Any Cavalon owners willing to share their experiences?

GyroFan

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I'm considering purchasing a Cavalon for future business trips around 560 mi / 900 km max single journey throughout Europe mostly travelling in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Austia and Italy. This would involve crossing the Alps occasionally (there is a special training programme for this area available).

My business often takes me to rural areas and I'm flexible to adapt my travels to weather conditions and seasons. Taking clients in a later stage would be an added bonus.

How would you say this type of use would be a fit to this machine? Which ground speed /journey time do you see irl, what is the comfort level and anything else that you'd recommend or don't recommend?
 

Rick E

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I think the Cavalon is perfect for long distance touring. I have logged nearly 1000 hours in mine with most of that time spent touring around Australia two up with my wife. We circumnavigated Australia two years ago and we’re away for ten weeks.
The Cavalon has a good size fuel tank, good luggage space if you pack carefully and a realistic cruise speed at MTOW of around 70-75 knots at 5000 rpm. I have an in flight adjustable IVO prop on mine which provides very good fuel consumption as well, generally around 18 litres per hour.
Mine has a 914 engine which has run faultless to date, a 915 however would be superb. I have flown my machine at 9000’ with no problem.
Apart from the price, I can’t really think of any negatives.
Good luck with the purchas.
 

ultracruiser41

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The Cavalon is a nice machine....comfortable....good cruise speed.....etc.
I‘ve got well over 500+ hours on mine and enjoy it for what it was designed for.....traveling.
Some shortfalls ( my opinion only ):
- Carbon fiber body is strong and lightweight but not repairable.
- No tail wheel. ( normally not an issue...but would help in a good crosswind ) ( no place to mount one since the
tail boom is not a strong part of the fuselage structure....it’s just attached into the rear cabin)
- Very crosswind sensetive due to large side area and no tail wheel.
- Limited visibility with large instrument panel....wide frame and no rearward visibility.
- Not as efficient as a tandem machine due to wide body.
- Preflight of coolant tank impossible visually without taking baffling apart inside engine compartment.
( I made a dipstick to check through air intake on mast)
- Not crazy about the main fiberglass fuel tanks that are part of the structure behind the seats.
( although AutoGyro has said they use an ethonal resistant resin....still worries me.
- Not crazy about a lithium battery mounted behind firewall....against the fuel tanks.
- Servicing engine can be a pain....needs to be pulled to work on pre-rotator, change starter...etc.

I did install a fire warning/extinguishing system in case of any engine compartment fire.
I do enjoy the machine.....handles very well.....I enjoy the side by side.....but it is a little different than most other gyros.
I never recommend it for a low time gyro Pilot just because it’s a little different than most other models out there.

A good tandem enclosed or semi enclosed is the best of both worlds....good for traveling....cranking and banking....and more efficient on less horsepower.
 

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Vance

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I am not a Cavalon owner and have around 500 hours in five different 914 powered Cavalons.

At times more power would have been nice; particularly as the density altitude got above 8,500 feet.

I found The Cavalon comfortable for long flights.

Eight hours of flying in a day was my practical limit.

I found I would make mistakes flying longer than that particularly over unfamiliar territory.

I loved the large fuel tank and the generous storage behind the seat.

I like the way the doors stay shut in flight when the latch malfunctions.

A Cavalon will fly along nicely and economically at 85kts although I would slow down in rough air.

At 50kts the economy improved.

I find it harder to instruct a primary student in a Cavalon compared to a tandem anything gyroplane because they tend to be pitchy and people are often confused by the sight picture and become misaligned with the direction of travel when landing. They also have more power-pitch-yaw coupling than most gyroplanes and require more pedal work to be flown in coordinated flight.

Maximum takeoff weight and seat weight should be adhered to.
 

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Gyro_Kai

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Something to consider: The cruise speed should drive the decision. Imagine you are going on a long trip and have 20% of travel speed as headwind. That is why maybe a gyroplane is not the first choice in general, but if, it should be a fast one.

Kai.
 

GyroFan

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Something to consider: The cruise speed should drive the decision. Imagine you are going on a long trip and have 20% of travel speed as headwind. That is why maybe a gyroplane is not the first choice in general, but if, it should be a fast one.

Kai.
Thanks Kai! But would this be an argument for or against the 915 powered Cavalon?
 

