Arrow-Copter for Mission from Madison, WI to NYC

atmhobby

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Anyone have any experience flying the arrow-copter on long cross country flights that are about 800nm? Hope to hear your impressions compared to other gyros flown.
I am new to gyroplanes, but am starting research. Happy for any advice. thx!
 

PW_Plack

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Welcome to the forum!

I guess the first question would be, why not an airplane? I suspect you'd save enough on the cost of the aircraft and the flights themselves to pay for the additional rating pretty quickly.

If the answer is, "because I can only own one aircraft and it has to have rotors," you'll fit right in here!

Even in the newer, European-style tandem gyros, people making flights of the distance you propose are unusual. The bigger issue with the ArrowCopter will be availability. The company ceased production a few years ago, and there are very few out there.

But - There are a couple pilots on here knowledgeable about the ArrowCopter, and at least one has flown an AutoGyro MTO Sport across the US, so you've come to the right place. I've only enjoyed one brief flight as a passenger in an ArrowCopter, but I think it would be as good a candidate as any of the tandems.

A possible factor would be the life limits on certain parts. You're talking about 9-to-10 hours each way, and you'd run up the Hobbs pretty quick. But then again, if you're used to flying Robinsons, anticipating major overhaul expenses after 2000 hours is nothing new.

Good luck!
 

atmhobby

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Thx for taking the time to respond!
I love rotorcraft! Fixed wing just does not sound fun to me. The gyrocopter is totally new to me and definitely seems like a lot of fun to fly. Hoping to use it to fly for work.
I am been told by a few people to get an fixed wing LSA, but I am hoping I can find a good fit with a rotor.

I contacted Arrow-copter and they seem to want to get back into the NA market. I am hoping to fly in a Cavalon this weekend to see how it feels.
 

ckurz7000

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I own an Arrowcopter and I've flown it plenty on long cross countries in Europe. In the US I flew it from Wauchula, FL, to Baltimore.

If you have any more specific questions, feel free to post them here, I'll check back.

-- Chris.
 

C. Beaty

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A gyroplane is the most inefficient means of aerial transport ever conceived and would have gone the way of dirigibles and dodo birds had it not been resurrected by Igor Bensen as an inexpensive way of flying that any teenager with a paper route could afford. My first gyro cost a grand total of $400 and there were 4 of us sharing the cost.

The gyro paved the way for the helicopter when Juan de la Cierva solved the problems of a translating rotor and as a hobbycopter, is relatively safe buzzing around trees at low low speed since it neither stalls or spins.

The inefficiency comes from the pneumatically propelled rotor extracting its power from the wind; its efficiency being the product of propeller efficiency and the rotor’s efficiency as a windmill. A helicopter’s mechanical rotor drive has an overall efficiency of more than 90% and can hover which makes it indispensable for certain applications.

A gyro is a great toy for chasing feral hogs around Florida bayheads but for someone who wants to go somewhere, there are better ways than dragging a pneumatically propelled rotor along with tips traveling 500+ mph while the rest of the machine goes 50 mph.
 

ckurz7000

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Of course, it is a fact that gyros are less efficient as, e.g., fixed wings. However, as a way to have fun and an arial sport, that argument doesn't count for much, just as mere efficiency is a buying principle for only a minority of people when it comes to cars or motorbikes.

I fly my gyro on long cross countries because I love the freedom it affords me in picking a route and enjoying the travel (slower and lower than the standard fixed wing). Of course, if you are merely looking for a way to cover the distance and "get there", your first choice better not be a gyro.

-- Chris.
 

C. Beaty

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A number of people have crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat and I suppose the challenge is about the same whether it’s a bottom of the line wooden rowboat or a $100K carbon fiber rowboat.

Ken Brock flew his Bensen, propelled by a McCullough target drone (clay pigeon) engine from Long Beach California to Kittyhawk NC in the 1970s, proving a gyro didn’t have to look like Flash Gordon’s space ship in order to leave the vicinity of the airport.

Bottom line: A gyro is a hobycopter and its entertainment value is about the same whatever the cost. It is no more a practical item of transportation than trans-ocean rowboats or transcontinental Bensen Gyrocopters. Rational people who need to cross an ocean or a continent buy a ticket for a commercial airline flight.
 

Vance

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No Title

I love the challenges and adventure of flying cross country in a gyroplane and don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it being less cost effective than riding the bus.

When I left home at thirteen I didn't have a lot of money and riding a bus was the only way I could afford to get very far from home. The goal was to have an adventure in some distant place and depend on my own resourcefulness to manage the challenges. The Greyhound Bus worked for that and I had adventures and learned things that have benefited the rest of my life.

I am sixty eight now and life has moved forward for me. I can afford to fly a gyroplane to somewhat distant places so I am not particularly concerned with comparing it with the cost of other forms of transportation. The goal is to have a flying adventure and rely on my resourcefulness to manage the challenges.

I typically drive to Florida and Indiana once a year because I find it to be a better adventure than flying commercial.

I feel I can’t afford the time and expense of flying a gyroplane or I would and perhaps someday I will.

I had a financial mishap some years ago and have not fully recovered. I could work to have more money but I might find that by the time I have amassed more money I will be too old to enjoy it.

Instead I work to get the most enjoyment out of each day and fly a gyroplane often.
 

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C. Beaty

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Whatever lights your fire, Vance. Some get their kicks by jumping out of an airplane without a parachute, some by climbing mountains, others by going over Niagara in a barrel.

The bottom line is that a gyro is a toy that entertains some by the challenge of chasing feral hogs around bayheads, others by the challenge of long distance flying.

Other than Dick DeGraw’s creations, the gyro remains unchanged since having been resurrected by Bensen 60 years ago.

