Aero 2011, my quick report

Passin' Thru

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Bruno, in the US for many years most all gyros were built in a garage or a shed behind the house. They were licenced as "Experimental Amateur Built". Their Licensed purpose was "for education and recreation", they were not built for sale. They were forbidden any comercial use. They were for the enjoyment of the builder only.

Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! :D
 

C. Beaty

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What you say Bruno, is very true for mass-market products like electric toothbrushes. In such cases, Madison Avenue and the styling studios rule.

A Bensen was designed to be a safe, affordable aircraft within the reach of any schoolboy with a paper route. Looks were secondary. My first gyro cost $400 and I was able to teach myself to fly it by following the Bensen training manual without bending anything or scratching a finger.

The European gyros are gorgeous with their sculpted fiberglass panels but is that enough to give them electric toothbrush status?
 

scottessex

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Most people cannot afford a $100K gyro for fun. In the US you are not allowed to make any money with an experimental aircraft, so most people fly them for fun. 100g's take most of the fun out of the equation, so most US gyros are like the chopper motorcycles of the 1960's, just bare essentials to experience the joy of flying.
Plus the Liability lawyers here are like sharks, prices you out of the every man budget.
 

Bruno

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Most people cannot afford a $100K gyro for fun. In the US you are not allowed to make any money with an experimental aircraft, so most people fly them for fun. 100g's take most of the fun out of the equation, so most US gyros are like the chopper motorcycles of the 1960's, just bare essentials to experience the joy of flying.
Plus the Liability lawyers here are like sharks, prices you out of the every man budget.

Most people are not meant to have a flying machine in their back yard. Not yet.

A great number of people can afford $100K machinery for fun. Look at the sales of $100K-plus sports cars. Look at the price of a modern top customized chopper bike or a hot rod. Yet, thousands are made every year, bought and sold and driven and ridden. Look at the sales of $100K fun and sports boats. Look at the sales of other $100K aircraft.

The problem is that in the US, the gyro is stuck in the modest corner of the garage enthusiast with little or no money. It can be a commercial proposition, just like the sports cars, top bikes, recreational boats and light sports fixed-wing aircraft, but to do that, it must move out of the 'ghetto'. It must become sexy and attractive to a buyer who is not already a gyro enthusiast.

European manufacturers are doing precisely that. It's a good move. Let's hope quality technology and innovation will follow. They will, too, if the market really is there.
 

Bruno

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The European gyros are gorgeous with their sculpted fiberglass panels but is that enough to give them electric toothbrush status?

No. But a Corvette, to give you one example, with its sculpted fiberglass panels, does not have the electric toothbrush status, either. How many are sold every year? At what price? It is sure as hell not that much more practical than a nice, civilized 2-seat gyro. It may be more of a toy than a good gyro is.

A Boss Hoss motor cycle costs $ 65,000. Its one and only use is to impress other people and to allay the softness of the prick that comes with age. Yet, Boss Hoss probably outsells the gyros in the US.
 

PTKay

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Ok, Chuck, now I understand.
At least there was the Clouddancer 2 with 4 blades and a Webber engine. Apart from that: scale and reapply.

Kai, you are unfair again.
There was still a Xenon there, which, by far is no "scale and reapply".

It is a fibreglass or carbon monocoque design, with unique, long and
aerodynamically very effective tail.

It really "sticks out of the crowd".

:)
 

PTKay

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The European gyros are gorgeous with their sculpted fiberglass panels ...

Chuck, I would appreciate if you would exclude Xenon from this
generalization about European gyros.

Again: it is a fibreglass or carbon monocoque design, with unique, long and
aerodynamically very effective tail and HS.

By no means is it just a "fibreglass sculpture".

It's form comes out of function, aerodynamically lifting body, great visibility,
safety cage for the crew, stress tested fixing points for mast, gear and tail.

This approach was successfully used for decades for the most advanced
gliders, then powered aircraft like Dimond, Columbia, Cirrus,
not even speaking about the whole line of Burt Rutan designs,
including Spaceship 1 and 2.

