Prospective Cavalon Owner and Career Helicopter Pilot Needs Advice on Buying/Options

ventana7

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Any for sale Rob?
None I'm aware of but the ones I imported in 2008 were 2nd generation and there have been improvements since then. None of the improvements are earth shattering and the 2008 machines are awesome but if I were buying new I'd look at Alvaro's offerings. I've flown almost all the auto-gyro, Magni and ELA versions on the market and I definitely prefer the Xenon derivatives.

Rob
 

Greg Vos

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None I'm aware of but the ones I imported in 2008 were 2nd generation and there have been improvements since then. None of the improvements are earth shattering and the 2008 machines are awesome but if I were buying new I'd look at Alvaro's offerings. I've flown almost all the auto-gyro, Magni and ELA versions on the market and I definitely prefer the Xenon derivatives.

Rob
Rob you and I are poles apart with our political views ....but with this thread we are so aligned ....I too have flown I think every commercialy available Gyro (except Pal V) and yes the Xenon is awesome.... the new AG 915 from Alvaro would be my first choice that extra Hp makes it dance and it will outclimb a Robbie two up full fuel 👍
 

fara

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Rob you and I are poles apart with our political views ....but with this thread we are so aligned ....I too have flown I think every commercialy available Gyro (except Pal V) and yes the Xenon is awesome.... the new AG 915 from Alvaro would be my first choice that extra Hp makes it dance and it will outclimb a Robbie two up full fuel 👍

Have you ever flown an AG915 yet? I flew both the Tercel (the supposed 135 HP Rotax conversion which definitely is NOT 135 HP IMO) and the first AG 915 which basically was an ARGON 915. Now I think they have switched suppliers and AG 915 I flew less than a year ago is not the same as this one which is supplied by MBL with other body molds. There is Tercel, Xenon, Argon 915 (which used to be AG 915 but not now) and the new AG915
 

ventana7

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I have not flown the new Xenon derivative versions but I do like all the improvements which address minor issues of my gen2 machine. People seem to know that years ago I was the Xenon importer and also flew a gyro around the US so I frequently get asked for my opinion on what to buy. I have no vested interest in any company nor a CFIs preference for which machine they like to teach in so am totally unbiased. My current recommendations are that people at least try an American Ranger and an AG15 and not just focus on Autogyro or Magni neither of which I like to fly myself.

Rob
 

fara

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I have not flown the new Xenon derivative versions but I do like all the improvements which address minor issues of my gen2 machine. People seem to know that years ago I was the Xenon importer and also flew a gyro around the US so I frequently get asked for my opinion on what to buy. I have no vested interest in any company nor a CFIs preference for which machine they like to teach in so am totally unbiased. My current recommendations are that people at least try an American Ranger and an AG15 and not just focus on Autogyro or Magni neither of which I like to fly myself.

Rob


I would be interested in you flying an AG915 and comparing it to your Xenon if you ever get a chance to come to Florida, I can arrange a flight in one here.
 

Greg Vos

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I had a look at silverlight web site, no evidence yet of a enclosed side by side machine? I have no doubt that when they start to make or produce one it will be a great machine, so as we stand now xenon , AG 915 or add any name you like to the MLB offering is still the best option for size and use as a working tool, offering at least some packing space and cabin comfort with the most unobstructed view, it’s hard to say what is the best gyro, one needs to look at what the owner or pilot wishes to achieve with it.
For pure fun in kind Wx and you just want to hoon then IMO you can’t go wrong with the M16, I have thrown the M16 around so hard I have seen Rrpm of over 525 so it’s a robust machine, I have thrown the Xenon around and despite its size it’s agile but it’s not an M16 as for Auto Gyro MTO I have hooned with it but it’s never made me feel comfortable, with my opinion it’s soft?

An older Xenon is available here for say 30000USD and with some cosmetic work can be made into a nice unit, I would mod the doors to open like the new one as an example.
Comparing the Tandem machines I have flown the DTA is by far the best for view from front or rear seat but it has to still prove itself with a number of fiddly additions that restrict prerotator and latches and stuff as for its longevity well time will tell?

I have not flown the Ranger simply because we don’t have any here but it looks like a robust well built machine, but it’s a tandem and they have restrictions if one wants to use it as an observation platform.
 

fara

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I have not flown the Ranger simply because we don’t have any here but it looks like a robust well built machine, but it’s a tandem and they have restrictions if one wants to use it as an observation platform.

Wait. What?

A side by side is better "observation platform" than a tandem.
How does that compute? Never have I ever felt that. In a side by side you are completely blocked for about 60-70 degrees of one side view.
I flew 2 or 3 hours with Alvaro in the Tercel and one hour in the AG915. Yes they are roomy. May be too roomy because for me in the 150 pound range, I don't need that much room. But I did not think it was a better viewing platform of observation. Definitely I can see more from front seat or even back seat of a tandem open gyroplane.

