Looks like the autogyros aka gyrocopters are definitely back in fashion. After the Sikorsky X2 demonstrator, here is the latest one, the Eurocopter X3. It uses twin five-blade turboprops in addition to its main five-blade rotor.
Invented by Juan de la Cierva in 1923, the autogyro was the precursor of the modern helicopter. It combined a conventional propeller, wings and a vertically powered rotor that allowed for vertical take-off and landing. It was quite successful, although it didn't had a lot of utility at the time despite its obvious advantages over regular planes.
The concept of combining vertical and horizontal engines kept evolving, like this Fairey Rotodyne prototype XE521.
Now, companies are looking into it again so civil and military passengers could enjoy the speed of turboprop aircraft while being able to land in a very small strip of land. According to the European company, the Eurocopter X3 will be able to zoom at 220 knots, although the testing will only take it to 180 knots this December, reaching its top mark in March 2011.