Bensen’s main contribution was to combine Arthur Young’s underslung, teetering rotor with with Cierva’s tilt head cyclic control system. Add a mast and keel with pusher engine and we have a Gyrocopter.

A gaudy fiberglass shell and $30K engine changes nothing. An Oxcart with tailfins and high speed hubcaps pulled by a $30K ox.
 

eddie

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I don't want to start a fight Chuck but the gyro has advanced way beyond the bensen Gyro,I fly a lowly RAF it has an enclosed cabin with heat for the winter ,advanced

technology rotor blades,a reliable 4 stroke engine and can go cross country at 90-100 mph. comparing a bensen to todays modern generation of gyros is like comparing the

Curtis flyer to a boeing 747 they both have wings and a tail with control surfaces,and yet they are completely different just as the new gyros of today are completely

different. If you only knew how many Gyros are making cross country trips on a day to day basis you would realize the gyro is changing to a viable cross country machine.

Just like the J-3 cub the bensen type Gyro will always be with us,and the high speed Oxcarts with tailfins will being going cross country,and they also will be able to chase

feral hogs if they want to.
 

C. Beaty

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The bottom line, Eddie, is that a gyro is still a toy not all that far removed from Bensen’s original. Rotor blades are still NACA 8H12s, a failed helicopter airfoil from the 1940s that Bensen picked for its flat stall and resulting ease of hand starting. It is still the airfoil of choice because gyro “designers” don’t know any better, evidently believing it is a special “Autogiro” airfoil. Any modern helicopter rotor airfoil provides better performance.
And certainly, a $30,000 Rotax offers improved performance over a shot down target drone engine. I once bought 35 Macs, mostly in bushel baskets for $250.
Lots of individuals have hung enclosures of one sort or another on their Bensens even before the RAF came along.
I think a gyro is a great toy but nothing more.
 

fara

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C. Beaty;n1130806 said:
A number of people have crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat and I suppose the challenge is about the same whether it’s a bottom of the line wooden rowboat or a $100K carbon fiber rowboat.

Ken Brock flew his Bensen, propelled by a McCullough target drone (clay pigeon) engine from Long Beach California to Kittyhawk NC in the 1970s, proving a gyro didn’t have to look like Flash Gordon’s space ship in order to leave the vicinity of the airport.

Bottom line: A gyro is a hobycopter and its entertainment value is about the same whatever the cost. It is no more a practical item of transportation than trans-ocean rowboats or transcontinental Bensen Gyrocopters. Rational people who need to cross an ocean or a continent buy a ticket for a commercial airline flight.
Chuck:
Just 7 weeks ago me and Barry flew an AR-1 520 NM to NC for delivery at 90 knots average burning 5.57 GPH 2 up. Started at 8:30 am and was there in the evening taking good breaks on each leg with coffee, lunch etc. A couple of years ago we flew the gyro from Tampa to NC to Oshkosh and back.
I can bet that I would have never done that trip in a Bensen or some of the other gyroplanes you are hands on familiar with. Of course gyro is not as efficient as an airplane in LSA class which can do 105 knots burning the same fuel burn but that is not the point. In my estimation Arrowcopter can cruise about 8 knots faster than AR-1.
 
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DavePA11

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Barry has all the fun...

I flew 63 miles for brunch from 8MA4 MA to north of Keene NH last Saturday in my Vortex M912 and landed in some nice mud. Even used my suspension for the first time with the landing. Found out it’s much colder in NH than MA and should have worn snow pants. Also had 20+ mph head wind so it would have been faster to drive, but more adventurous flying than driving. The flight was so slow up that I almost ran out of battery power in my iPhone GPS to find the farm with gps coordinates. The flight back with close to 100mph ground speed, as shown on my iPhone running WingXPro gps before running out of juice, was a blast. It’s a fun toy. It was good learning experience too. Dress warmer, bring extra battery for iPhone GPS in case of head winds, suspension works great, and the gyro doesn’t taxi well on slanted wet/muddy grass fields.

BTW - read WingXPro7 software is free now for VFR flying. Works great.
 
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RogerS

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I was under the impression that even though Cessna listed that the 172 had a cruise speed of around 120 knots, most owners found a practical cruise speed to be about 100-110 MPH. This was while burning maybe 7 gallons of 100LL per hour. If these figures are way off,l someone please correct me. If they are close to correct then a modern gyro cruising at 90 to 100MPH, burning MOGAS which is much cheaper than 100LL, seems like a fun alternative. The view out of a gyro is far better than out of a 172 , which have been used for short trips by many people for many years.

Roger

P.S. Tthanks Dave for the WingX Pro tip. I am going to check it out
 

StanFoster

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Vance.....I would pick you as an example to follow for getting the max out of life...You sir are collecting rocking chair memories , and that has been my mode of operation for years.
I am immersed in stair projects that I I wish would never end, so as long as I am healthy, I am creating as many rocking chair memories as I can.
 

Vance

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Thank you Stan! I love you and miss you my friend.
 

EdResnick

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Helicopters more efficient? Are you kidding? The Robinson R-22 is one of the most efficient helicopters since it uses a piston engine and it burns 9.5 gph to cruise at 96 knots indicated (10 mpg in statute miles). My gyro burns 5 gph to cruise at 80-85 knots indicated (16-17 mpg).
 

fara

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EdResnick;n1130873 said:
Helicopters more efficient? Are you kidding? The Robinson R-22 is one of the most efficient helicopters since it uses a piston engine and it burns 9.5 gph to cruise at 96 knots indicated (10 mpg in statute miles). My gyro burns 5 gph to cruise at 80-85 knots indicated (16-17 mpg).
At $310,000 new basic configuration price point
 
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