Having said all that, that is not people who are buying side by side gyroplanes are looking for anyway. None of them are using gyroplanes as an observation platform. I think the dream of piloted gyroplanes being used as observation platforms professionally in the US market is just a dream and its not going to easily change nor has it changed with all the tries of AutoGyro etc. No professional pilot wants his experience in gyroplanes here n any government entity. They all want to fly helicopters or airplanes because after government retirement they can get a private sector job for great $$$. So obviously they hesitate to recommend gyroplanes for government agencies.

I was involved in bidding for a 6 gyroplane contract through a college in North Carolina for Dept. Of Justice 1 million $ grant to send gyroplanes to Kenya. We, AutoGyro and Magni were involved. It was the biggest joke I have ever seen. Complete third world style process. It was obvious to me and Magni that AutoGyro was already selected and we were just fill ins for bidding process. Eventually MTO Sport was sent to Kenya, not Cavalon that was first offered by AutoGyro in the bid and demo. At least there was some sense in that they realized Cavalon or Magni M24 were not the best observation platforms for watching poachers in Kenya where they actually have had poachers shoot bullets at the aircraft so every advantage they can get in seeing all around is actually extremely important.
 
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Tyger

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For pure fun in kind Wx and you just want to hoon then IMO you can’t go wrong with the M16, I have thrown the M16 around so hard I have seen Rrpm of over 525 so it’s a robust machine, I have thrown the Xenon around and despite its size it’s agile but it’s not an M16 as for Auto Gyro MTO I have hooned with it but it’s never made me feel comfortable, with my opinion it’s soft?
"Hoon"... I think I just learned a new verb. I'll add it to "haver". :giggle:
 

Greg Vos

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What does hooned mean?
When you drive an American muscle car it’s what we do ....we hoon....Google Ken Block Mustang Hoon 🍺 I drive a 700 Hp Aston Martin as well and well to be honest the British cars cannot hoon like the American muscle I also drive a Mclaren and despite its power it also does not Hoon ...I love my my American mustang it’s cheap fun and the new 10 speed is a fukin hoot
 

ventana7

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When you drive an American muscle car it’s what we do ....we hoon....Google Ken Block Mustang Hoon 🍺 I drive a 700 Hp Aston Martin as well and well to be honest the British cars cannot hoon like the American muscle I also drive a Mclaren and despite its power it also does not Hoon ...I love my my American mustang it’s cheap fun and the new 10 speed is a fukin hoot
The Aussies also use the word "hoon" but it usually has a negative connotation. Those kids are a bunch of hoons. Sort of like the word we used to use in high school in the US -"hoods." Kids who were troublemakers.
 

Greg Vos

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Wait. What?

A side by side is better "observation platform" than a tandem.
How does that compute? Never have I ever felt that. In a side by side you are completely blocked for about 60-70 degrees of one side view.
I flew 2 or 3 hours with Alvaro in the Tercel and one hour in the AG915. Yes they are roomy. May be too roomy because for me in the 150 pound range, I don't need that much room. But I did not think it was a better viewing platform of observation. Definitely I can see more from front seat or even back seat of a tandem open gyroplane.

Having said all that, that is not people who are buying side by side gyroplanes are looking for anyway. None of them are using gyroplanes as an observation platform. I think the dream of piloted gyroplanes being used as observation platforms professionally in the US market is just a dream and its not going to easily change nor has it changed with all the tries of AutoGyro etc. No professional pilot wants his experience in gyroplanes here n any government entity. They all want to fly helicopters or airplanes because after government retirement they can get a private sector job for great $$$. So obviously they hesitate to recommend gyroplanes for government agencies.

I was involved in bidding for a 6 gyroplane contract through a college in North Carolina for Dept. Of Justice 1 million $ grant to send gyroplanes to Kenya. We, AutoGyro and Magni were involved. It was the biggest joke I have ever seen. Complete third world style process. It was obvious to me and Magni that AutoGyro was already selected and we were just fill ins for bidding process. Eventually MTO Sport was sent to Kenya, not Cavalon that was first offered by AutoGyro in the bid and demo. At least there was some sense in that they realized Cavalon or Magni M24 were not the best observation platforms for watching poachers in Kenya where they actually have had poachers shoot bullets at the aircraft so every advantage they can get in seeing all around is actually extremely important.
With respect side by side offers the observer a better pilot interaction than any tandem .. go Google some of my demonstrations I have done for law enforcement recently with side by side, they would never consider a tandem let alone a open tandem, while I respect it’s not your market or offering I’m comparing it to a heli head on and yes in case your interested I have 1500 + Pic hours in open tandem ...so I’m not making a one sided biased comment ...when doing aerial search the AG 915 or xenon offers a through the feet view no tandem can offer ... I say this cos I have flown every single one except yours or the Pal V 😉 but we can agree to disagree ... I will never purchase an open tandem again ever having also owned one of the best if not the best Tandem gyros ever built the M16

in SA right now we have a few very interested government agencies looking at gyro and the tandem is not even a consideration
 