Fibreglass and carbon are here to stay, see Airbus and Boeing Dreamliner.

Nevertheless...
I get your point: with lack of progress in basic design by some manufacturers
and just putting some some "fibreglass make-up" on top of the wrinkles
on the face of a half century old design.

:)
 

PTKay

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A very important factor in this is the fact that the new European machinery looks like a proper product, not something thrown together in a garage. Those gyros look attractive to people who have never seen a gyro before, to helicopter pilots, to fixed-wing pilots... meaning that the market is broadening.
Bruno, I agree with you in this case, but it must not only
"look like a proper product". it has to "be a proper product".

The Xenon, with her form following the function is maybe not so sexy
as Cavalon, but is kind of "Baby Agusta" look she has, appealing to
the customer circle you mention above.

But it is very dangerous for the whole industry, if the form is not
followed by safety and quality.

The good example was the story behind the "Mini 500".
Following exactly the mindset you presented, this helicopter
was designed to look, as the name says, like a mini Hughes 500.
Lots of people purchased the kits, just for the good looks of it,
and many died in this flawed contraption.

Unfortunately many are dying now in the sleek and sexy Calidus
and earlier in the MTOs.

I hope I put my point clear.

BTW: Your Corvette example is a good illustration of my point.
Under the "fibreglass sculpture" there is a chassis of a delivery truck,
with leaf springs, rigid axle, and frame not rigid enough, making it a nightmare to handle...
This is not a sports car, designed for speed and handling, this is a truck
with oversized engine disguised as a sports car.
It also killed numbers of drivers.
But still, I do believe the Vette C3 (1967-76, Stingray) is the most
beautiful sports car in the World. :)
 
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rotormaster

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New Kiss

New Kiss

Visiting the Aero personally I must say that the new Kiss it’s the ugliest design ever seen. PTKay you should stop your advertising and get back to the real facts. That new design has not even made it to the air by know. Screwed together, by mast fragments of the Xenon this is not high tech, we will see how it will perform. Last Aero (2010) the show went on letting everyone know, the new Kiss is coming, all we have seen is a have finish “Boat” with not even a Canopy. Autogiro and Rotortec and many others presented at least, a finish aircraft’s without any big advertising. How much you get paid to do this advertising. I’m shocked also how you bash American Products, in return let us know what great stuff comes from Poland ? :der:
 

scottessex

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Most people are not meant to have a flying machine in their back yard. Not yet.

A great number of people can afford $100K machinery for fun. Look at the sales of $100K-plus sports cars. Look at the price of a modern top customized chopper bike or a hot rod. Yet, thousands are made every year, bought and sold and driven and ridden. Look at the sales of $100K fun and sports boats. Look at the sales of other $100K aircraft.

The problem is that in the US, the gyro is stuck in the modest corner of the garage enthusiast with little or no money. It can be a commercial proposition, just like the sports cars, top bikes, recreational boats and light sports fixed-wing aircraft, but to do that, it must move out of the 'ghetto'. It must become sexy and attractive to a buyer who is not already a gyro enthusiast.

European manufacturers are doing precisely that. It's a good move. Let's hope quality technology and innovation will follow. They will, too, if the market really is there.

Point taken........It has been a very positive move to see that a police dept in Texas is using a gyro, That is the positive exposure that gyros need, a low cost alternative to a helicopter, hopefully this will grow, and the FAA will lift the restrictions on LSA gyros.
 

Bruno

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Bruno, I agree with you in this case, but it must not only
"look like a proper product". it has to "be a proper product".

The Xenon, with her form following the function is maybe not so sexy
as Cavalon, but is kind of "Baby Agusta" look she has, appealing to
the customer circle you mention above.
Absolutely. Xenon ticks all the boxes in my book, It's the proper kind of product. It is what the industry badly needs.

I have inadequate knowledge and information to judge whether the new Euro machinery that has followed Xenon in terms of offering slick design is good. However, Europe is not famous for offering dangerous designs. EU product standards are, by and large, quite strict.

