Flying my Xenon Gyroplane in the Colorado Rockies

ventana7

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Rob, I'm 67 and still looking for a few more adventures. It may be crossing the country on a bike or trike, or perhaps doing something like what you accomplished. Great story, and thanks for taking the time to document it!

I'm just beginning looking into gyro's. I'm thinking open air, quick build like an AR-1, MTO, or Magni. If you had to choose today, any thoughts? Thanks!
I would fly them all and see what you think. I prefer an enclosed side by side, even though 90 % of the time I’m solo. But the biggest thing for me is how the stick feels, The Xenon/Tercel is fingertip pressure, Magni and MTO, require much more stick force.


Good advice from Dave above. I’ve never had any trouble finding an A&P. I cruise about 95-98 mph.

Rob
 
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alanbarker

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Alan,

They are all good and have their differences. Highly recommending going with gyro where you can get training, build assist and support. Figure out what you want to do with it. If cross country then pick one with good cruise speed such as the tandems instead of side by side. If you are on the east coast the AR-1 is manufactured right here in the US, and you can do the build and get training right in Florida. Other manufactures are over seas except for Sportcopter. Magni makes a great gyro too. I think it’s safer to do training on the same model of gyro you expect to fly so another reason for AR-1. The Magni M22 would be my second pick for open gyros that can cruise around 100mph.

Not all mechanics are willing to work on gyros so need to find someone near you to sign off on condition inspections if your not listed as the builder. I had a hard time finding someone in the MA area that would sign off on condition inspection so had local Rotax service center do the annual maintenance on the 912 engine then I did check list with local A&P. Most A&Ps have no knowledge of gyros or rotor systems unless you go with helo mechanic.

If you buy used make sure you inspected it since not all builders have same skill levels especially when it comes to wiring radios and other avionics! Highly recommend aviation grade wire too.

Dave
Hi Dave, thanks for your advice! I hope to see an AR-1 soon. I saw both the Magni and Autogyro birds at Oshkosh.

Another question for you: Autogyro now has 3 certified gyros in the US, and the Magni folks said that they are also pursuing this. Any thoughts?
From my perspective, avionics and motor would both be more expensive, as well as the annual. On the plus side, I would think insurance and resale would be much better. Thanks!
 

alanbarker

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I would fly them all and see what you think. I prefer an enclosed side by side, even though 90 % of the time I’m solo. But the biggest thing for me is how the stick feels, The Xenon/Tercel is fingertip pressure, Magni and MTO, require much more stick force.


Good advice from Dave above. I’ve never had any trouble finding an A&P. I cruise about 95-98 mph.

Rob
Looks like I'm going to be hanging around airports and washing gyros for rides!!! I asked Dave about this: Autogyro now has 3 certified gyros in the US, and the Magni folks said that they are also pursuing this. Any thoughts?
From my perspective, avionics and motor would both be more expensive, as well as the annual. On the plus side, I would think insurance and resale would be much better. Thanks!
 

WaspAir

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Nobody seems to be pursuing full-on Standard Airworthiness for gyros these days. However, Primary Category certification makes the possibility of rental and instruction without a LODA a draw for some operators. I haven't seen any data yet (and doubt that there is much data to been seen at this point) regarding insurance rates, maintenance costs, or resale value.
 

ventana7

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Looks like I'm going to be hanging around airports and washing gyros for rides!!! I asked Dave about this: Autogyro now has 3 certified gyros in the US, and the Magni folks said that they are also pursuing this. Any thoughts?
From my perspective, avionics and motor would both be more expensive, as well as the annual. On the plus side, I would think insurance and resale would be much better. Thanks!
My guess is the goal is getting S-LSA gyros written into the LSA regs which are currently being rewritten. I was part of the ASTM committee long ago but am way out of the loop now. Getting approval for SLSA gyros would allow factory built gyros to be sold. There are a lot of people who want to fly gyros, but have zero interest in building one.

