Best "First" Gyro?

wfcentral

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this is not a serious / I'm going to buy tomorrow / kind of post... it's more a day-dreaming first post to the forum trying to find out what to set my sites on (even if they are years away).

My question is this. I really like the two seat side by side gyros.

I have never even flown in a gyro though. I have a fixed wing PPL with only about 120 hours.

I would like to get into gyros in the future, but not sure if I should start with a single seat cheap model to develop skills or save my money and hold off for a two seater. Ultimately, I would want to be able to take my wife with me on adventures or going to see the kids (we're 50). But, the price point puts it way out there (I could be saving for 10-15 years).

Also - I thought about what happens if you start flying gyros and then quit. I would rather have a $10k "bad decision" I'm trying to sell VS a $60K "bad decision"

So, the question is - what was YOUR first gyro?

why did you pick that one?

was it a good choice?
 

Vance

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My first gyroplane was The Predator.

My first gyroplane was The Predator.

I was on my way to buy a single place when I stopped, took a flight in and purchased The Predator.

I have put 1,360 hours on her and she has served me well through learning, short hops, long cross countries and air shows.

Solo was easier because I had six hours of dual in her when the instructor stepped out and we put 100 pounds of lead in the back seat. There was noticeably better performance but the way she flew didn’t change much. I suspect I could sell her for more than I paid for her eight years ago.

I like sharing the fun of a gyroplane with friends so the two seater is nice.

I am now using her to train pilots new to gyroplanes.

I have a little less than 400 hours in a Cavalon (side by side) and I like it a lot. My wife liked the civility of a Cavalon a lot. They appear to hold their value well.
 

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Stan V

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My first Gyro was an early RAF with an EA82 Subaru. A few months later I bought a newer RAF with the 2.2L engine. A couple years later I bought a KB3, but never flew it. At this point in time I'd like an open single place, but I'd want to keep my 2 place too. Like Vance , I really like the Cavalon, I'm just not willing to have that kind of $$$$ invested.
 

wfcentral

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I think the other thing I have to consider is that there is a much greater chance of my wife flying WITH me if I have a two seat enclosed (xenon, cavalon, etc).

I doubt very seriously she would get in an open cockpit gyro.

I have not flown airplanes in over a year (taking a break due to time/money). When I did fly my wife would only go with me if I was GOING some place she wanted to go - to see family or some place cool. She doesn't really have any interest in going up just to punch circles in the sky.

As such - I kinda look at either

a. get a cheap single seat and just play around for myself
b. get an enclosed high dollar gyro to have fun + take wife and travel places
 

Gyro28866

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Hello Robert:
Welcome to the forum:
I too started in in the fixed wing world; and hold a PPSEL rating. Took a ride and an hour of instruction and have been hooked ever since!
My own personal thoughts, is a single place machine and build a few hundred hours before you step into a two place machine. That completely eliminates the chance of a second soul being with you. The desire to share our experience with another person is a very strong one. Point is!
Get some quality transitional training and learn how to fly the gyro; become very very proficient in managing the energy in a rotor system and flying the machine.
You will have a better grasp on what type of flying and what type of machine will best fit your desires.
Go enjoy!
My transitional training was in an Air Command, and a SxS Dominator. My first gyro was a Mac powered Bensen B8.
I have a 90hp Mac powered Bensen B7 and a 100hp Hirth powered Tandem Dominator.
I have a blast with both machines and enjoy both for similar and different reasons.
I have a Youtube Channel setup and have been uploading videos from Bensen Days
Here is a link to my channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/gyro28866
 

wfcentral

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I have a Youtube Channel setup and have been uploading videos from Bensen Days
Here is a link to my channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/gyro28866
I watched some of your videos. Pretty awesome. I have done a lot of research and understand the concept of gyroplanes - however, I think if my wife saw your two seater she would never let me near it. To her it would look like I had lost my mind - sitting on a seat made out of a gas take with an inverted lawn mower blade over my head - HA HA
 

RICK MARTIN

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Robert,

I'm one of those guys that feel you should start with a light weight single place and build at least 100 hours before buying a two place and taking a passenger.

So if you're determined to start with a two place, I wish you luck but I can't help you.

Most of the guys I fly with will preach these principles to the new guy:

1. Buy an ugly, cheap, but well tested light weight single to start with. If you do ball it up, you're only out 8K to 10K, not 30K to 100K. And if you do progress to a two place, it was not money wasted because you can always pass it on to the next new guy. Two other advantages to this method are:
a. You will get to experience the thrill of what a gyro can really do. Guys who only ever fly heavy machines will never know what they are missing.
b. I believe you will be much more "in touch with the machine" in a light weight gyro. When you are starting out and developing those invaluable instincts from all the sensory input, I believe you can "feel" everything better in a light machine.

2. Try to get a lower powered machine with the seat a little lower, but which also has good stability characteristics. The two machines that come to mind are a Gyrobee (I saw one for sale a couple of days ago on this forum) or a low rider Air command which has some modifications for added stability.

It is hard to convince some people that flying in a totally open machine is safe (which it is). But the awesome reward is an enhanced flying experience.

