Back Avian 2/180 "Gyroplane"

Avian 2/180

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 2/180

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

Avian 2/180

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

Technical data for Avian 2/180

Crew + passengers: 2, engine: 1 x Lycoming LO-360 pistone engine, rated at 150kW, main rotor diameter: 11.28m, fuselage length: 4.92m, height: 2.95m, take-off weight: 862kg, empty weight: 590kg, max speed: 193km/h, cruising speed: 179km/h, service ceiling: 4280m, range: 640km

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Ian Dubelaar, e-mail, 23.02.2022reply

1960's, Georgetown, looking skyward from the playground of Holy Cross School and seeing the Avian flying high above. All of us kids just busting with pride that this ultra-cool aircraft was being engineered and built right in our hometown. We stopped and waved like crazy, never knowing if the pilot could see us or not.
Was this also killed by those jealous south-of-the-border people?

Ian Dubelaar, e-mail, 23.02.2022 Ian Dubelaar

I'll stand up and ask this question even if no one else has the gonads to.

reply, 05.07.2021reply

I have a 8x10 black & white picture of the crew that built the Gyroplane & 1 of the Dad also worked on the Arrow he worked in Malton..& then worked in Georgetown till it closed Now l will tell you where l found the his tool box rolled up & his tools on have slowly unrolled & placed books to straighten out...anyone wanting copies let me know..l think the picture is the crew infront of the 1st 1 off the line..but l'm not sure..have a historian working on it because my father was so pissed over our conservative government selling us out

Evan Boulanger, e-mail, 02.06.2022

My great grandfather was on the team aswell any chance i could get that picture?


edward hunt, e-mail, 01.12.2020reply

this was the passion project of Aeronautics Engineer, Gordon Hunt. I am not sure as to entire history of this project but found a "Fifth Estate" episode centred on the two engineers, Gord Samson and Gordon Hunt.

Ed Hunt

Jerry Forest, e-mail, 02.01.2024 edward hunt

This aerospace company in the UK is planning to! Stay tuned. Pls pass this link on to anyone you think would be interested.

Happy New Year 2024.

arcaerosystems dot com /pegasus /



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.


David Klein, e-mail, 29.11.2020reply

I have a nice photo of CF-NWS-X that was found in a home in Listowel, Ontario. Feel free to contact me if you'd like an image.

Dave Carney, e-mail, 23.03.2021 David Klein

David, I'd love an image if you can locate it.



Hartmuth Thaler, e-mail, 01.05.2020reply

As Dipl. Ing. and Pilot, since 1970, I had 5 own planes
2x 1 engine and 3x2 engines. I have 51 patents and 22
Airtaxis with 1 or 2 passengers are nonsense.
I invented FG 0420 2 Crew + up to 10 passengers - vertical
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lyle, e-mail, 18.05.2016reply

i have a tail prop.want to know more about it.

Alfredo Lopez-Diez, e-mail, 19.09.2010reply

Why it is said that "the craft did not reach stall until 40 km /h"?

My understanding is that an autogyro is always under control even at speeds below the ones it can not sustain level flight, therefore ther is no stall. This was the main intention of its inventor Juan de la Cierva


Jon, e-mail, 05.01.2012reply

In answer to the earlier questions:
(1) There is one example still in existence at the Hollister (California) airport, registered as N656JT.
(2)This was never designed to be a kit, and was certified with the expectation of factory production, so plans for amateur construction were never prepared.

jeff stephen, e-mail, 08.11.2012reply


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Erness Wild, e-mail, 24.11.2008reply

It exists in storage in the U.S. renamed as the Pegasus Mk 3. There's a good article I found here: http: / / /gyro_article_2003.html

Herman Thompson, e-mail, 25.06.2007reply

Are their any left intack and if so where and if plans are avible now thanks

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