Unfortunately many are dying now in the sleek and sexy Calidus
and earlier in the MTOs.
Many are dying? Are you sure? How come there is no outcry? I remember the recent noise that was made about a Mercedes car failing a fairly bizarre Scandinavian test. The outcry was very quick and very loud, even though no one had been as much as scratched. I hope you are overstressing the point.

BTW: Your Corvette example is a good illustration of my point.
Under the "fibreglass sculpture" there is a chassis of a delivery truck,
with leaf springs, rigid axle, and frame not rigid enough, making it a nightmare to handle...
This is not a sports car, designed for speed and handling, this is a truck
with oversized engine disguised as a sports car.
It also killed numbers of drivers.
You are overstating your case here. I really do know enough about automobile history to tell. Corvette has been around in various guises for some 60 years. Perhaps a million have been sold. At no point has it earned (or deserved) attention as a driver killer. It has always been at least at a par with the better US-produced cars in terms of handling and roadholding.

Sports cars are, as a rule, safer than contemporary family cars. Corvette has followed the same rule. They are less safe than family sedans in accident records, but only because they are driven faster by less cautious and cockier drivers. The car design, unfortunately, does not extend as far as the driver.
 

Vance

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Well, guys, face it -- your machines are ugly. Four out of five US gyros look like Rube Goldberg contraptions. You really have to be a fan to be able to appreciate them. And you take a perverse pride in that.

Curious. I mean, if cars were made like your gyros, you would find them ridiculous and probably wouldn't buy them.

While you are sneering in your oddball corner, the rest of the world is doing what is normally done in any other area of product design -- making machinery attractive. And their machinery -- unlike yours -- sells. It sells for serious money, too. And makes gyros increasingly popular. Are the US gyros getting increasingly popular?

A very important factor in this is the fact that the new European machinery looks like a proper product, not something thrown together in a garage. Those gyros look attractive to people who have never seen a gyro before, to helicopter pilots, to fixed-wing pilots... meaning that the market is broadening.

If it were up to you, US cars would still look like Model T, I guess.

I am not saying that your machines are bad. They may well be better than the slick-looking Euro designs. But, in market terms, they are a dead end. Euro designs are where the market is at. You had better wake up and take notice.

Why had we "better wake up and take notice” Bruno?

What does that entail?

Why don’t you own one of the “slick looking euro-designs”?

Why do you think the “slick looking euro-designs” have been a marketing failure in the USA?

Thank you, Vance
 

PTKay

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Visiting the Aero personally I must say that the new Kiss it’s the ugliest design ever seen. PTKay you should stop your advertising and get back to the real facts.
What advertising are you talking about? I am talking facts here.
And I am talking Xenon, not KISS.
I also do not like the looks of KISS, but as the name says it: Keep It Simple Stupid.
Time will show, how it flies and performs.
Again, I say nothing about the KISS, except it is BIG !!! :)
(and everybody can see it).

That new design has not even made it to the air by know.
Please, follow your own advice, and stay to facts.
It has flown already 6 times.
Screwed together, by mast fragments of the Xenon this is not high tech, we will see how it will perform.
Yes, you are right, it's no "High Tech" it's KISS.

Last Aero (2010) the show went on letting everyone know, the new Kiss is coming, all we have seen is a have finish “Boat” with not even a Canopy. Autogiro and Rotortec and many others presented at least, a finish aircraft’s without any big advertising.
And many other companies, including e.g. the CTSW manufacturer, presented
mock-ups or prototypes, to get some general public feedback on the design.
There was e.g. CT4 mock-up "with not even a Canopy" that gained
a lot of attention. Nobody complained. This is a standard trade show practice.
How much you get paid to do this advertising.
Again, what advertising ????
Show me one thing about Xenon I posted here, that is not fact.
I started flying this machine recently, I just like it, and I share here
on the forum, what I see and what I experience.
And be sure, I pay for my flights!
I’m shocked also how you bash American Products, in return let us know what great stuff comes from Poland ? :der:
What "American product bashing"???
What is your problem??? :der:
Do you mean Corvette??
I love the Vette, but, again "leaf springs, rigid axle, and frame not rigid enough"
are facts, and no bashing.
You can choose a Vette, or pay 3 times more and get a Ferrari, your call.