Rob
 

alanbarker

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My guess is the goal is getting S-LSA gyros written into the LSA regs which are currently being rewritten. I was part of the ASTM committee long ago but am way out of the loop now. Getting approval for SLSA gyros would allow factory built gyros to be sold. There are a lot of people who want to fly gyros, but have zero interest in building one.

Rob
Makes sense. Keeping things in the experimental category also makes a lot of sense, and keeps the cost down. Now, how do I convince the wife I need to fly to Milan and build a Magni?!
 

DavePA11

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I too felt the Magni had a heavier feel on the stick than MTO and AR-1. I have never flown in a Xenon or Tercel, but would love too someday. Are those for sale in the US now Rob? The single seat Sportcopter M912 was most nimble gyro I have flown. If you get an opportunity to fly different ones definitely take advantage of it. It’s hard to tell how they fly as a passenger so try to go with instructor.

Insurance is very expensive for gyros and I never found anyone to insure my Sportcopter so I didn’t have any. Insurance is much more reasonable on fixed wing planes.

BTW, some gyro manufactures will require you and spouse to sign liability waivers before they will sell you a gyro or parts so make sure this is okay with your wife. I picked up my gyro used and didn’t really tell my wife about it until I had flown a few months with it. I couldn’t buy replacement parts until I figured out how to tell my wife, and even harder to get her to sign the waiver since the first paragraph states you will eventually die flying the gyro or something like that. Took months to convince her I wasn’t going to die flying it. I don’t think all the manufactures require this though?

Used ones come on the market all the time, and can save a bunch of money than buying new. There is a nice Calidus for sale on Barnstormers. That would be fun to fly. Oh yeah, like Rob said. Some pilots prefer building to flying and others prefer flying rather than building. I like both, but honestly much prefer to be in the air than on the ground. Nothing better than climbing in single seat gyro in the open up to 5000 feet above the ground and go idle and glide or spiral down. It’s so quiet. I didn’t like going higher than that. Had to tighten my seat belt. Ha..
 
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alanbarker

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I too felt the Magni had a heavier feel on the stick than MTO and AR-1. I have never flown in a Xenon or Tercel, but would love too someday. Are those for sale in the US now Rob? The single seat Sportcopter M912 was most nimble gyro I have flown. If you get an opportunity to fly different ones definitely take advantage of it. It’s hard to tell how they fly as a passenger so try to go with instructor.

Insurance is very expensive for gyros and I never found anyone to insure my Sportcopter so I didn’t have any. Insurance is much more reasonable on fixed wing planes.

BTW, some gyro manufactures will require you and spouse to sign liability waivers before they will sell you a gyro or parts so make sure this is okay with your wife. I picked up my gyro used and didn’t really tell my wife about it until I had flown a few months with it. I couldn’t buy replacement parts until I figured out how to tell my wife, and even harder to get her to sign the waiver since the first paragraph states you will eventually die flying the gyro or something like that. Took months to convince her I wasn’t going to die flying it. I don’t think all the manufactures require this though?

Used ones come on the market all the time, and can save a bunch of money than buying new. There is a nice Calidus for sale on Barnstormers. That would be fun to fly. Oh yeah, like Rob said. Some pilots prefer building to flying and others prefer flying rather than building. I like both, but honestly much prefer to be in the air than on the ground. Nothing better than climbing in single seat gyro in the open up to 5000 feet above the ground and go idle and glide or spiral down. It’s so quiet. I didn’t like going higher than that. Had to tighten my seat belt. Ha..
Thanks. Definitely will fly different birds before deciding. Good news for the wife - my life insurance covers flying!
 

ventana7

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I too felt the Magni had a heavier feel on the stick than MTO and AR-1. I have never flown in a Xenon or Tercel, but would love too someday. Are those for sale in the US now Rob? The single seat Sportcopter M912 was most nimble gyro I have flown. If you get an opportunity to fly different ones definitely take advantage of it. It’s hard to tell how they fly as a passenger so try to go with instructor.
I found the difference between feel of Magni and MTO as slight. The difference between those two and Xenon/Tercel is huge.

Some one is supposed to be offering them in the US very soon. He is actually sourcing the same components as Tercel and giving it a new name.


Rob
 
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