Yepper! It sure was. In fact, it was a relatively famous (in aviation circles, anyway) ship called "Little Nelly," built and flown by a guy named Ken Wallis. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
In the beginning, and by that I mean back in the 1920's, a guy named Juan de la Cierva was experimenting with the concept of the autogyro in Spain. His pioneering work in the field of rotor dynamics lead directly to the gyroplanes and helicopters of today.
One of Cierva's early autogyros - half airplane/half helicopter
In the U.S., the "father" of the gyrocopter is Dr. Igor Bensen. In the mid-1950's he began experimenting with autogyros. Eventually he designed his own single-seat aircraft and coined the term "gyrocopter." You may have seen the ads for the "Bensen Gyrocopter" in various magazines back in the 1960's and '70s.
In Europe, Bensen's counterpart is Wing Commander Ken Wallis, who looked at the Bensen designs and in the early 1960's began modifying them as he saw fit. (Some of Wallis's designs are quite clever.)
Gyrocopters fascinate me. On one hand I'd love to own and fly one; on the other hand I think they're goofy and impractical. But before being consigned to aviation's bin of discarded wierd designs, let's take a closer look at these unusual machines.
I could write a whole bunch of words about gyrocopters, but I'd rather let you see the video. In this case, it's another YouTube video which is really a short clip from a progrm on The History Channel. It's only seven minutes long, and it's really interesting. Enjoy!