Gyroplanes

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C.W.E.
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Gyroplanes

#1 Post by C.W.E. » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:59 pm

Flying gyroplanes was the most interesting and fun kind of flying I ever did.

Are there many of you out there who have flown them or would like to?

I always wanted to start a gyroplane training school but never got around to it.

I did go to the U.S. and got a FAA commercial gyroplane pilot license which sure cost me a lot of time and money. However it was for me money well spent as it was real interesting and real fun flying.

I sure have the spare time now and am thinking of finally doing it.

Anyone care to comment?
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Re: Gyroplanes

#2 Post by photofly » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:59 pm

I took a dual flight in one, a couple of years ago, at Guelph. I think the operation moved to Kitchener. It was fun; the open cockpit took a bit of getting used to.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#3 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:17 pm

I took a dual flight in one, a couple of years ago, at Guelph. I think the operation moved to Kitchener. It was fun; the open cockpit took a bit of getting used to.
Do you remember what make the gyro was?

The big drawback to starting a gyroplane training business is the cost of buying one that is fully enclosed, they are really expensive.

I did my Commercial license on a McCulloch J 2 which is a FAA certified machine.
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Last edited by C.W.E. on Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gyroplanes

#4 Post by photofly » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:19 pm

It was yellow ... does that help?
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Re: Gyroplanes

#5 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:25 pm

It was yellow ... does that help?

No.

Would you fly one again?
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Re: Gyroplanes

#6 Post by photofly » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:32 pm

Absolutely I would. The practicalities aren’t there for me though: expensive and hard to maintain, and I don’t have anywhere to hangar one.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#7 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:47 pm

Absolutely I would. The practicalities aren’t there for me though: expensive and hard to maintain, and I don’t have anywhere to hangar one.
You can build your own machine and have the fun of building and then flying it.

In my opinion the best place to go for information and advice is Sport Copter in Oregon.

Jim Vanek is just plain awesome to get to know.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#8 Post by youhavecontrol » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:50 pm

I got a ride in one in my early teens and I absolutely loved it. I was a volunteer at the Rocky Mountain House airshow and the pilot gave me a ride for helping with all the aircraft fuelling. The pilot did a demonstration of just how short they could land... it was impressive! They're can be pretty pricey though for a closed-cockpit one... I doubt I'd ever get one. They sure look fun though.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#9 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:57 pm

For pure fun the gyroplane is way ahead of anything I ever flew.

As to manoeuvrability there is nothing out there that compares to them.

I flew eight years in the airshow circuit in Europe and held a unrestricted airdisplay authority for
Europe, the most manoeuvrable airplane I flew was the Pitts Special and the gyro was way more fun to fly.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#10 Post by Posthumane » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:15 pm

I'm currently sharing a hangar with a few RAF2000 gyros and got a ride in one a few months back. It was definitely a fun little machine to fly. The owner of the hangar owns one, and instructs on and maintains the rest.

They used to be built in Canada (sask I believe) but the company was sold to South Africa and the price of a kit has apparently gone up considerably. They are fully enclosed and Subaru powered with a belt PSRU.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#11 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:35 pm

The RAF 2000 in its original configuration with no horizontal stabiliser was a deadly killer and it killed a lot of people.

The addition of an effective H/S makes it a far safer machine to fly.

I offer this opinion because I used to own one and I wouldn't even think of flying one without a H.S.

The aerodynamics of a pusher powered gyroplane are very important to understand if you wish to stay alive.

The tractor powered gyroplane on the other hand is a very stable safe flying machine.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#12 Post by Posthumane » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:12 pm

Interesting, I've never seen one without an Hstab and I'm not really all that versed on their history. Would you own another one now if the price were reasonable?
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Re: Gyroplanes

#13 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:34 pm

Interesting, I've never seen one without an Hstab and I'm not really all that versed on their history.
The RAF 2000 factory refused to install a H.S. and eventually they went out of business, the RAF 's with a H.S. are all aftermarket owner installed.

Would you own another one now if the price were reasonable?
I wouldn't own one if it was given to me.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#14 Post by trey kule » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:21 pm

There are some pretty amazing gyroplanes out there.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#15 Post by C.W.E. » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:37 pm

There are some pretty amazing gyroplanes out there.
That is for sure, unfortunately they are really expensive to buy and the cost of operating them is also high.

I do not think there is a big enough pool of interested people to justify trying to start a new gyroplane flight training school and then there is the cost of getting approval from TC for a operating certificate both in money and time.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#16 Post by Taco Joe » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:29 pm

I've been seeing a lot of them flying throughout my travels in the US recently. It always seems like the people in them are having a blast when we taxi by each other. I'd love to go up for a famil flight in one.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#17 Post by C.W.E. » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:40 pm

There are a couple of gyro schools in Canada I wonder if they read Avcanada?

Maybe they could join this thread?
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Re: Gyroplanes

#18 Post by photofly » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:48 pm

C.W.E. wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:37 pm
There are some pretty amazing gyroplanes out there.
That is for sure, unfortunately they are really expensive to buy and the cost of operating them is also high.

