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  • Calidus Instructor Pack

    I'm in the early stages of planning to buy and build a Calidus (Currently working on Sport Fixed-Wing License.) Since I'll soon be 73, it is taking me a lot of hours to get my license and then I need my gyro endorsement and then the huge expense of the Calidus.

    Needless to say, I'm worried about having the funds to do all this and am taking a good look at all optional expenses.

    I'd love the groups input on the Pros/Cons of including the Instructor Pack in my build.

  • #2
    Before you spend your money, I strongly suggest you check out the AR-1C from Silverlight aviation. I'm assuming you have flown in the Calidus. Please do yourself a hugh favor and fly some of the other gyros. Magni and Titanium explorer are two other good machines. This will prevent " buyer's remorse" should the Calidus not turn out to be your perfect fit.
    Secondly, if you are looking to fly the gyro as your primary machine stop your fixed wing lessons now. Now, not after you get your Sport Pilot rating. You will need to unlearn many control responses and habits from the FW to safely fly the gyro.
    Next, I'd recommend Steve Rastanis in Louisiana or Greg Spicola in Zepherhills, Fl for an intro flight and discussion about flight training.
    There are quite a few more instructors out there but I know these two. In the long run you will save many hours and possibly tens of thousands of dollars by listening to this advice.
    And no what you choose to do enjoy your gyro flying.

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    • #3
      I've been told by three different gyroplane CFIs (not fixed-wing) that I am better off perusing my fixed-wing license since I will get a better grasp of the basics in a fixed-wing. They also point out the difficulty of directly obtaining my license via the gyroplane route since there are few if any gyros that I will be able to solo in.

      I know the AR-1 is supposedly available enclosed but I have yet to see even a photo of one. I am definitely not a fan of the open cockpit gyros. Another problem with the AR is that I live in Northern Virginia and if I build it in Florida, I'd either have to fly off the 40 hour Phase 1 there or trailer it home (not to mention motel and restaurants).

      I live an hour and fifteen minute commute from Autogyro at W29 Bay Bridge and it is where I am taking my fixed-wing lessons. Since, I know I love the Calidus and it also eliminates a ton of logistical headaches, I would need a substantially compelling reason to seek solutions elsewhere.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JJ Campbell View Post
        I've been told by three different gyroplane CFIs (not fixed-wing) that I am better off perusing my fixed-wing license since I will get a better grasp of the basics in a fixed-wing. They also point out the difficulty of directly obtaining my license via the gyroplane route since there are few if any gyros that I will be able to solo in.

        I know the AR-1 is supposedly available enclosed but I have yet to see even a photo of one. I am definitely not a fan of the open cockpit gyros. Another problem with the AR is that I live in Northern Virginia and if I build it in Florida, I'd either have to fly off the 40 hour Phase 1 there or trailer it home (not to mention motel and restaurants).

        I live an hour and fifteen minute commute from Autogyro at W29 Bay Bridge and it is where I am taking my fixed-wing lessons. Since, I know I love the Calidus and it also eliminates a ton of logistical headaches, I would need a substantially compelling reason to seek solutions elsewhere.
        I am a gyroplane CFI in California JJ and I feel getting your fixed wing certificate first may not be the best approach if you want to fly a gyroplane. You will learn a lot about flying a fixed wing that is not applicable to gyroplanes. Some of it will need to be unlearned to fly a gyroplane well.

        If you buy or build your gyroplane first and take your lessons in it you will save a lot of money by not renting the instructors aircraft.

        I have a client who wants to do it that way in an AR-1 and Abid has a very reasonable charge for flying phase one (it requires an appropriately rated pilot).

        In my opinion going from no rating to Sport Pilot, Gyroplane can be done in less than a month if you are willing to work at it; particularly in an easy to fly aircraft like the AR-1.

        I wish you all the best on your Gyroplane adventure.
        Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Can't go wrong with an AR-1C.

          For those with weather in mind notice the wet ground.
           

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vance View Post

            I am a gyroplane CFI in California JJ and I feel getting your fixed wing certificate first may not be the best approach if you want to fly a gyroplane. You will learn a lot about flying a fixed wing that is not applicable to gyroplanes. Some of it will need to be unlearned to fly a gyroplane well.

            If you buy or build your gyroplane first and take your lessons in it you will save a lot of money by not renting the instructors aircraft.
            How can he do his solo if he does not already own his own gyro?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tyger View Post

              How can he do his solo if he does not already own his own gyro?
              Sorry if I didn't understand you question Tyler.

