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Avro Rota in Detail

Motor and Rotor

n text by Kai-Mikael Jää-Aro
n photos by Martin Waligorski



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The Rota is equipped with a 100 kW (140 hp) Armstrong Siddeley Genet major radial engine giving a top speed of 50 m/s (180 km/h). The engine is here seen from an angle also giving a good view of the underside of the fuselage. The use for the hatch underneath the fuselage is unclear.
 

 




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A frontal view of the engine. All Rotas had uncowled engines.
 

 




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A close-up of the engine. The black axle leading engine power to the rotor is visible in the background.
 

 




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Another worm's-eye view showing details of the undercarriage.

Note also that while the front surface of the propeller blades is aluminium, the backsides are painted black in order not to dazzle the pilot.
 

 




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Close-up of the rotor hub.  Perhaps the most important of de la Cierva's inventions was that of the flexible attachment of the rotor blade to the hub, allowing the blades to flex while rotating. This compensated for the larger lift of forward-moving rotor blades, and kept the aircraft stable in the air. This was a necessary step for the construction not only of autogyros, but also of helicopters. This flexible attachment can be clearly seen in this picture.
 

 




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The pilot could control the angle of the rotor disc with the streamlined lever leading down from the rotor attachment to the cockpit.
 

 

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