I do not think there is a big enough pool of interested people to justify trying to start a new gyroplane flight training school and then there is the cost of getting approval from TC for a operating certificate both in money and time.
You don't need an OC for a gyroplane school.
406.03 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), no person shall operate a flight training service in Canada using an aeroplane or helicopter in Canada unless the person holds a flight training unit operator certificate
Applies only to aeroplanes and helicopters.
Here's what you do have to do:
406.05 (1) No person shall operate a flight training unit using a glider, balloon, gyroplane or ultra-light aeroplane in Canada unless the person notifies the Minister in writing of
(a) the legal name, trade name and address of the operator of the flight training unit;
(b) the base of operations;
(c) the category of aircraft;
(d) the type of flight training to be conducted; and
(e) the name of the flight instructor who will be responsible for operational control of the flight training operations.
(2) The information referred to in subsection (1) shall be provided to the Minister by the flight training unit
(a) prior to commencing flight training operations;
(b) within 10 working days after any change in the information; and
(c) upon the service being discontinued.
It's not onerous.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#19 Post by C.W.E. » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:01 pm

It has been a long time since I flew gyroplanes ( Got my FAA Commercial Gyroplane Pilot License in 1992 ) and now that you mention it you are correct.

Not having to get an O.C. would really help as far as time and money goes, time is money.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#20 Post by C.W.E. » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:09 pm

So when do we decide what machine we will use in our gyro school photofly? :mrgreen:

We could get Andy to be our T.C. delegate to handle the government communications. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Gyroplanes

#21 Post by photofly » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:38 pm

The Cavalon looks fun, to me.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#22 Post by Panama Jack » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:04 am

For what it's worth, I also hold a FAA Commercial Gyroplane certificate as well as the FAA Instructor rating for gyroplanes, and got the Canadian gyroplane permit but not the Instructor rating, which seems to be out of reach at the moment due to the requirement for 250 hours PIC in gyroplane. I do some gyroplane flying overseas but do not actively instruct at the moment.

The business model most gyroplane schools follow is to become dealers for one manufacturer or another. In the United States, because of insurance issues, schools are unable to rent gyroplanes solo so a flight student invariably becomes an aircraft purchaser also. Aircraft manufacturers are quite eager to find new distributors, and Canada is a relatively unpenetrated market. I had a chat with one manufacturer a year ago- they usually ask that you have a school, at least one instructor, and buy one of their types (at dealer rate) as a start, and usually give you exclusivity over a geographic area.

The open cockpit gyroplane a like the MTO are a little easier for new pilots to learn on, and that certainly is doable with proper flying gear, but I always felt closed cockpit gyros such as the Calidus or Cavalon are more suited for the Canadian climate.

Because we are talking about $100,000 dollar machines now, I think being within an hour or two of a major population center with folks who have disposable income is important. Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal immediately come to mind, depending on how busy you want to be and how far you want to take this business. I know of one Utah based dealer who is moving to the Napa Valley area precisely for that reason- to be closer to the Silicon Valley area and make it more attractive for vacationing couples (husband wants to learn to fly but the wife wants to do wine tasting while he isn't flying). Having said that, you probably also have a shot around retirement areas (i.e. Kelowna or Vancouver Island) where not all wealthy retirees are interested in playing golf. If the US market is any indication,it is the baby-boomers who have the money for these toys. Who knows what the future of that is with younger generations who can't even afford to buy a home?
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Re: Gyroplanes

#23 Post by AirFrame » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:47 am

C.W.E. wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:47 pm
You can build your own machine and have the fun of building and then flying it.
I agree, those two steps would be fun. But you missed the step in between, getting TC to register it and give you the paperwork to let you fly an amateur-built gyrocopter. They don't want gyrocopters in Canada *at all*, let alone amateur-built ones.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#24 Post by AirFrame » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:51 am

photofly wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:38 pm
The Cavalon looks fun, to me.
The Cavalon *is* fun, i've had a few flights in one. What I haven't spent the time on is figuring out why the controls are so freaking complicated, though. It's like they went out of their way to make it difficult to do things. No toe brakes, the brakes are a lever on the throttle with a tiny locking pin. The Rotor RPM gauge is on the far side of the cockpit from the pilot, which is asinine given how critical rotor RPM is before starting your takeoff roll. The seat heater switch is right where your elbow wants to hit it every time you shift, so you're constantly turning off the seat heaters.

But it's amazingly comfortable, the panel (apart from Rotor RPM) is a work of art, and the visibility is amazing when flying. Not very fast, but fun flying.
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Re: Gyroplanes

#25 Post by lownslow » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:15 am

photofly wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:19 pm
It was yellow ... does that help?
It's a Magni, I also went up with Neil when he was in Guelph. Fun little machine and I was seriously considering getting a gyro ticket but what I had hoped could be done in a five or ten-ish hour conversion actually required a whole forty or fifty hour training program. I wasted my money on something else instead.
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