              In the first post in this thread JJ said he was going to buy or build a gyroplane.

              In my opinion there is no reason to wait till you have a rating to buy or build a gyroplane.

              With a flight instructor package he can train in his own aircraft and save money because he is not renting the instructors aircraft..
              Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Vance View Post

                Sorry if I didn't understand you question Tyler.

                In the first post in this thread JJ said he was going to buy or build a gyroplane.

                In my opinion there is no reason to wait till you have a rating to buy or build a gyroplane.

                With a flight instructor package he can train in his own aircraft and save money because he is not renting the instructors aircraft..
                Yes, but in his second post he said that one of the reasons he was pursuing his fixed-wing certificate (as the first step to getting a gyro endorsement and THEN buying a gyro) was the difficulty of finding a gyro to solo in were he to attempt to get his certificate as a gyro-primary student. It would seem that he prefers to get a certificate before committing to "the huge expense of the Calidus".
                His actual initial question was about pros and cons of getting the "instructor pack" (i.e. dual controls), which no one seems yet to have addressed.
                Last edited by Tyger; 07-28-2018, 06:14 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tyger View Post

                  Yes, but in his second post he said that one of the reasons he was pursuing his fixed-wing certificate (as the first step to getting a gyro endorsement and THEN buying a gyro) was the difficulty of finding a gyro to solo in were he to attempt to get his certificate as a gyro-primary student. It would seem that he prefers to get a certificate before committing to "the huge expense of the Calidus".
                  In JJs fist post he asked for advice and In his second post he was describing what I feel was bad advice from gyorplane CFIs.

                  I am a gyroplane CFI so I thought I would give him what I feel is good advice.

                  If he already knows that gyorplanes are fun why not save some expense in getting his certificate.

                  I am apparently completing missing your point Tyler.

                  What is it exactly that you are advising that JJ do and why?
                  Regards, Vance Breese Gyroplane CFI http://www.breeseaircraft.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I am also in the market for a gyro. Multiple people have recommended the instructor controls. It would allow you to take lessons as Vance mentioned. It will also provide a second set of controls for your biannual and for those you trust to take the controls once in awhile. I will be looking at ways to remove the rear stick easily while crawling all over the different gyros at Mentone. I take a lot of passengers in my plane and it bothers me a little that a "pedestrian" would have a stick in the back seat.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All the tandem gyro POHs I've seen require you to take the rear stick out unless the back seat is occupied by a qualified CFI.

                      And, yes, I am very uncomfortable about buying/building a gyro before I have my pilot's license. To me, that is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

                      I am having my doubts about the Calidus but it is still a contender. I'd like to spend a couple of hours in an AR1 (w/canopy would be nice) and a Calidus before I settle on which AC is for me. As unbelievable as it is, AutogyroUSA at W29 (which is the main US facility for Autogyro) does not have a Calidus that you can even get a demo ride in. Nor do they have a rentable/soloable AC available. Color me unimpressed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Vance View Post

                        I am apparently completing missing your point Tyler.

                        What is it exactly that you are advising that JJ do and why?
                        Yes, it's quite obvious that you have missed my point. I'll just leave it at that. And nor am I advising anyone to do anything; my initial post in this thread was just a simple question.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For what its worth: We have yet to actually sell a gyroplane where the buyer did not take the dual controls option. If for nothing else than for resale value I guess.
                          If you fly with qualified pilots in the back seat, its fun in a cross country to share controls.
                          Its best to set up the back controls in a way where they can be taken out in a few minutes.
                          Our rudder pedals in the back come out quickly when pins are released. The cyclic in the back has two bolts and a plug that can be released t take it out.

                          Regarding instruction, solo etc. that is a personal decision. Do what makes you feel more comfortable and secure. I do believe that Steve Rastanis in Louisiana offers solo to his students in his gyroplane. His insurance covers it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Since, I know I love the Calidus and it also eliminates a ton of logistical headaches, I would need a substantially compelling reason to seek solutions elsewhere.
                            How about safety and ruggedness?
                            AutoGyro products have a one-piece mast (rigidity, though without strength) made of stainless steel (which is inappropriate for the application).
                            Stainless steel has much less strength than 4130 chrome moly, and work hardens with flexing and vibration. It will eventually crack and fail.
                            There have been mast failures in low time AutoGyro machines. Their welds have been suspect, too.


