In 1959 former Avro Canada employees formed
the Avian Aircraft Ltd. at Georgetown, Ontario, and Peter Rowland Payne designed a compound
aircraft, the two-seat 2/180 Gyroplane. The prototype 2/180A CF-MTV-X flew early 1960 but
was subsequently seriously damaged in an accident due to a non-design fault. A second
prototype was built incorporating several changes and this 2/180B CF-NWS-X flew for the
first time on February 16, 1961.
The rotor-blades were of metal with a wooden core and a glass fiber covering. The Gyroplane
did not need, as gyroplanes normally do, forward motion before takeoff, but could take-off
vertically. The 2/180A had compressed air blown from air nozzles on the three rotor blade
tips to power the rotor, whereas the 2/180B utilized a belt drive to power the rotor. After
up-gearing the rotor for take-off the power was gradually transferred to a four-blade ducted
pusher propeller at the rear, the rotor was rotating freely during flight. The aircraft
could fly at speeds down to 25 mph (40 kmh) before stalling.
The non-retractable landing gear had a steerable nose wheel and disc brakes; the rear
gear-struts of the 2/180A were initially uncovered. Also the first gyroplane had a propeller
duct with more taper than on later machines. The first of three pre-production
prototypes/demonstrators flew for the first time in January 1962.
The sixth 2/180 CF-JTX-X built was as the certification aircraft and was first flown in
November 1965 and had new features like riveted light-alloy sheet construction, larger
windows, larger entrance door, a lower floor line, and the IO-360 fuel-injection version of
the Lycoming engine. Finally the Certificate of Airworthiness was issued in 1967, however,
the 2/180 never reached series-production.