Greg Vos

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The Aussies also use the word "hoon" but it usually has a negative connotation. Those kids are a bunch of hoons. Sort of like the word we used to use in high school in the US -"hoods." Kids who were troublemakers.
Google Hoonigan it’s an American word .... but it’s for us big time petrol heads who go through a set of 305/ 20/’s in an afternoon ...we don’t find to many old bullets who drive prius or muck about with how far they can go on a gallon in our pub🍺... until you have drifted a 500+ Hp car we don’t expect you to understand 😁 god I can’t wait for my C8 vette to arrive 🍾🍾🍾
 

Greg Vos

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The Aussies also use the word "hoon" but it usually has a negative connotation. Those kids are a bunch of hoons. Sort of like the word we used to use in high school in the US -"hoods." Kids who were troublemakers.
Hoonigan garage based in Utah 😁🤔🤔 .... and you guys aint ever heard of it ....Ken is my hero Google his canyon drifting Mustang tubes and see why he earns 35 Million per year....but take a Valium not sure you older guys can stomach this type of driving ...it Sure as hell ain’t no Tesla 🤣🤣
 

ventana7

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Can you elaborate, please, what exactly don't you like like about flying them?
I find all the Auto-gyro products and Magnis fly similarly. The machines are very stable and the stick is pretty hard to move - takes quite a bit of arm strength. Awhile ago I flew both a Cavalon and Calidus - in both the stick was moving back and forth quite strongly about 5-6". Both owner/CFIs told me that was normal for their machines. After 1.5 hours of flying my arm was exhausted. (I was doing a BFR so pretty much constant maneuvering). It felt like I had to grip very tightly with my full hand and my arm was constantly getting yanked back and forth 5-6".

For comparison in my Xenon with hands off- the stick it moves in about a 1" oscillation. I can fly my Xenon with slight fingertip pressure, just lightly holding the stick between my thumb and forefinger with the rest of my arm barely moving. I can do a 70 degree bank turn and return to level with only minor movements and hand pressure- the AG or Magnis require much more effort for the same result.

I recently posted a video flying my Xenon hands off and the video was about 30 seconds long- in truth that is probably near the limit of time I can fly it hands off before it would need a nudge one way or the other. My previous Xenon was more stable but I don't know why or how to get this one as stable. My guess is that the Auto-Gyro or Magni products will fly longer hands free than the Xenon.

Hope I've explained it adequately.

Rob
 

ventana7

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I would be interested in you flying an AG915 and comparing it to your Xenon if you ever get a chance to come to Florida, I can arrange a flight in one here.
I've wanted to fly one for awhile now - just have not had the opportunity. Thanks.
Rob
 

Greg Vos

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I find all the Auto-gyro products and Magnis fly similarly. The machines are very stable and the stick is pretty hard to move - takes quite a bit of arm strength. Awhile ago I flew both a Cavalon and Calidus - in both the stick was moving back and forth quite strongly about 5-6". Both owner/CFIs told me that was normal for their machines. After 1.5 hours of flying my arm was exhausted. (I was doing a BFR so pretty much constant maneuvering). It felt like I had to grip very tightly with my full hand and my arm was constantly getting yanked back and forth 5-6".

For comparison in my Xenon with hands off- the stick it moves in about a 1" oscillation. I can fly my Xenon with slight fingertip pressure, just lightly holding the stick between my thumb and forefinger with the rest of my arm barely moving. I can do a 70 degree bank turn and return to level with only minor movements and hand pressure- the AG or Magnis require much more effort for the same result.

I recently posted a video flying my Xenon hands off and the video was about 30 seconds long- in truth that is probably near the limit of time I can fly it hands off before it would need a nudge one way or the other. My previous Xenon was more stable but I don't know why or how to get this one as stable. My guess is that the Auto-Gyro or Magni products will fly longer hands free than the Xenon.

Hope I've explained it adequately.

Rob
Rob I flew a guy on Thursday and he remarked how smooth and shake free my xenon is, I have almost no stick shake or cabin hop ( can fly with a glass of water on centre console and it does not spill) the xenon when set up is joy and when I trim mine it will stay on trajectory until I nudge it or if a gust pushes it.
if you look at the clips I have posted you can see its a well set up, is there any reason you don’t get back into selling them In the USA?
 
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