1st AR-1 Kit built outside Florida factory - Hill Country Gyros Builder's Assist Center (Texas)


AR-1 gyro manufacturer
1st AR-1 Kit built outside Florida factory - Hill Country Gyros Builder's Assist Center (Texas)

Congrats to Russell Croman on finishing his AR-1 kit at Hill Country Gyros Builder's Assist Center in Texas.
Russell needed some guidance but mostly built his gyroplane by himself from what we are told using exploded view diagrams and with a bit of support.
This is of course the first kit built outside Florida factory Builder's Assist system. Russell used our new carbon fiber composite option ($2500) where everything composite is made from carbon fiber except the central vertical stabilizer under which the antenna is hidden. We are now introducing carbon/kevlar option as well ($3000) using 50/50 carbon and kevlar twill cloth
Russell also did his own first test flight as he is already a gyroplane pilot with hours on Magni M16 and a few hours of transition on AR-1
Congrats on airworthiness cert as well as first flight today. Fly safely.


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AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Thank you sirs. Russell and Hill Country Gyros did a very good job. I am not one to trust aircraft assembly to end users easily without supervision and I was very reluctant to let that be done outside our shop but Hill Country Gyros had come here and assembled their machine, took training and showed me their mechanical skill level and knowledge of general aviation to get our blessing to be a Builder Assist Center for AR-1. I was still reluctant because of different avionics Russ selected for his AR-1 and then Russell told me that he is a EE because the place most people completely are lost is electrical and wiring even when we provide wiring harness it still needs installation properly. He knocked it all out quick and looks like while keeping the quality.
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RAF, turbo subaru 230hp
really a nice looking machine,congrats to you Fara and the texas build assist center,and of course the owner Russell.


Thanks all! I am thrilled to be flying the latest AR-1 to hit the skies. I transitioned to this model from training on a Magni M-16 as Abid mentioned, as well as an Air Command Elite that I have about 40 hours in. The AR-1 is a dream to fly. Very smooth. Very responsive. Not quite as sensitive as the Air Command, but much lighter control forces than the M-16. Feels smoother, too, and I haven't even done rotor balancing yet. I'm about 7 hours into Phase 1 and loving every minute.

The build process was a lot of fun. With Mark and Larry at Hill Country Gyros as my guides, and Abid seemingly always at-the-ready to respond to random and off-hours questions, it came together quite quickly. Total build time was 172 hours over five weeks. A bit longer than it would have taken if I had gone to the factory, but I took my time and made sure to get familiar with every detail... I was not in a rush. I also had quite a few customizations that added some time... avionics, oil thermostat, etc. Still, compared to even a quick-build airplane kit, this is really fast.

I'll post some more pics and video as phase 1 testing continues.