WHAT IS IT?
It's a gyroplane. Some say gyrocopter, autogyro, or just gyro, but to the FAA, it is a gyroplane. Autogryros are the invention of Juan de la Cierva in 1923.
Nearly a forgotton technology, gyroplanes have regained new popularity around the world thanks to manufacturers like AutoGyro GmbH.
IS IT SAFE?
Auto Gyro's gyroplanes will not stall or spin. In the unlikely event of an engine failure, you can easily glide down and make a gentle landing under full control. All you need is an area about the size of a tennis court as there is almost zero rollout.
CAN I FLY ON A WINDY DAY?
Absolutely! The gyroscopic nature of the aircraft makes the ride smooth and stable, even in windy or turbulent conditions. You can be flying on a windy afternoon when most fixed wing planes are grounded.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO FLY?
No, but get professional training from a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). Most students are ready to solo in 15-20 hours.
CAN I TEACH MYSELF TO FLY IT?
Absolutely not! For your safety and the safety of others, get professional instruction for a successful and pleasant experience.
DO I NEED A LICENSE TO FLY A GRYO?
Yes. At minimum you will need a Sport Pilot - Gyroplane privilege. The main restriction on a sport pilot license is no night flight.
CAN I ADD ON TO MY EXISTING LICENSE?
Yes, but every pilot is unique in apptitude and experience. The amount of time varies for transitioning to a gyro. The average is about 10-15 hours.
DO I NEED A MEDICAL TO FLY A GYRO?
No. Gyroplanes are considered light sport aircaft and therefore all you neeed is a valid driver license as evidence of medical eligibility.
WHERE DO I GET TRAINING?
Come see us! Craig McPherson is a Certified Flight Instructor with over 3,000 hours in gyroplanes.
IS IT A KIT?
Yes. Despite the worlwide popularity of gyroplanes, the FAA categorizes gyroplanes as experimental in the USA.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO BUILD?
No, they are not complicated to build, but AutoGyro does require you to use the Builder Assist Program.
WHAT IS THE BUILDER ASSIST PROGRAM?
We guide and assist you through the process of building your gyro to ensure your aircraft is built to AutoGyro standards.
HOW SOON CAN I GET A KIT?
Anywhere from 12 weeks or longer depending on model and factory schedules.
HOW MANY AUTOGYROS ARE FLYING?
In the USA, more than 60. Worldwide about 2,000. Auto-Gyro GmbH produces about 300 aircraft per year. They recently added another 60,000 square feet to their factory and hired more workers to meet demand.
WHAT ABOUT LONG TRIPS?
Since Gyroplanes can go up to 100 mph and can stay airborne for 4-5 hours, long trips are definitely possible.
WHAT IS THE APPROXIMATE COST TO OPERATE A GYRO?
We recommend you budget around $30 per flight hour. This should cover all expenses including fuel, service and regular maintenance.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A SPORT PILOT LICENSE AND A REGULAR PILOT LICENSE?
Sport pilots only require 20 hours of training and are restricted from night flying. Private pilots require 40 hours of training, a medical, and are permitted to fly at night.
Consider this: If you fly a gyro at 100 mph for one hour your approximate cost is $30. If you drive your vehicle 100 miles, your approximate cost is 57.5 cents per mile (per the IRS business use rule in 2015) so your 100-mile road trip cost about $57.50, took longer than one hour, and wasn't nearly as much fun!
WHAT IS THAT BICYCLE SPROCKET DOING UP THERE?
First of all, it is not a bicycle sprocket! This carefully engineered gear is part of the pre-rotator mechanism. It is used to start the rotor spinning prior to takeoff and to brake the rotor after landing.
Food for thought: During flight, the rotorblades are in autorotation which means they are not powered by the engine. This is one thing that makes gyroplanes different, safer, and less expensive to operate and maintain than helicopters.
CAN I USE AUTOMOBILE FUEL IN THE GYROPLANE?
Yes! In fact we recommend premium grade auto fuel in the Rotax engine. You can also use 100 low lead from the airport (and pay extra). If you use the recommended premium auto fuel, your oil changes will be done at 50 hours instead of 25 hours as with 100 LL.
Do you have an unanswered question? Give us call!