A contender...

I am a survivor of the self taught generation - building and flying a Bensen back in the late 1980s at El Mirage. My little craft was first VW powered and then MAC 72 powered. I had a blast. I have been flying fixed wing before that and ever since. Now I am retiring and looking to change my flying experience (lower and slower). I am looking at 2 place enclosed machines of the major brands and intend to travel to experience the final 3 or so contenders before making a decision and starting formal training and the purchase. I came across the www.airgyro.com website and the AG-915 Model and it looks very interesting. The other models I am looking into are tandems. I understand that this is a variation on the Xenon/Tercel model, but I don't see much feedback on this forum regarding it.

I am looking for any direct knowledge on this model (or earlier generation versions) and the company behind it.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
No Title

I have flown the Tercel and enjoyed the wide cabin and great rudder control.

I found it little underpowered; it may not have been running well at the time.

The 915 should help with that.

I only had a short flight in it.

I was very pleased with the total lack of power/pitch/yaw coupling.

The Tercel was wonderfully stable.

My experience with Air Gyro has been great over the years.
 

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JAL

Member
I don't have any experience flying the Tercel/Xenon but had a really good look when I was buying my gyro years ago. It was the Xenon at the time and my impression was that it was probably the best SxS design going around with CLT, twin booms etc. The only reason I didn't buy the gyro was the power plant. At the time it was modified rotax (aftermarket turbo) which I was told voided the Rotax warranty in Australia. Also I think it was about 130hp and because it is such a wide machine may have still been slightly under-powered.

I think the 915 might make this gyro a winner. Could be still be slightly under-powered when hot an heavy but this solves my perceived weakness with the gyro (other than the price).
 

Steve_UK

Active Member
Who manufacturers the AG915 ?

How many have been built and delivered to customers ?

What is the back story ?



The Xenon / Zen1 / Tercel / AG915 has under gone a number of product name and manufacturers over the years



AAT having been building the Zen 1 and now the Tercel since 2011/2012 - approx 100 built by them since then, web below


http://www.trendak.eu/en/modele/tercel-2/



CA built the Xenon IV since circa 2013 - approx 25 built - product *appears* to now be under the Fly Argo brand web below


http://flyargo.aero/gyrocopters/gyrocopter-x



So what is the source of the AG915 - there several recent videos on Youtube for the AG915 that show Xenon IV gyros, for example black SP-XNON ( registered as Xenon IV built in 2016 )




Diligence.
 

NJpilot

Member
Vance;n1142576 said:
I have flown the Tercel and enjoyed the wide cabin and great rudder control.

I found it little underpowered; it may not have been running well at the time.

The 915 should help with that.

I only had a short flight in it.

I was very pleased with the total lack of power/pitch/yaw coupling.

The Tercel was wonderfully stable.

My experience with Air Gyro has been great over the years.
Based on the photos, the 915 is a Xenon 4 by Celier Aviation not a Tercel by Trendak Aviation. The two are very similar in design. Couple that with the confusing history of the two companies and it's hard to keep from confusing them. http://celieraviation.com.pl/3dconfig.html It would seem the 915 is the kit version of the Xenon 4.
 

NJpilot

Member
Vance;n1142697 said:
The gyroplane in the picture (N557AT) is registered as a Tercel with the FAA.
I never said the gyro you flew was not a Tercel. You recommended the 915 which is a Xenon 4 based on your experiences flying a Tercel. I'm just pointing out a Tercel is a wholly different aircraft than the 915/Xenon 4.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Go to Air Gyro: http://www.airgyro.com/

They are writing about an Air Gyro AG2-915.

It is powered by a 915IS.

It also has carbon fiber rotor blades.

It looks like a nice aircraft at a competitive price and something to consider.
 

Steve_UK

Active Member
Air Gyro have started a couple of threads about the AG915 on the PRA Facebook pages - I had some dialogue with Alvaro in an attempt to learn more about this new but familiar looking product - I've copied and pasted the more illuminating thread below - hopefully it adds to the sum of knowledge

full information Alvaro Tovar . 👏
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[IMG2=JSON]{"alt":"Steven May","data-align":"none","data-size":"full","src":"https:\/\/scontent.flhr2-2.fna.fbcdn.net\/v\/t1.0-1\/c0.8.32.32a\/p32x32\/46192_10152222815359253_721484835_n.jpg?_nc_cat=104&_nc_ht=scontent.flhr2-2.fna&oh=4704b0f09d740fc28410305ba669556e&oe=5D129FA1"}[/IMG2]
Steven May Is this the Fly Argo product, ie Xenon IV ?

