When you’re trying to compare one aircraft to another and decide which one you might want to fly and own, it’s a good idea to have an understanding of what the advantages of each of those aircraft are.
And while we obviously can’t give you the advantages of every other kind of aircraft you might be considering, we can definitely fill you in on what makes the AutoGyro such an awesome machine to fly.
This is one of the most popular reasons people choose to fly an Autogyro.
The costs of buying a gyro, even the top of the line models from Europe like the AutoGyro, is less than what it would cost you to buy a helicopter or most fixed wing planes.
Then when you factor in running costs which are far cheaper than any other kind of aircraft, you have a great reason to choose to fly a gyroplane over some of the other options available.
Much Cheaper To Learn To Fly
Each person is different in how quickly they learn how to fly an Autogyro. But as a rough average you could expect to take around 35 hours of practical instruction if you’re starting from scratch before you’re ready to fly solo.
This will cost you somewhere in the region of $6,000.
When you compare that with the cost of getting your Private Pilot’s License (PPL) which can cost you well into 5 figures, the gyro alternative is definitely starting to look pretty good.
Easy To Learn To Fly
Learning how to fly an Autogyro is far easier than you might think – much easier than learning to drive a car, because there’s no traffic to contend with and you have fewer things to worry about.
The controls are very intuitive – as a pilot you’ll be using a control stick, rudder pedals and a throttle to control your speed, height and direction.
Handle Windy Conditions Very Well
The Autogyro handles windy days with ease – in fact once you build up a level of skill and experience you’ll actually welcome a bit of wind because it lets you have a bit more fun by using the wind to your advantage.
Fixed wing aircraft really feel the effects of wind because of their larger wing area, and this is exaggerated greatly in a light aircraft like a trike.
You’ll never miss a day of flying in your gyro because of windy conditions…cyclonic conditions aside.
The visibility from an open cockpit gyro is second to none, and the visibility from the two closed cockpit versions is not far behind.
This makes it perfect for both recreational flying and aerial observation tasks like patrols, surveys and photography.
Fantastic Safety Characteristics
The AutoGyro is an extremely safe aircraft to fly. It’s factory manufactured to exacting standards and has passed extremely strict certification testing in both Germany and the U.K.
The next point also explains why this is such a safe machine to fly…
Autogyro’s Can’t Stall Or Go Into A Tailspin
When a helicopter engine cuts out, the rotor on top of the aircraft is no longer being powered and therefore stalls.
In this case the pilot has to very quickly try and turn the aircraft into a gyro to get the blades spinning again and create enough lift to allow the helicopter to land safely.
You also potentially have the problem in a helicopter of tailspin, where the blade at the rear of the chopper no longer counteracts the torque being created by the rotor.
With a gyro you never have either of these problems. There’s no power going to the rotor, so there’s no torque being generated meaning there’s no chance of the gyro going into a tailspin.
And if the engine cuts out, the rotors continue to spin in autorotation, which continues to create lift, allowing the aircraft to safely descend.
Open & Closed Cockpit Options
There are currently three different types of AutoGyro available for sale.
One of these – the MTO Sport – is an open cockpit aircraft. The other two are closed cockpit gyros.
The Calidus is a tandem seat gyro (front seat/back seat) with an enclosed canopy.
The Cavalon is a side-by-side gyro with an enclosed canopy.
Easy To Transport & Store
You could probably fit 3 or 4 gyro’s in the same hangar space as you’d need for a small fixed wing aircraft.
Moving them around is a breeze – you simply push them into and out of the hangar, and up onto a trailer if you ever need to transport them from one place to another by road.
Minimal Take-Off And Landing Distance Required
While it’s true that you can’t take-off vertically in an AutoGyro (unless you have a really strong headwind), there is much less runway required than for a fixed wing aircraft.
And when you have a nice headwind to take-off into, the runway required is well under 100m, making them perfect for people who live on a nice block of land with room for a small runway.
So hopefully that’s given you a better idea about some of the reasons you should consider getting your gyroplane license.
A gyro isn’t for everybody…but at the very least it’s worthwhile booking yourself in for a trial flight so you can experience one for yourself before making your decision about what sort of aircraft you learn to fly.