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Andrew Keech, Australian native and lifelong aviation enthusiast, is an accomplished skydiver and pilot. After an impressive start in a parachuting career, Andy came to the United States and quickly became one of the world’s top freefall photographers. Andy flew gliders, tow planes, jump aircraft, and helicopters and eventually became fascinated with the world of autogyros. He worked with Ron Herron, designer of the Little Wing Autogyro, to design a light, high performance, safe gyroplane. Together they built the LW-5, a project that took more than 1,000 hours over a span of five years to complete.

The Little Wing LW-5 autogyro was dubbed “Woodstock” after the bird in the “Peanuts” comic strip created by Charles Schultz. Woodstock is a one-of-a-kind model customized for Andy to fly. The plane has a tandem seat arrangement made for either a passenger or a ferry tank in the front and is a little shorter and narrower than Ron Herron’s other Little Wing designs. Woodstock is powered by a 115 hp Rotax 914 engine and has a welded 4130 chromoly steel tube frame covered in ceconite. The LW-5 uses a two-bladed rotor on a direct control, fully tilting rotor head.

In October 2003, Andy flew Woodstock across the US and back, breaking three transcontinental speed records that were first set by John Miller, a fellow EAA member. Since then, Andy’s adventurous nature has led him to set twenty-nine Fĕdĕration Aĕronautique Internationale (FAI) world performance records and twenty-nine National Aeronautic Association (NAA) performance records. Woodstock is one of only two aircraft ever to hold world class records in all parameters of performance flight – speed, distance, climb, and altitude.

In addition to his numerous records, Andy and Woodstock were honored with some of aviation’s most prestigious awards including “The Spirit of Wiley Post” award and the “Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2004” award and again for 2006. February 28, 2005 was denoted “Andy Keech Day” in Oklahoma and Andy was interviewed for EAA’s Timeless Voices oral history program. Andy Keech donated his Little Wing LW-5 autogyro to the EAA AirVenture Museum in 2007.

Herron/Keech Autogyro (Little Wing LW5) Table of Contents

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