                            If you want to use AutoGyro as a reference for TIG welding quality ask Rene, his brand new Calidus frame failed at the mast weld on his first flight and it nearly killed him.
                            You'll never see a stainless steel engine mount in a certified aircraft. 4130 only. That should be a strong indicator.

                            The AR-1 also has a stainless steel mast, and I'm sure that fara will surface in this thread to defend it.
                            (He is, however, on record saying that if he were building a gyro for the military, he would use 4130 steel.)


                            If I was making an AR-1 for the military, I would change a few things including going to 4130.
                            I believe in a two-piece mast, with polyurethane bushings, made of 4130 steel.
                            (RAF copied Sport Copter's two piece mast.)

                            May I suggest that you look into Sport Copter's new 2-place, the Vortex M2?
                            Click image for larger version  Name:	fetch?id=1136051&d=1532781346.png Views:	2 Size:	278.3 KB ID:	1136113




                            https://www.rotaryforum.com/forum/ki...49#post1136049

                            Sport Copter has never seen an in-flight structural failure of mast, rotorhead, hub bar, or rotors.
                            To my knowledge, no other gyro mfg. has that unparalleled record. Certainly, AutoGyro does not.

                            All Sport Copter gyros can be looped and rolled. That's how robust they are.
                            Everyone else's are limited to 60 deg. roll and 40 deg. pitch. Ask them why.

                            The M2 has beefy suspension and a trailing link fully castering nosewheel.
                            This is much more forgiving of imperfect landings, and has saved many owners from tumping over their gyros.
                            Also, the M2 can turn around in its own radius. The Calidus can barely turn around within a taxiway.

                            I agree with Vance that getting your Sport gyro license directly is more sensible.
                            Sport Copter has a factory build assist, and Jim Vanek is a superb pilot and CFI.
                            You could train in your own Vortex M2 at the factory airport of Scappoose, Oregon, near Portland.
                            Drop in for a visit and test flight. http://www.sportcopter.com

                            Please do not let the accidental locality of AutoGyro's facility override more important considerations of safety and ruggedness.
                            I wish you great joy and satisfaction flying gyros!

                            Regards,
                            Kolibri
                            Last edited by Kolibri; 07-30-2018, 04:09 AM.
                            PP - ASEL complex (Piper 180, C206, RV-7A), SP - Gyro (Calidus, RAF, SC2), soloed in gliders

                            Wasn't happy with my RAF's pitch instability, so I installed a Boyer H-Stab to my great satisfaction!

                            "
                            When an honest but mistaken man learns of his error, he either ceases to be mistaken -- or he ceases to be honest."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kolibri View Post

                              All Sport Copter gyros can be looped and rolled. That's how robust they are.
                              Everyone else's are limited to 60 deg. roll and 40 deg. pitch. Ask them why.
                              I'd bet it has nothing at all to do with how "robust" they are.

                              The danger in acro flight for rotorcraft is not snapping the mast, or lack of structural strength, but but loss of control by inexperienced and/or incompetent pilots who wind up asking the aircraft to do something for which it is aerodynamically unsuited. One can barrel roll (at a steady positive 1 g load) just about any heavier-than-air aircraft if you know what you're doing. Example: look on YouTube for Tex Johnston's infamous Boeing 707-prototype roll over Lake Washington, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JlUvX3HUKQ .You'll make a hole in the ground if you don't know what you're doing. A vertical loop-like move in a rotorcraft (more like a script lower case "e" than a classic nice round "O" such as fixed wing aircraft often fly by applying high-g at the bottom and low-g while inverted) requires careful energy management in a regime that is unfamiliar to the typical round-the-pattern jockey, which makes it also easy to mess up. Both the loop and the roll require passing quickly through an inverted orientation while following a g-force profile that retains pilot authority over the rotor system; they are not a function of mast strength. Generally, pulling excessive g-loads is something that a rotor system will simply refuse to do and you won't break it for lack of robustness. Slap a g-meter in the panel of your gyro, and see if you can get it to reach 4 g in flight. You'll be the first..

                              If I built gyros that I had looped and rolled myself I'd still put restrictions in the POH to keep my customers from ending up dead. The average gyro pilot is too short on training and experience to pull it off.
                              Last edited by WaspAir; 07-30-2018, 09:06 AM.

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