Vance

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The Vne for the 914 powered Cavalon is listed at 87kts and on the 915 powered Cavalon it is listed at 105kts; a 21% increase.
 

Tyger

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The Rotax 914 is basically the old 80-hp 912, but with a turbocharger. It can make 100 hp continuous, except for brief period where extra turbocharging can be invoked to make 115 hp.
The 915 is basically the newer 100-hp 912S, but with electronic fuel injection, a turbocharger, and an intercooler. It makes 135 hp continuous, with up to 141 available for takeoff. It costs roughly twice as much as a 912S, and about 20% more than a 914.
 

Rick E

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GyroFan

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Thank you all for sharing your experience. Much appreciated! I've been going through equipment options from Autogyro.

For equipment I'd reckon heating, seat heating and sun protection would serve me well. Anything you'd recommend as an experienced user? What serves you well and what not?

Tuesday demo flight scheduled, looking forward to that...
 

Greg Vos

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Possibly fly a different side by side as well before you make a purchase?
Having flown all the side by side birds I have an opinion on what I like or dislike, unless You require certain certification?
 

GyroFan

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Possibly fly a different side by side as well before you make a purchase?
Having flown all the side by side birds I have an opinion on what I like or dislike, unless You require certain certification?
No certification requirement.
Yes I'd like to try the Magni m24 (914/915) and booked a flight to the Bergamo region in two weeks some time ago (pre Corona). But Italy has been hit pretty bad especially in that perticular region so I need to reschedule or find a willing pilot in NL, DE or BE.
 

Weedeater

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Paul, thanks for writing. I was a fixed wing pilot with an instrument rating and about 800 hours when I ordered my gyro. I researched carefully, flew every model that I could and put heavy emphasis on build quality.
I chose the Auto-Gyro "Cavalon" because of the experienced builder and quality of workmanship. The machine was not cheap, but the quality is excellent...and of course the German fit and finish! I first flew my machine in June of 2016 and new have 347 hours on the Hobbs. I have had no problems and can highly recommend the Cavalon.
I have flown from Arizona to Oregon, Washington and the San-Juan Islands three different times, each trip about 2700 miles round trip. I cru9se about 85 kts at 4.6 gph. I have flown VFR with some Special VFR requests. I have the 914 Turbo and it has been great...even up to 11,500 ft.
I love my Cavalon, it is the best. Roomy, comfortable (leather heated seats) in flight adjustable prop and the great safety factor of a GyroPlane.
Come go flying with me. Dave
 

WaspAir

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Hey, Weedeater -
Do you know this film?

 

Greg Vos

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Paul, thanks for writing. I was a fixed wing pilot with an instrument rating and about 800 hours when I ordered my gyro. I researched carefully, flew every model that I could and put heavy emphasis on build quality.
I chose the Auto-Gyro "Cavalon" because of the experienced builder and quality of workmanship. The machine was not cheap, but the quality is excellent...and of course the German fit and finish! I first flew my machine in June of 2016 and new have 347 hours on the Hobbs. I have had no problems and can highly recommend the Cavalon.
I have flown from Arizona to Oregon, Washington and the San-Juan Islands three different times, each trip about 2700 miles round trip. I cru9se about 85 kts at 4.6 gph. I have flown VFR with some Special VFR requests. I have the 914 Turbo and it has been great...even up to 11,500 ft.
I love my Cavalon, it is the best. Roomy, comfortable (leather heated seats) in flight adjustable prop and the great safety factor of a GyroPlane.
Come go flying with me. Dave
There is little dispute that the Cavalon is a nice machine, it’s build quality is better than some, that said if your not handy with your hands and your flying into remote places where good tech support could be needed it may be worth looking at a machine that is more simple in construction, should you have to do owner maintenance with limited tools.Im thinking prerotator service... battery replacement and other simple tasks ..

I have no dog in this race nor do I represent any gyro brand, my experience is the support from AG in the past has been questionable and some of the staff are arrogant ( just my opinion) mabye now that GS has joined them things will be better? That said it does not offer the best visibility of the side by side gyroplanes on offer.
I think it will have one of the best resale values if that is a factor.
 

GyroFan

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Can only speak from personal experience that both AG and Magni were friendly and patient with me answering an array of questions and offering needed advice here and there. The former returned my call almost immediately and took ample time on the phone.
 
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