Glasgow University Research Gyroplane

The following photographs show just a small part of the activities surrounding the commissioning of the Glasgow University research gyroplane, based on a Parson two seater

Roger Savage is the project test pilot appointed by the Aerospace Engineering Department of Glasgow University who are involved in many different aspects of aerodynamic research including a major contract with the UK CAA into gyroplane handling and stability

The aircraft, built by Jim Montgomerie, arrived at Carlisle in the early summer for initial flight testing for its permit to fly. Once that was out of the way, Roger’s job was to help commission the extensive (and expensive) instrumentation which feeds information into an on-board computer, the first phase of flight testing could begin. This involved numerous different manoeuvres to measure basic aerodynamics and stability of the gyro.

The trials and first phase tests were very successful and the data downloaded from the aircraft computer was fantastic. The programme then moved onto the second phase which involved the services of Flight Refuelling Aviation at their Bournemouth base, together with Chris Chadwick who was to fly much of the second phase of flight test sorties under ‘B’ airworthiness conditions, provided by FRA

Rogers job effectively became test pilot to the test pilot, undertaking supplementary test flying and testing to make sure on a daily basis, the aircraft was fit for flight. Unfortunately the two week test programme at Bournemouth was dogged with technical problems relating to the aircraft, which had a persistently leaking fuel tank. Only a fraction of the flight data required by the CAA was gathered.

The good news is that the aircraft has been repaired and the teats will resume quite shortly – and this time at Carlisle!. FRA have recommended that Carlisle be the gyroplane flight testing centre, being a CAA licensed airfield with all facilities and ‘B’ conditions being transferable there.

Good news for the gyroplane movement so watch this space…..!

Over to you Chris. Project pilot Roger Savage (right) hands over to Chris Chadwick after test flying the aircraft at Bournemouth. In the background of the FRA hangar are some of the Falcon Jets which Chris normally flies.

PhD student Vassilios Spathopoulos inspects the nose probe of the research aircraft between early flight test sorties at Carlisle

Vassilios checks the computer during ‘downloading’ operations between test sorties at Bournemouth.

Chris Chadwick warms the engine of G-UNIV before another sortie at Bournemouth.
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