Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Roxy is Airborne Again!

We at the Gyrox team are very happy to announce that yesterday, 28th March 2012, Norman was able to take to the air again in his autogyro, G-YROX (Roxy); the first true flight since last July!

Roxy has been in storage at Shonai airport, Japan, since the circumnavigation was put on hold last autumn because of weather conditions and bureaucratic delays. But as the weather is set to clear and the bureaucratic problems are solved it was time to dust off the rotors, put all the bits back together and following engine test runs earlier this week, take to the air again.

As we saw on Monday, the supposed first day of test flying, the weather still had a bearing on the schedule as a massive snow storm grounded everything, but yesterday the snow was cleared and Norman was at the airport early hoping to get some comprehensive test flights in.

But, as is the case with flying and some would say...Murphy's Law, this first flight was delayed as a heavy rain storm crossed the area. It was strange that the whole of Japan was rain free except for that patch of sky over Shonai Airport!
The weather radar shows Japan is clear except for the area where Norman is. 
At least the airport staff let Norman wait out the rain in the airport office where he was able to keep warm and enjoy the hospitality as well as being supplied with cups of coffee.
Norman watches the rain outside the airport office window, flight suit and hot coffee at the ready.
But the rain did clear and it was a relief for Norman to finally don the famous red flying suit, start the engine and set the rotor turning and for the first time in many months Roxy taxied out to take to the air again.
Norman taxies Roxy out onto the rain-soaked taxiway at Shonai. Note the piles of snow still hanging on.
And, as though there had been no long term storage at all, Roxy lifted off for the first time this year. Not ideal conditions and the Japanese aviation rules kept all flying within the airport zone boundary but Norman put Roxy through her paces with some extreme manoeuvres aimed at testing all airframe and engine specifications. 
Norman and Roxy take to the skies for the first time this year.
This type of flying gave the assembled Japanese media and press who had arrived to chronicle the first flight, an impromptu airshow and hopefully helped the cause of the Autogyro for local flying. 
Following an hours test flying Norman brought Roxy gently back to earth and following a press interview tucked Roxy up for the night, happy in the knowledge that she had performed perfectly and that there were many more flights to come.
Roxy arrives back at Shonai after a successful test flight.
One interesting titbit of information followed Norman's return to his hotel for the night. While he was in the middle of sending photos and information about yesterdays flying back to us at team HQ, Shonai was struck by a mild earthquake! Norman in his indomitable way joked about how much the building was swaying...

Norman will be flying each day (weather permitting) from now until and including the 30th March.
Expected times for flying each day are...

02:30 to 03:30 UTC (GMT) and
06:30 to 07:30 UTC (GMT)

Make sure you check into the on-line tracker to see his flights live, link below.
We will give updates and hopefully more photos of the flying each day.
The Gyrox Team
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1 comment:

  1. The odyssey continues ... glad you're back in the air and on your way soon. Good luck for the rest of the trip!