The Air & Space 18A
It's an airplane - it's a helicopter - no, it's a gyroplane! (Some call it a gyrocopter or autogyro.)
A gyroplane is an aircraft that moves forward using a propeller, like an airplane - and stays aloft using a rotary wing, like a helicopter.
Gyroplanes can take off with very little ground roll - a couple hundred feet - and land in a couple dozen feet.
Gyroplanes were used to deliver the mail in the '30s but once the helicopter was developed their VSTOL (very short takeoff and landing) capabilities didn't excite people the way the helicopter's VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) capabilities do.
Farrington Aircraft of Paducah, KY, manufacturers of the Air & Space 18A
The CarterCopter modern gyroplane (in development)
The Hawk gyroplane (in development by Groen Brothers Aviation)
Makers of gyroplane kits:
Royal Air Force, makers of the RAF 2000
Farrington Aircraft, makers of the TwinStar
The PRA's directory of gyroplane kit manufacturers lists over thirty manufacturers!
Pictures of gyroplanes
Commercial Pilot - Gyroplane, 1996
To learn more check out the Popular Rotorcraft Association's web page