View Poll Results: As a fixed-wing pilot, I would be most interested in a gyroplane with these features:

Voters
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  • Open cockpit

    3 23.08%
  • Enclosed cockpit

    9 69.23%
  • Side-by-side seating

    8 61.54%
  • Tandem seating

    3 23.08%
  • Pusher engine

    5 38.46%
  • Tractor engine

    5 38.46%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Turning fixed-wing pilots on to the new generation of gyroplanes

  1. #1

    Turning fixed-wing pilots on to the new generation of gyroplanes

    As I mentioned in another thread, Affordable modern gyroplanes?, I have recenlty been exposed to some of the new generation of gyroplanes coming out of Europe and I am very impressed. These are not the Rube Goldberg contraptions of the Bensen Gyrocopter days but comfortable, stable, maneuverable, sophisticated flying machines.

    Unfortunately, they are also quite expensive, factory-built aircraft. Since the FAA is not currently allowing S-LSA gyroplanes, the few kits that are available are essentially factory built machines that have been partially disassembled to meet U.S. rules--so the kits don't really save any money. What's needed is a modern gyroplane in a real kit, something approaching the economics of the Sonex, for example, so about $35,000-50,000 for a complete, finished, flying aircraft with instruments, radio and GPS.

    So, my question to this group is...if you were to consider building a gyroplane, what characteristics would be most appealing to you? For the sake of argument, I am going to assume a two-seater with a 100 hp Rotax 912ULS as the standard model (other engine options, more or less powerful and more or less expensive could come later). Please respond to the poll (pick three answers) and add your other thoughts to this thread. I've included a selection of photos for inspiration.

    Cheers,

    Matthew
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cluttonfred; 07-11-2013 at 04:21 AM.
    *******
    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)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Clarklake, MI
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    1,189
    As a fixed wing pilot, The charateristic most appealing to me would be short field takeoff performance, which is not a choice in the poll. Even with prerotators, a no wind takeoff run is still somewhat lengthy compared to the machine's landing distance, which is usually quite short. There are many fixed wing airplanes that have better combined takeoff/landing performance. So for recreational flying, appealing means being able to do what a fixed wing can't do. Ultimately, something like a CH 750 has more value to me. I can fly it out of my backyard (very appealing) and for a gyroplane I have to go to an airport with a runway (not as appealing). If I want open air flying, a Breezy type fixed wing or even ultralight can do essentially the same as one of the open frame gyroplanes - and I can still fly out of my backyard, gyro - not so much. Seating and configuration isn't that big an issue for me. Like fixed wing, I'm okay with form following function.

    My neighbor across the lake, Dick DeGraw has the right idea. His Gyrhino design has true "jump takeoff" capability. Takeoff with zero forward roll and a very short landing rollout (almost zero). Look at some of the Gyrhino videos on YouTube and you'll see what I mean. That is a gyroplane I could get excited about building, flying and owning.

    Last year I went to the Mentone, IN gyroplane fly-in so I have seen most of the gyros you listed in action.

  3. #3
    Thanks, Marty. I agree that I was at first surprised that the gyro takeoff runs were long compared with their landings, though that is perhaps unfair. With a prerotator, the least STOL of the ones pictured above might need 300m for takeoff, the most STOL less than 100m, so that's still pretty darn good and better than most fixed-wing LSAs. For me the most attractive thing about flying in a gyro is the relative immunity to turbulence and gusts--you can keep flying safely long after everyone else is grounded for comfort and safety reasons.
    *******
    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

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Clarklake, MI
    Posts
    1,189
    Matthew, the second obstacle I see to fixed wing pilots getting excited about gyroplanes is if they want to fly one, they have to purchase one. Just not any available for rent.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Matthew, the second obstacle I see to fixed wing pilots getting excited about gyroplanes is if they want to fly one, they have to purchase one. Just not any available for rent.
    Add to that the relative paucity of gyro instructors/examiners.

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