Back Watkinson CG-4

Watkinson CG-4 in British Helicopter Museum, 11.03.2001

The CG-4 was the third manpowered 'cyclogyroplane' built by Mr. Herbert Watkinson of Bexhill in his effort to win the $50,000 Kremer prize for man powered flight. By March 1977 the CG-4 was nearing completion, and permission to carry out flight trials at Lydd Airport in Kent had been granted. Then came a major set back in 1977, Mr. Watkinson was diagnosed as terminally ill and died at Bexhill in October 1977. After going into storage this unique machine, together with all the surviving documentation and photographs of the cyclogyroplane story, were donated to the Helicopter Museum for preservation as a tribute to one man's attempt to fly with the birds.

British Helicopter Museum

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Stanley Oliver Nesbitt, e-mail, 16.09.2009reply

I hope to try out the concept of a man powered autogyro and am on the look out for design ideas. From the photograph it appears that the pedals drive a step up gear box connected to a drive shaft with a chain drive to the pusher propeller, these parts missing. Presumably such a small propeller would need to be driven at a high rpm to achieve sufficient forward speed to turn the rotor. I would opt to use some of the drive to rotate the rotor through an over run clutch. When I make further progress, I will report back.

Dave Barrett, e-mail, 13.03.2008reply

Hi Peter, sry I dont have any photos :-(. I saw the cyclogyroplane at weston just last week and was captured by the concept of a pedal powered gyro. I would like to mail you to discuss - dbarrett91@tiscali-co-uk (Replace - with .). Did any of the 3 gyros achieve pedal powered flight; did you actually see that? I would love to know, and may be pick up on his good work. Regards, Dave.

peter bedson, e-mail, 12.12.2007reply

Hi there,i am interested in this machine as it was built & flown by my grandfather herbert watkinson.As a teenager i spent many happy saturdays travelling to many airfields in & around sussex with him & the machine strapped to the roof rack of his hillman super minx car.The looks we got as we drove to & fro were a picture!One of my jobs was to take 8mm cine film of our flying antics.We tried many times to get it to fly & to prove that it could as a concept ,fly,we used to tow it along behind the car on a very long line of parachute line often along tangmere main runway with me sitting at the back of the car to film if it should fly.Well it did & i was so excited i forgot to run the cine!I have many fond boyhood memories but unfortunatly that is all they are as the scrapbook & photos of him & the machine were lent to mike the last pilot who tragicaly was killed flying helicopters to the north sea oil rigs.If any one has infomation or photos i would love to hear.Recently having heard that CG4 was at weston we had a family pilgramage there & to my surprise thr spotty teenager in the photo with it was me!Regards Peter

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