Polish products?
Relevant on this forum I can mention Xenon, Made in Poland,
moving on in aviation, Wilga, the best STOL, SWIFT, the best aerobatic
glider in the World, PW-5, the new World Class 2-seat glider,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politechnika_Warszawska_PW-5
Diana-2 the World Champion and World Record glider
http://www.dianasailplanes.com/szd55.html
(just to mention a few...)

BTW: the PW stands for Politechnika Warszawska, Warsaw Technical University.
Some of the people behind the Xenon modifications and design are the
people behind the PW-5.
 

PTKay

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Why do you think the “slick looking euro-designs” have been a marketing failure in the USA?
Vance, I agree, that Bruno slightly exaggerates.
But you shouldn't have put up the above question.
You know, we have discussed it extensively, what FAA is doing regarding
approving factory build gyroplanes in the US....
:)

They are not a marketing failure, they are maybe a "market failure"
due to the unfair market regulations.

Within just 2 years, before being banned, Xenon sold 10 units in the US,
I wouldn't call it a failure.
:)

Some of the discussions here are completely fruitless.

We are comparing pears to apples.

Amateur build, kit, experimental aircraft which gyroplanes are in the US
have almost nothing to do with the European factory build machines,
that have to follow strict national certification procedures
(like section T in UK) and are aiming at totally different customers.
 

Vance

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Do you mean Corvette??
I love the Vette, but, again "leaf springs, rigid axle, and frame not rigid enough"
are facts, and no bashing.
You can choose a Vette, or pay 3 times more and get a Ferrari, your call.

Hello Paul,

It is my observation that it has been a long time since any of those things were true about a Corvette.

I have a friend with a new Corvette ZO6 and its handling and braking compete favorably with my BMW M Roadster. Both are too fast to be exercised properly on the road and provide capability exceeding the skill set of most drivers.

Thank you, Vance
 

Vance

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Vance, I agree, that Bruno slightly exaggerates.
But you shouldn't have put up the above question.:)

They are not a marketing failure, they are maybe a "market failure"
due to the unfair market regulations.

Within just 2 years, before being banned, Xenon sold 10 units in the US,
I wouldn't call it a failure.
:)

Some of the discussions here are completely fruitless.

We are comparing pears to apples.

Amateur build, kit, experimental aircraft which gyroplanes are in the US
have almost nothing to do with the European factory build machines,
that have to follow strict national certification procedures
(like section T in UK) and are aiming at totally different customers.

Hello Paul,

Bruno feels he has the answers so I asked the questions because I was interested in his opinion.

In my opinion selling 10 of anything across the United States is not a marketing success.

I feel understanding and managing the rules is part of marketing.

I suspect that there was not a profit justifying the effort from this marketing adventure.

Thank you, Vance
 

tadel001

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PTKay, your ban competitor bashing didn't last long. I get that a Xenon enthusiasts does not like AutoGyro the company. However, don't scream "facts, facts facts," when you make reckless statements like people are dying in the Calidus and MTO. Show me an example (pure facts) of someone dying in Calidus or MTO because of aircraft failure? (Keep in mind that all the rotor cracks came from a company that was purchased by a Polish company. No cracks since rotors were brought in house.)

You are a want to be gyrolane pilot (which is great). You are not a gyroplane engineer. You have not personally tested or examined (from an engineering standpoint) any other gyroplane. So stop making reckless statements about others. This is exactly what we talked about a few days ago hurting the industry.

If someone would prefer a less expensive US made gyroplane because it doesn't have all the trimmings, so be it. That is their choice. Your comparison to the corvette makes no sense. You apparently do not understand sport/race car engineering. The Corvette has done an excellent job for its intended purpose.

The mock of the CT4 was hardly a "mockup." Again, if you understood design, engineering and aircraft certification, you would understand the impressiveness of the CT4 model.