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Alvaro Tovar Steven May is the same manufacture, we got the kits from the same company that build all those products. Thing is we don’t want to deal anymore with Polish gyroplane companies because the after sale support and guarantees don’t work well here. So Airgyro will be fully responsible for the costumer support and rotax have international cover. Also this way we lower the price for the US market. The best of Poland with the best support here at home.

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Steven May Thanks Alvaro - so if I understand you correctly the AG915 is in essence a Xenon IV - CA built their Xenon IV product at Piotrokow Trybunal in Poland - I understand that Fly Argo now have the rights to market/sell this product and they now supply you with kits - have I got this correct ? I understand that CA built approx 25 examples of Xenon IV before they relocated from Poland to Malta.

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Alvaro Tovar Steven May yes and no, yes the cabins and parts are built in Piotrkow by MBL. But we have no relation or connection to Fly Argo because they have so many legal issues. And they have the rights only for the name !! There is no rights or patent for this model, that’s because we can buy as it is. Looks like they’re trying again to confuse the public saying that. But again they only have the right for names ! Our main goal is to protect the US market because that company in court can loose all the power to produce, so if someone buy there is a big chance all the costumer can be without support again as happened before.

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Steven May Thanks for the clarity - OK so sounds like we now have three companies offering the familiar twin boom SxS cabin gyro that we have over the years come to know as the Xenon-Zen1-Tercel-GyroX-AG915 - the long established AAT and the more recent Fly Argo and AG. The gyros featured in your recent vidoes are CA Xenon IV ( for example SP-XNON ), built in 2016 and registered in Poland with a CA serial number. Question - are there any kit built AG915 now assembled in the US and flying - I keep a good eye on the daily FAA updates and haven't seen any so far.
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Alvaro Tovar Steven May yes 3 kits are on the way now will be here at the end of April, and yes there are a number of manufactures offering kind of the same product, our main difference is we are base in the USA, we are responsible for all support here so you don’t have to deal with Poland and the prices are on US dollars. We will move operations to Florida at the end of the month feel free to pass by and fly !!

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Steven May OK so kits are en route to the USA but at this moment there are no examples up and flying in the US. I'm not sure you do yourselves any favours by posting photos and videos of gyrocopters that are not AG915 - potential customers are likely to be confused. Your black "AG915" SP-XNON that features in your marketing was built by Celier in 2016 - ironically the very same gyro appears on Fly Argo - Argo Helicopters marketing for example https://www.facebook.com/argohelicopters/ It all seems less than clear. I will keep an eye on the FAA register for your first three US kits.
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Alvaro Tovar Steven May yes is the same we use to add the 915 to test and be able to promote.
 

NJpilot

Member
Boy oh boy! I didn't think the whole Celier / Trendak situation could not get more confusing.... I was mistaken.
Now we have Air Gyro and Fly Argo to add to the mix.
In my mind Aviation Artur Trendak (AAT) is the more stable company. Celier is run by Raphael Celier and has moved his company from Italy to Poland and now Malta.

So to clarify:
Xenon 4 : Designed by Celier Aviation
AG2-915 : Celier Xenon 4 imported by AirGyro as kit for USA market
GyrocopterX : Celier Xenon 4 offered by Fly Argo which I only just heard of
Tercel: Designed by Aviation Artur Trendak (AAT) and is a different design from the Xenon 4

To add further to the confusion. The MBL Alvaro mentioned that builds the cabin and parts is a classic car restoration company. http://mblclassics.com/mbl-composite
 

EdL

Comm Rotor Gyro, ASEL
One thing to consider is I understand there’s been a fair amount of teething pain for the 915 in general, especially with regard to heat management. It may be worth watching to see how well these do with the new engine rather than be a test pilot!

/Ed
 

Steve_UK

Active Member
No Title

An update on the photo of the yellow Tercel N557AT posted earlier - it had an accident in August 2018

More info on the NTSB.

