Firstly let me say I love the Maule and was somewhat sceptical about gyrocopters, but after several occasions off deciding to go for a walk because it was too windy for flying only to observe a few gyrocopters buzzing about low level seemingly impervious to the gusting 35 MPH winds I decided to go view the Magni M24. Its a 2 seater side by side enclosed cabin. It would appear, on paper at least, that it has the following attributes which suit me: 1. STOL capability (better compared to most fixed wing and on par with the Maule) 2. Cheap to run 3. Purchase price point seems reasonable for a new machine. 4. Benign handling capabilities both in normal flight and in engine-out situations 5, The factory built machines have a good safety record so far. 6. Incredibly manoeuvrable and responsive flight characteristics 7, Extremely smooth ride in cross/gusty winds and turbulent days due I am told to the high wing loading configuration as opposed to the Maule where you get the shit jostled out of you. 8. Good xwind takeoff and landing capabilities. 9. Good touring capability 10. Future models in development will have a cruise speed similar to the Maule
Accident stats for gyros have improved recently since "factory built" & awareness of centreline thrust issues etc. Yes they are maneuverable, short landing, not so sure about short take off. I wouldn't swap a Maule or any other taildragger for one. They certainly don't look as nice as your Maule, my Emeraude, a Piper Cub, Kitfox>>>.
The big downside I found was that, in the UK at least, the insurance excess was £7,500! You have to lodge a £5,000 deposit with the training school and be prepared to cough up another £2,500 if you bend it. Compare that with the £800 excess in my fixed wing flying group, whether ab intio or not.
I would imagine that particular cost must suppress demand for ab initio and 'converters' alike. It could be that the eye watering insurance excess is an inheritance from the previous generation of autogyros, but it fails the 'never pay up front' test for me. Shame, because otherwise I would be very interested.
Last edited by znww5; 18th Apr 2012 at 07:13.
Reason: Right letters, wrong order.
I think rotary flight does tickle the fancy of most aviators of all ages.Myself included,but with the rising costs to get airbourne,modern gyros are now only for the wealthy.The annual insurance cost listed above are massive compared with the microlight equivalent.That said they are very exciting and the modern breed of two seat Gyro's do seem a lot more forgiving than their older single seaters that cast such a shadow over the breed for so many years.I was fortunate to have a back seat flight in an MT03 last summer over at Kirkbride and it did tick all the boxes.I enjoyed it alot.
Sadly though, thats where it stopped.For a fraction of the gyro cost im getting in the air in an open cockpit flying machine.Yes I am limited as to when i can fly compared to the Gyros but hey ho!!
But if the six numbers came up id have one like a shot!!!!
How do gyros do in turbulence? Mountain flying up near you, aircraft can do some very 'interesting' things to say the least
Well that is probably the number one reason I am considering the Gyro, I am no aeronautical engineer but i am told that most STOL fixed wing aircraft have a low wing loading ratio and are low inertia which makes then more susceptible to turbulence and bumps, whereas the gyro has a high wing (rotor) loading set-up and from what I have seen handles very high winds and turbulence well, I am not sure how it handles mountain flying/waves etc. I have seen gyro's buzzing up and down the valleys in the shadow of some rather large hills on windy days t I would be a tad hesitant to be flying in those conditions
Sorry I can't really contribute much, but it might be of interest that at a recent GASCO evening we were told that gyros are a lot safer than they used to be and that the accident rates are falling, machines are improving and they are a far throw from gyros of the past.
I fly radio control helicopters and it's certainly noticeable that they deal with the wind much better than much larger fixed wing aircraft. I can fly my big helicopter (3.5kg) in winds I wouldn't consider flying full-size f/w let alone r/c.
My concern had been somewhat vague... but along the lines of 'is it possible to fly into an area of downdraft severe enough that you lose rotor RPM before you can recover? I've also found myself with large angles of uncommanded bank when flying in the lee of hills (with an instructor). Whilst I agree that it may be less likely in a rotorcraft, I would be interested to know how well they recover from unusual attitudes. I can imagine that models with high rotor inertia may be safer.
It's a genuine question - I don't want to spread FUD. I have also heard there have been big improvements in recent autogyros and will be fascinated to see how they do over the next few years.
Pound for pound (or kilo for kilo) a rotary-wing aircraft has better vertical gust response behaviour than a corresponding fixed-wing aeroplane. Standard helicopter engineering texts such as Bramwell (Helicopter Dynamics) have a mathematical explanation.
I saw a gyroplane on the A80 a few weeks ago, on the back of a trailer, minus blades, going faster than it ever would in flight. Best place for it
A handful of observations (and I am an aeronautical engineer):
(1) Gyros are not inherently unsafe. What they are however is operated within a much less mature community than any other corner of aviation in the UK. So all of the constant dialogue between clever people about how to do things better or safer, does not happen in gyroplane flying to anything like the extent it does in fixed or conventional rotary, or even in balloons. This is really just a numbers game.
(2) For the same reasons, designs have not developed as far or as well as any other branch of aircraft design.
(3) However, they are improving. BCAR Section T, the UK airworthiness standard for gyroplanes, took a long time to bed in - but it has. Buy a type that is approved against Section T, or something that's simply been around for 20 years, and the assurance of safety is pretty good.
(4) However, , all of Piperboy's boxes are ticked better by a high performance flexwing microlight. Faster, cheaper, better performing in all but landing distance, and with a far better safety record than gyroplanes have: better than homebuilt light aeroplanes, and only marginally behind certified light aeroplanes. And joining a flying community more than 10 times the size of the gyroplane community.
That said, gyroplanes fascinate me, and one of these days I'm going to go and learn to fly one. But that's speaking mostly as an inquisitive boffin who wants to understand them better, not a recreational pilot. In that capacity, I follow my own advice and have done a chunk of my leisure flying in a flexwing for years.
I have flown around 10 hours back seat in an MT-03 and a couple of hours right seat in a M24 enclosed gyro. Have no idea of their operating costs but their utility is impressive in the sense that with such short landing and take-off distances reliance on runway wind direction is reduced. We often landed across the runway for example. Secondly as alluded to earlier they are affected very little by turbulence, providing a stable ride but with associated highish noise and vibration levels. Handling appeared straightforward and responsive and its a 912 pushing you along so reliability and economy come with the package.
Cruising speed, particularly upwind is however a real drag....plenty of time therefore to enjoy the excellent view from the seat !
Having said that...their popularity is growing, so clearly something is driving the market. If you are interested further, there is a large gyro population at Rufforth near York which includes pilot training and sales.