develop a two-seat autogyro known as the Avian 2/180 Gyroplane. This small aircraft had an all-metal egg-shaped fuselage with a tandem two-seat cockpit in the front enclosed by a large bubble canopy, and a 180hp Lycoming O-360-A engine in the rear driving a pusher propeller inside a circular duct. The Gyroplane was fitted with a fixed tricycle undercarriage and had a three-blade rotor fitted with compressed air tip nozzles to assist 'jump starting'. The prototype (CF-LKF-X) first flew in early 1960 but was subsequently damaged beyond repair, and it was followed by a second similar aircraft (CF-MTV-X) on 16 February, 1961. Avian then built the first of three pre-production prototypes (CF-NWS-X) with a larger annular duct, no tail fins and a more extensively framed cockpit canopy. These were followed by a 'certification prototype' (CF-JTO-X) which had further canopy modifications, spring steel undercarriage legs and a 200hp Lycoming IO-360 engine. The Avian 2/180 was certificated in 1968, but it seems that the company went out of business shortly thereafter without starting production.
R.Simpson "Airlife's Helicopter and Rotorcraft", 1998
Shortly after the Avian Company was formed in 1959, a company program was initiated to develop an autogyro-type craft which was coined the Model 2/180 "Gyroplane".
There were actually two prototypes that were built, the 2/180A which utilized compressed air nozzles on the rotor tips for jump-starts. The 2/180B prototype used a mechanical drive to the rotor.
The prototype began its flight test program in early 1960, but unfortunately was badly damaged in an accident that was not the fault of any design deficiency.
Details of the system included a 180 horsepower Lycoming four cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine. The engine drives a rear duct-enclosed two-bladed propeller. A belt drive also powered the overhead rotor. The production version used compressed air nozzles at the blade tips for propulsion.
The top rotor had three blades, with flapping hinges. The blades had steel tube and leading edge spars, wood core, and fiberglass covering, and used a NACA 0015 configuration.
The plane had a non-retractable tricycle landing gear with a steerable nose wheel and disc brakes.
The craft had a maximum speed of 265km/h and didn't reach stall speed until 40km/h. It had a 4200m service ceiling and a 650km range, along with a vertical rate of climb at sea level of 5m/s.
Designed to carry two-to-three passengers, the 2/180 had a rotor diameter of 10.05m, a 4.92m length, and an 2.62m height. The vehicle weighed only 490kg empty with a normal loaded weight of 775kg.
S.Markman & B.Holder "Straight Up: A History of Vertical Flight", 2000
Ken Whatmough, e-mail, 26.01.2021 edward hunt
Hi Ed. You might not remember me, but my dad knew your dad and told me about Avian Industries. About 25 years ago I met your dad and he told me a little about Avian's history. Hope you're doing well these days.