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Thread: Affordable modern gyroplanes?

  1. #1

    Affordable modern gyroplanes?

    I had a chance recently to fly in both the MTO Sport and Calidus gyroplanes from German company Auto-Gyro (see also the clip below) and I am hooked. Despite my longtime skepticism about gyroplanes, I was very impressed--rock solid stability, great maneuverability and completely benign low-speed and engine-out characteristics. The only thing that puts me off is the hefty price. What are some of the modern gyroplane kits or plans out there with that kind of handling and stability but a lower price tag? I am interested in a two-seater with four-stroke power, preferably in the LSA (600 kg) or even European microlight (450 kg) gross weight categories. Cheers, Matthew

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    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
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  2. #2
    Chris In Marshfield's Avatar
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    Great question! There are amazing gyro-craft out there now, but man, are they spendy! It sure would be nice if there was a nice, more affordable kit for these. All the ones I've seen that I've liked are well over $115K US. Curse my good taste!
    Christopher Owens
    Marshfield, WI
    Bearhawk #991

  3. #3
    You are clearly looking at a different price point than I am! You can get an open-cockpit MTO Sport with a 100hp Rotax 912ULS for €50,000 (about $66,00), so still not cheap but about half the number you mentioned. Moving up to the top-of-the-line, enclosed-cockpit, side-by-side Cavalon with a 115hp Rotax 914 turbo and and some fancy glass displays and you'd be right at that $115,000 mark. Still, both of those are full equipped with radio, transponder, LED lights, even helmets, just about everything but the GPS. You could probably get a bare-bones MTO Sport down to about €42,000 ($55,000) if you left all that off, but then you'd probably spend at least half the savings and a lot of time and effort sourcing and putting most of that stuff back in yourself.

    For an affordable gyroplane, I imagine the critical element would be sourcing a safe and affordable mast, rotor hub and blades--the rest shouldn't be any more expensive than the fuselage, landing gear, powerplant and tail of a conventional plane. What we need is a Sonex-equivalent gyroplane, an 80hp VW-powered two-seater for about $25,000 complete but without instruments, avionics, lights or any other goodies.
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    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    « Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! »
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  4. #4
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    I'm a member of the Popular Rotorcraft Association, and they periodically publish the definitive Manufacturer's Directory. They have a public version available dated 2005, but their 2012-2013 edition will be available to PRA members only once it's finished. I'd recommend joining if you're really interested! (I have all of .5 gyro time in my logbook, but I'd love to actually get the rating and build/buy one...)

    http://www.pra.org/default.aspx?p=Manufacturers&i=37

    Hal Bryan
    EAA #638979
    Online Community Manager
    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  5. #5
    I already joined after my flights last week!
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    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    « Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! »
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  6. #6
    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    What we need is a Sonex-equivalent gyroplane, an 80hp VW-powered two-seater for about $25,000 complete but without instruments, avionics, lights or any other goodies.
    Little Wing LW-4 or LW-5 has you covered! http://www.littlewingautogyro.com/lw4pictures.html

  7. #7
    I am not at all opposed to the tractor configuration but the Little Wing models are a little more rustic than what I had in mind.
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    Matthew Long, Editor
    cluttonfred.info
    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED

    « Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! »
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
    --Henri Mignet (1893-1965)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    I am not at all opposed to the tractor configuration but the Little Wing models are a little more rustic than what I had in mind.
    And here I was falling in love with the design! Now that's just the sort of look a gyroplane should have.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  9. #9
    Chris In Marshfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post
    You are clearly looking at a different price point than I am!
    I was just going by the splash screen of the video you linked to. Those fancy side-by-side ones, or the really nice tandem ones (Magni Gyros comes to mind), are spendy spendy. I'll have to take a look at the ones you described. The open-frame guys don't appeal to me too much, but those are the affordable ones.

    Thanks for the reference! :-)

    ~Chris
    Christopher Owens
    Marshfield, WI
    Bearhawk #991

  10. #10
    EAA Staff / Moderator Zack Baughman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    And here I was falling in love with the design! Now that's just the sort of look a gyroplane should have.
    I completely agree, Frank! Have a look at this neat Russian design as seen on the Rotary Forum: http://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/sho...d.php?p=361965

    Not only is it a tractor, it is a slick looking machine. Not quite as "rustic" as the Little Wing.

    EDIT: I tracked down the website for the Russian machine mentioned above: http://www.oskbes.ru/208-e.html

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