Gyros with floats, what are your thoughts and experiences?

Capt'n Gator

Junior Member
I recently bought some very nice waterfront property here in North Carolina, 346 spring drive Aurora NC for anyone that would like to Google it on maps. I have been thinking how nice it would be to have a gyro with floats tied up to my boat dock, but some folks in the gyro community don't like the idea of gyros with floats..... I would like to hear some opinions, thoughts, experiences. I am currently looking at the DTA Jro with floats, nice looking craft and great visibility. Don't be shy.....
 

ventana7

Gold Member
There are a number of forum members who fly on floats. Looks like a blast. I would suggest you go to Browns or one of the other FW sea plane training schools in Florida, even if you are not a FW pilot. I got my seaplane add on to my private rating in just a few hours over a long weekend. What you learn would apply to gyros as well.

Rob Dubin
 

Capt'n Gator

Junior Member
Wow, quite a bit of forest. Nice-looking lot !!
Brian
10 acres, about half in pines, nice privacy. The couple we bought it from had built up the home site, brought in county water and underground electric, had put in the septic tank and drain field and installed a seawall and a very nice boat dock and than decided not to build. We bought it after they had it on the market for 1 1/2 years. We have installed an electric boat lift for my 20 foot center console fishing boat and now I want a gyro on floats. As you can see there is a lot of great water around that area and the Outer Banks are a 35-40 minute flight. This will be where we build our retirement home in four years. Finally Living The Dream
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
One reason you might read negative comments on other threads is that floats offer the possibility of unhelpful added surface area below the c.g., enhancing risk of roll/yaw coupling (adverse roll with yaw), or perhaps also courting with drag-over. I have not investigated the model you have in mind, so I will reserve judgment on your particulars, but in general the idea makes me uncomfortable (and I have a commercial seaplane rating and significant experience with the Robinson Mariner models).
 

fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
In short, its taking a good gyroplane and making it into a Mac truck that can float on water.
But I understand the attraction. I worked on Searey amphib airplane for 2 years and calculated water loads, made them 80 pounds lighter, certified them and setup their production. You just have to be willing to accept the compromises in maneuverability and performance in exchange for being able to takeoff and land on water which is a different kind of fun.
Did you fly trikes before by any chance?
Abid
 
I've owned an ultralight, a Cessna and now a gyroplane. I love the gyro for fun flying. I can't forget the time I flew an open air Drifter on floats on Lake Seminole in Florida. Still the most fun I have ever had flying, I can't help but think that the best of all would be to combine the gyro and floats.
 

PW_Plack

Active Member
One reason you might read negative comments on other threads is that floats offer the possibility of unhelpful added surface area below the c.g., enhancing risk of roll/yaw coupling (adverse roll with yaw), or perhaps also courting with drag-over.
If the floats are well-designed for aerodynamics, power-pitch coupling could be the bigger issue. If I recall correctly, the Full Lotus floats Sport Copter demonstrated on its single-seat Vortex weighed about 100 pounds with mounting hardware, and most of that is way below the propeller thrust line. That's a pretty drastic change on a machine that weighed 440 pounds before the floats. It might be less problematic on a two-place machine, especially a tandem, but the math needs to be done.

If you plan to use the prerotator on the water, you'll also need a water rudder slaved to the regular rudder, and have some forward speed to give that water rudder authority before you start to spin up. Otherwise the machine will spin the opposite direction.
 

Capt'n Gator

Junior Member
In short, its taking a good gyroplane and making it into a Mac truck that can float on water.
But I understand the attraction. I worked on Searey amphib airplane for 2 years and calculated water loads, made them 80 pounds lighter, certified them and setup their production. You just have to be willing to accept the compromises in maneuverability and performance in exchange for being able to takeoff and land on water which is a different kind of fun.
Did you fly trikes before by any chance?
Abid
Hi Abid, no never flew trikes, but certainly love your AR-1, have you looked at floats for the AR-1?
 

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
Do whatcha want, but I think you would be better off doing a ultralight type airplane on floats rather than a gyro. A gyro can be flown with floats.... it is not impossible. But you take away all the fun factor of a gyro doing so, because you have to keep it straight as a arrow and no horsing around as you fly.
 

GyroRon

Former Gyro know it all
that place isn't far from Jonathan Weis. Maybe you keep your gyro where he keeps his, and get a UL plane on floats to buzz around the sound in. That area has a ton of military activity too from what I hear
 

loftus

Active Member
Contact Victor Agadzi, he lives in the Florida panhandle and can give you all the scoop on flying a gyro on floats. He lives on the water and flies an MTO on floats and has done numerous mods over the years, mostly to the power plant upgrading to about 150HP. I recommend contacting him through Facebook. My impression watching his videos is that you need quite a bit of water for takeoff, which you appear to have. I sold my gyro to build an amphibious Aircam, completely love it, but miss the gyro when it's really blowing out. 1144960
 
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fara

AR-1 gyro manufacturer
Hi Abid, no never flew trikes, but certainly love your AR-1, have you looked at floats for the AR-1?
We did just as an exercise of what if because till there is a real customer with real money and commitment, its not worth spending precious resources or time on. From what I know AutoGyro has Nautic version with Full Lotus floats (not amphib). Victor Agadzi flies a MTO with I believe Puddle Jumper floats. Full Lotus do not like completely calm water. They need a slight chop. I worked on Searey and American Legend SuperCub floats (design and testing). I still have the plug sitting around here for them but they are rated for 1800 pounds. Puddle Jumpers would be good. People get fancy with materials in floats and use carbon fiber and Kevlar. Kevlar floats will get heavier and heavier over time. Its hydroscopic. Carbon not that great for salty water. Stick with fiberglass. Of course, American Legend uses both carbon and Kevlar. Didn't listen but paid me. Full Lotus have molded rubber and plastic. Very draggy. You need tons of HP. 915iS ($39000 engine). Also VNe needs to be lowered and no slips (real aggressive slips are useless in a gyroplane anyway). Stick with tandem and open cockpit for float application. Tail in this configuration of gyroplanes simply isn't far enough back
 
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