I hope this helps. Call anytime 941 812-7182
 
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There are no cheap gyros, and you'll build up skills by training. You'll train in a two-seater obviously and that will teach you how to fly it. Just do dual instruction until you are competent and confident. In my opinion, if you are nervous then you have had inadequate instruction.
 

M._Springer

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Rick Re post # 7,

Rick Re post # 7,

Excellent advice and comments #'s a and b, so true !
Marion
 

PW_Plack

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Also - I thought about what happens if you start flying gyros and then quit. I would rather have a $10k "bad decision" I'm trying to sell VS a $60K "bad decision..."
Don't even think about plunking down the cash till you've flown in a sampling of open and enclosed gyros. That opportunity is available at any of the major gyro fly-ins, and since you'll usually be with a flight instructor, you can often log the time.
 

loftus

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Don't even think about plunking down the cash till you've flown in a sampling of open and enclosed gyros. That opportunity is available at any of the major gyro fly-ins, and since you'll usually be with a flight instructor, you can often log the time.
I agree completely with this. Obviously there are different perspectives on whether you should start with single open low cost machines versus a semi-factory built kit like Magni or Autogyro or an AR. I am one of those that would not be flying a gyro if it were not for my exposure to these factory type machines. I now have about 225 hours on an MTO. I am not a home builder/tinkerer/experimenter type like Rick Martin and the other guys. So it's also important to think about where you fit with regard to building and maintaining etc. As it happens I credit Rick with introducing me to gyros by inviting me to Wauchula, and my first ride was in Dave Seaces Dominator; but when I flew with Des Butts at Bensen Days a few weeks later in an MTO, the decision for me was a no brainer. Each to his own.
 

GyroRon

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your probably best off to shelf the two seater idea for a while....

You should first try to plan to attend a major gyro event and get some seat time in a few different models to show you if you (1) even want to pursue gyros at all, and (2) to get a idea of what gyros are really like and to see touch and experience the gyro " lifestyle "

Then next step is planning out and getting training. You will find that is a major hurdle on its own.

Once you get your training going, my advise is to find a single seat gyro, something like a Gyrobee, Dominator, Aircommand, sportcopter, etc.... Something solid and safe and affordable, and get you gyro flying career started in one of those. If you ever have the need to fly the wife or a friend around, you still have your plane rating and can easily and affordably rent a Cessna or Piper to get that extra seat or two.

If after all that, you've gotten training, you have bought and flown a single seat for a while, and you still really like gyros and want a two seater, By then you will know what you really want and what is a good one or bad one, which one will hold its value and which one will be a roll of the dice etc...
 

loftus

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your probably best off to shelf the two seater idea for a while....
I wouldn't shelve anything. Do you your research, get rides in all of them, see what fits for you personally and financially and of course your wife, if she wants to fly at all. Mine does not. All aircraft are a roll of the dice financially, so of course the ultimate major factor becomes a financial one and what you can afford, but if the more expensive aircraft really fits your needs better, and you can afford it, then it's still more cost effective than blowing money and time on an aircraft that does not, even if it is cheaper.
 
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Steve_UK

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Agree go see gyros, go get some flights before commiting.

The majority of the CFI's in the USA have now transitioned to modern tandem gyros for basic training ( think MTOsport, M16 etc etc ) - if your training goes well and you fancy a similar machine ( ie MTOsport or M16 etc etc ) then your transition training is a lot simpler as you know the type already.

Or learn on an old two seat trainer, transition ( with a degree of trepidation ) to an old single seat design before in due course ending up buying the modern two seater your wife wants.............

Plan A sounds a more straight forward path.
 

wfcentral

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Robert,

I'm one of those guys that feel you should start with a light weight single place and build at least 100 hours before buying a two place and taking a passenger.

So if you're determined to start with a two place, I wish you luck but I can't help you.
I totally agree with the starting in a single idea. All I was saying in the previous reply is that if I did this... and the time came to upgrade to a 2 seater I would probably have to look at something more conventional looking or my wife would never step foot in it.
 

Steve_UK

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I'm not a pilot but have been lucky enough to fly in Mi-24 Hind, Mi-2, Mi-17, Lynx HAS3, Gliders, GA
or upgrade to a three seater..........
 

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Steve_UK

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or upgrade to a six seater ...................
 

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chrisk

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I really want to see the 6 seat gyro flying. --Something better than a test flight where it actually breaks ground effect.
 

Gyro28866

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It appears the closest PRA Chapter is in Anahauc Texas, about 400 miles for you. They are a very active Chapter; and an Instructor is available in the area. The National PRA fly-in in Mentone Indiana is July 19-23 2016. You can check it out at "www.PRA.org".
I will be there, and if (1) you don't weigh more than 200ish (2) I will give you a ride in the rear seat of the Dominator! Catching a ride can be a long waiting challenge at the fly-ins. Or if you come through middle Tennessee, I will give you a ride at my home base. Dickson, Tn (M02) mike-zero-two. I am 40 miles west of Nashville. You have a standing offer.
The same goes for your wife!
 
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