Gyrocopters goes by different names, autogyro (patented), gyroplane, rotorplane or just gyro.
In 1907 a Frenchmen by the name of Paul Cornu was the first person to fly for a few minutes a meter or so above the ground with a contra-rotating rotors and propeller.
The original autogyro was developed by a Spanish engineer dr. Juan De la Cierva in 1923. His aim was to create an aircraft that can fly safely at low speeds. Early versions of gyrocopters were used by the Dutch and the Japanese in the Second World War for observation. After the Second World War the development of the helicopter took priority and the gyrocopter development subsided a bit.
In the 1950’s gyrocopter development got attention again and today gyrocopter or autogyro advance are going strong. Gyrocopters are continually getting stronger, lighter, more stable and manoeuvrable.