I think all of these European gyros are great aircraft. I think it is careless and uneducated to throw stones at them without truly understanding aerodynamic design. Selling by fear (by mine because the other will kill you) is bad business and much like politics.
 

PTKay

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I think, we should bring this thread back to topic,
that is Aero 2011, and what is it about.

My conclusion to the excellent report by Kai and the following
discussion is, that the proper national and European legislations have
resulted in unprecedented outburst of new designs and models
of the factory manufactured gyroplanes.

At this fair we have seen at least 6 new entries, some market ready,
some prototypes. In such situation the customer is the winner.

There is a choice of different designs for different purposes.

Also the European economy is the winner, new technologies are being
developed, people find employment, taxes are flowing.

Since we are on a US forum, we may ask, what are the conclusions
for the American gyroplane community.

My personal answer is: like the LSA rules have created a completely new and
healthy market in FW aircraft, so the lack of such rules for gyroplanes is killing the
prospects of such gyroplane industry in the US and leaving it completely
defenceless against the future European competition.
 
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PTKay

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If someone would prefer a less expensive US made gyroplane because it doesn't have all the trimmings, so be it. That is their choice. Your comparison to the corvette makes no sense. You apparently do not understand sport/race car engineering. The Corvette has done an excellent job for its intended purpose.
I intended to quit such discussions, but you obviously don't get my point.
I exactly meant the same, you can get a Corvette, with leaf springs, rigid axle,
or a Ferrari with F1 multilink suspension (for 3 times the money). Your choice.
But do not tell me, I do not understand cars, and do not tell me, that
leaf springs, rigid axle sports car handles better than F1 multilink suspension car.

You are offending my intelligence.

The mock of the CT4 was hardly a "mockup." Again, if you understood design, engineering and aircraft certification, you would understand the impressiveness of the CT4 model.
I do understand it probably much better than you do.
This aircraft is using fuel effective diesel engine, has excellent aerodynamics,
and, BTW, will be manufactured in Ukraine.
And again, do not tell me, that the aircraft with windows painted over,
even with an engine installed, is not a mock-up. Unless you think, it's a
prototype and you can fly it with the windows painted over.

You are again offending my intelligence.

I think all of these European gyros are great aircraft. I think it is careless and uneducated to throw stones at them without truly understanding aerodynamic design. Selling by fear (by mine because the other will kill you) is bad business and much like politics.
I do not understand (maybe) aerodynamic design, those cabins are certainly
not only "fibreglass sculptures", as Chuck calls them, but a result of
careful wind tunnel experiments, but a simple solution to allow you to
open your canopy when you fall to the side is no rocket science.

And this is what I am pointing at, in the sake of safety of future pilots,
not as bashing, or banning or whatever you wish to call it.

I am mentioning it to get another good, complete and safe product
on the market.

Sweeping the dirt under the carpet will do nobody any good.

I would like to kindly remind you about the "RAF bashing" emotional
arguments. RAF is no more, and I think, even you will admit, that
the whole gyroplane community is profiting.
And also in those discussions there were a lot of people blaming
everything on poor training and pilot errors.
 
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Bruno

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Why had we "better wake up and take notice” Bruno?
If you want gyros to move out of the ghetto. If not, forget it.

What does that entail?
Investing some effort into styling, not just engineering design.

Why don’t you own one of the “slick looking euro-designs”?
I would if I had the money. What has this got to do with the issue of whether product styling is important or not?

Why don't you own a pug-ugly car?

Why do you think the “slick looking euro-designs” have been a marketing failure in the USA?
Marketing a machine in the US is a hugely difficult proposition. Some major European car manufacturers are not selling in the US at all because of that. Not penny-ante outfits, but legendary names like Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Citroen.

Marketing a gyro in the US is additionally difficult by the poor image the machines have. In Europe and elsewhere, this image does not exist and selling gyros is easier. Even though the average European has less money than the Average US citizen.

I hope Xenon will blaze a good trail in the US for the others to follow.
 
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