09/19/2014

Little Nellie's progeny!

Fans of James Bond films may remember him flying a heavily-armed Gyro-copter called Little Nellie. Now there are more of these Gyro-copters!


Fans of James Bond films will perhaps remember James (Sean Connery) flying "Little Nellie" in the film called "You only live twice". The strict definition of Little Nellie was "An autogyro (from Spanish autogiro), also known as gyro-plane, gyro-copter, or rotaplane, a type of rotorcraft which uses an unpowered rotor in autorotation to develop lift, and an engine-powered propeller, similar to that of a fixed-wing aircraft, to provide thrust."

In the film, Bond had little difficulty in shooting down four attackers with rockets, guns and other defence mechanisms.

These Gyro-copters have developed and are being seen in various places, including within range of Geneva Airport. We detected one, with the German registration D-MCEJ, landng somewhere quite near to Geneva airport last Sunday, 14 September 2014. As is often the case, German legislation makes it impossible to know to whom the gyro-copter belongs.

Yesterday, 18 September, the web site planepotters.net detected a two-seater Gyro-coptergyro-copters, but I have no idea why!, registration D-MTGO flying over Germany somewhere. It appears that Germany is the country which has a maximum of these aircraft.

Could any of these fly in Swiss air space? I suspect that the current answer is no. However, Switzerland is intending to allow certain categories of Ultra-Light Motorised (ULM) aircraft. A report of SkyGuide specifies that as from 19 September 2013 aircraft in the "Ecolight" category can be operated in Switzerland.

I don't think that these gyro-copters qualify for Ecolight, so any future adversaries of James Bond could not escape to here.

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