Part of the pilots statement ( first solo ) states - "I entered taxiway A1 and held short as two planes landed from a left downwind pattern. I believe the first came to a full stop and exited the runway and the second did a touch and go. After the second departed west, I waited briefly. After hearing no additional radio calls nor seeing any additional traffic, I made my radio call that I was taking runway 30 and would be there with a momentary delay while I spin up the rotor. I entered the runway and lined up on the center line. With the brake on, I throttled up to 2,000 rpm and started engaging the prerotator. As it engaged, I added throttle to keep it around 2,000 rpm while watching the rotor rpm. As the rotor rpm approached 100, I fully engaged the prerotator and held it until the rotor rpm reached 209. At this point, I released the prerotator lever, disengaged the brake, pulled the stick back and advanced the throttle to full. I accelerated down the center line while checking my speed. I noticed that I was past 45 mph and had not noticed a need for much right rudder pedal to stay centered on the runway. Additionally, there was no tendency for the nose to rise. The engine sounded fine but the lack of a need for right rudder and no tendency for the nose to rise seemed amiss. I had a brief thought that either I abort or try to raise the nose with some back pressure on the stick. My speed had quickly shot to 61 mph and I applied slight back pressure. As soon as I did, it seemed that the Tercel immediately turned left, rolled on its side and skidded off the runway to the left where it skidded to a stop. I reached for the stick for the radio button and the buttons and wires were sticking out. I pressed the button and made a call that I was down. I was stunned and sat there on my side for a minute and someone showed up and offered his hand to help me climb out. I climbed out. Paramedics were there quickly and had me enter their vehicle where for 15-20 minutes they checked my vitals. "
 

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Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Steve_UK;n1142747 said:
An update on the photo of the yellow Tercel N557AT posted earlier - it had an accident in August 2018

More info on the NTSB.

Part of the pilots statement ( first solo ) states - "I entered taxiway A1 and held short as two planes landed from a left downwind pattern. I believe the first came to a full stop and exited the runway and the second did a touch and go. After the second departed west, I waited briefly. After hearing no additional radio calls nor seeing any additional traffic, I made my radio call that I was taking runway 30 and would be there with a momentary delay while I spin up the rotor. I entered the runway and lined up on the center line. With the brake on, I throttled up to 2,000 rpm and started engaging the prerotator. As it engaged, I added throttle to keep it around 2,000 rpm while watching the rotor rpm. As the rotor rpm approached 100, I fully engaged the prerotator and held it until the rotor rpm reached 209. At this point, I released the prerotator lever, disengaged the brake, pulled the stick back and advanced the throttle to full. I accelerated down the center line while checking my speed. I noticed that I was past 45 mph and had not noticed a need for much right rudder pedal to stay centered on the runway. Additionally, there was no tendency for the nose to rise. The engine sounded fine but the lack of a need for right rudder and no tendency for the nose to rise seemed amiss. I had a brief thought that either I abort or try to raise the nose with some back pressure on the stick. My speed had quickly shot to 61 mph and I applied slight back pressure. As soon as I did, it seemed that the Tercel immediately turned left, rolled on its side and skidded off the runway to the left where it skidded to a stop. I reached for the stick for the radio button and the buttons and wires were sticking out. I pressed the button and made a call that I was down. I was stunned and sat there on my side for a minute and someone showed up and offered his hand to help me climb out. I climbed out. Paramedics were there quickly and had me enter their vehicle where for 15-20 minutes they checked my vitals. "
This is a good example of the challenge a flight instructor faces when they solo someone.

It appears he invented his own take off technique.

I have had clients not want the nose to pop up suddenly so they don’t move the cyclic all the way aft. They see the aircraft is accelerating faster and feel that is an added bonus to not moving the cyclic fully aft.

I was following him through the takeoff and I cringed when he described moving the cyclic further aft. If the cyclic is fully aft as it should be I cannot move it further aft.

I suspect the rotor had not been accelerating as it should because he did not have the cyclic full aft and when he moved it aft things didn’t go well.

I teach clients when in doubt about anything on a takeoff roll; abort. That doesn't mean it is learned. There will always be students who feel their flight instructor is fearful and over cautious and that the chains are removed when they solo.

