Pontoons on a Gyroplane ?

neilw

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I remember 50 or more years ago seeing Bensen Coptors advertised in Magazines like popular mechanics etc, I think he offered plans to build pontoons for them too, but maybe wrong on this.
Are there any Gyros flying with pontoons?
 

scott heger

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If you want to ruin any good single seat gyroplane, just put pontoons on it. It can be done, but you will cause almost every flight envelope(power/speed/turning/stability) to become very small along with additional maintenance. You don't see them equipped like that for a very good reason(s).

Scott Heger, Laguna Niguel,Ca N86SH
 

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
here's a photo of "Floaters" from Sebring FL
 

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SportCopter

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I remember 50 or more years ago seeing Bensen Coptors advertised in Magazines like popular mechanics etc, I think he offered plans to build pontoons for them too, but maybe wrong on this.
Are there any Gyros flying with pontoons?
Floats have been adapted to our Vortex model before.
 

Fly Army

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I have many fixed wing hours operating both float and hull type seaplanes. It is an enormously fun endeavour. However the hit that you take in so many areas when adapting them to rotary wing aircraft just makes me believe it isn't worth the trade-off/trouble.
 
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Are you planning on putting pontoon on a gyroplane? Because I think it wouldn’t be a good idea. I think the pontoons would be too heavy for an autogyro. However, there are floatplanes if you want an aircraft that has pontoons on it. Maybe you could just use that instead of possibly ruining your autogyro by putting pontoons on it.
 

SandL

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An MTO with floats flew into Bensen days 2013 (and maybe since) it's a lot of weight low down and some big surace areas
 

phantom

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It's not hard to make a gyro safe on floats but it's best to put it on floats and leave it there and have another one for wheels, it takes a lot more power and a bigger rotor, you can put the additional tail feathers on the floats if you have a short machine like a bensen, the bensen on floats that you saw photos is not a safe craft.
Norm
 

Texasautogyro

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This is a picture of Victors gyro on floats. He is in Pensicola Florida. He modified a 914 with big bore to aid in it's ability to take two people. I did his flight review last summer. We flew it down the Florida coast.
 

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WaspAir

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Some additional thoughts about water operations:

1) salt water ruins all sorts of things with corrosion, and it gets everywhere and into everything, so it's best to stay in fresh water if you can
2) rough water is a very dangerous situation, period. Winds that are easy to handle on land can whip up waves that you don't want to cope with on water
3) extremely smooth ("glassy") water can be just as bad, because it is hard to judge height above it and landings can be risky
4) take-off distances can't match wheels on pavement, because of water drag
5) slightly submerged but hard to see obstacles can ruin your whole day
6) it is common to find other forms of traffic on suitable waterways (jetskis, boats, etc.) that you don't have to deal with at airports

Because of these and other factors, utility likely won't be what one might hope, and the conditions required for safe operation are a narrower set than one might like . It could be fun and a nice novelty, but one shouldn't expect to get a go-anywhere capable craft by putting floats on a gyro.
 

gyroplanes

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I have an very early issue of the EAA magazine, back in the day when there were many photos of the "World's most popular homebuilt, the Bensen Gyrocopter" in every issue. In the issue I have there are 6-7 gyros pictured, all but one are on floats.

Best one I ever heard was a guy putting a 447 air Command on Hobie cat pontoons. The gyro barely got airborne, but only for seconds. He drove it around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin without the rotors for fun. (until his wife tried it and hit a fishing small boat).
 
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