One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A form of aircraft with freely rotating horizontal blades and a propeller. It differs from a helicopter in that the blades are not powered but rotate in the slipstream, propulsion being by a conventional mounted engine.
- ‘During the war a tiny number of helicopters and autogiros were employed, sometimes actually seeing action, though success was sporadic at best.’
- ‘The attempt by a Yorkshire-based soldier to fly an autogyro single-handed from England to Australia has failed.’
- ‘With that he escorted Jones to a hotel, insisted on paying the bill and when he drove his cousin back to the airfield next morning the autogyro had been filled with fuel - and given a polish.’
- ‘Gyrocopters, also known as autogyros, are a type of aircraft that look like a cross between an aeroplane and a helicopter.’
- ‘An intrepid North Yorkshire helicopter pilot was today preparing for his most daring mission to date - to fly single-handedly around the world in an autogyro.’
1920s: from Spanish, from auto- ‘self’ + giro ‘gyration’.
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