Then someone will come along and determine it was a problem with the design of the gyorplane that caused the mishap and not pilot error.
 

NJpilot

Member
Steve_UK;n1142751 said:
Not so long ago Air Gyro were the US representatives for AAT, having imported Tercel N557AT and three seater Taurus N553AT, plenty of marketing about this on both companies websites.

http://www.airgyro.com/page6/performance.html

http://www.trendak.eu/en/aat-visiting-america/
So they started with AAT then switched to CA or are they still representing AAT? The confusion never ends with these companies. Sounds like Air Gyro wanted their own aircraft, so to speak. I wonder if flight qualities had anything to do with the switch to CA or if it was all business?
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Vance;n1142752 said:
This is a good example of the challenge a flight instructor faces when they solo someone.

It appears he invented his own take off technique.
Reading the full pilot's narrative, I can see why a CFI (who has a student wreck the aircraft on their solo) might feel frustrated.

This particular fellow lists several possible reasons why his accident happened, including:

1.The missing oil reservoir cap that mysteriously re-appeared at the accident scene which may have hindered his ability to have full back stick position.

2. The teetering hinge used in gyroplane rotor systems that initially is easy to move the stick, and then requiring subsequently increasing force to move to full forward or rearward stop limits.

3. His repeating back to his instructor the steps to solo takeoff, which include to apply full power. No mention of slowly adding that full throttle while observing increasing rotor rpms, as I believe a CFI would teach. I suspect full throttle was slammed in ALA airplane mode, and rotate when airspeed is sufficient. No waiting for the levitation, which is preceded by a nose that starts rising, and countering stick/rudder inputs needed at that time.

4. He states that the three gyro instructors only told him to move his stick back further, instead of explaining why it needed to be back more. Huh? If true, he had no knowledge of autorotating wings and how they require being nursed up to speed. I particularly find that hard to believe, from three different gyroplane CFIs.

5. His suggestion that CFI training be changed to help students not do what he did.

6. His suggestion that simulator training might be helpful to future students, to see the video of what happened to him.

7. His prior fixed-wing experience being a possible reason why he initiated lifting the nose of the gyroplane, because of muscle memory from doing so in airplanes. His doubts that most gyroplane students have any airplane experience.

He doesn't write anything about his CFIs teaching him to monitor the rotorblades rpms as he slowly accelerates his take-off roll. Nor any mention of matching his airspeed (from increasing the throttle) to the rotors gaining rpms.

I find it hard to believe that any of his CFIs not teach him about how doing 45 mph and not having to use right rudder and right stick in a take off might indicate a problem. Then, he says the gyro was at 61 mph and no nose movement and no rudder movement that was usually required, so he initiated the rotation.

Several cell phone video stills are included. Hard to tell, but the first shot looks like the rotors might not be perfectly straight out from centrifugal force, like they might be flapping already.
The big horizontal tail of the Zenon/AT/Tercel makes it easy to see the attitude of the gyro when it was so far away in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th photos.

https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/document.cfm?docID=467879&docketID=61763&mkey=98052
https://dms.ntsb.gov/public/61500-61999/61763/619773.pdf
 
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Vance

Gyroplane CFI
Thank you for posting the pictures Kevin.

I used them as a teaching aid just this morning.

I try to keep it simple.

If the cyclic was full back to begin the takeoff roll there was no way to lift the nose by pulling the cyclic back.

It appears to me the retreating blade stalled because it was not up to flight speed when he tried to rotate.

I have a client who is a high time helicopter pilot with considerable gyroplane experience and instruction and he said the pictures and my explanation helped him to understand something that he had heard about and wondered about.

Successful communication is the goal of flight instruction and this is a nice tool.
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
I am wondering how the upper mast, rotorhead, and rotorblades became unattached from the lower mast structure (as seen in photo #1) in the accident without any apparent damage to that lower mast section.

One would think there would be torn sheet metal from the skin (or fiberglass) and the visible lower mast would have some deformed attachment.
 

Kolibri

FW and Gyros
That Tercel N557AT rotorhead/mast breakage is not unique. On the right is another machine. Not much material there.

Tercel - Xenon rotorhead-mast breakage.png
Xenon rotorhead-mast breakage.png
 
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