So what gyro would you buy if you were just starting out and knew what you know now?

BobTales

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Aug 15, 2021
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30
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Texas
I am moving up from PPGs (getting older), and am looking into flying gyro's. Unlike my PPG experience, gyro's are pricey (relatively), and after I finish some hours training I will need am aircraft of my own to finish the solo hours. While the Euro style aircraft are sleek and well manufactured, they are also very pricey, and 60K for a used one is a lot to ask when someone is just moving into a new sport. I have seen some dominators in the 20K (even less) range, and that seems doable price point wise, but are they newbie friendly?

So if you were a newbie and had an economical budget, what gyro would you choose? Something that handles easily and can be maintained without too much effort would be preferable. Thanks for input on this.
 

Vance

Gyroplane CFI
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With $20,000 for a price point you are somewhat limited.

It is important to have an idea of your mission in mind when purchasing a gyroplane.

This may changed as you learn what you like and don’t like about gyroplanes during your instruction.

If you own a two place you may save on you flight instruction.

For a single place I found a Dominator very easy to fly and forgiving.

A two place Dominator even more so.

I feel it is important to understand that experimental, amateur built gyroplane was built by an amateur and has likely been maintained by people who know less than the builder so you are going to want to check it over carefully.

Another way to spend less money than a new gyroplane costs is to go in with a couple of other pilots. It can be a little complicated. For your same $20,000 price point with three people you could manage $60,000. I have seen nice gyroplanes in this price range.

Add a couple more pilots and you could buy a new American Ranger or Titanium Explorer.

In my opinion any of the two place tandems powered by a Rotax 912 or 914 are suitable for a low time gyroplane pilot.

I recommend transition training if it is a different model that you trained in as gyroplanes do not all fly the same.
 

Eric S

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Dec 22, 2012
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197
Location
Kingsland, TX
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Sport Copter Vortex & AAI (Sparrowhawk) RAF
I am moving up from PPGs (getting older), and am looking into flying gyro's. Unlike my PPG experience, gyro's are pricey (relatively), and after I finish some hours training I will need am aircraft of my own to finish the solo hours. While the Euro style aircraft are sleek and well manufactured, they are also very pricey, and 60K for a used one is a lot to ask when someone is just moving into a new sport. I have seen some dominators in the 20K (even less) range, and that seems doable price point wise, but are they newbie friendly?

So if you were a newbie and had an economical budget, what gyro would you choose? Something that handles easily and can be maintained without too much effort would be preferable. Thanks for input on this.
BobTales,

I recommend the Sport Copter Vortex. It's what I started in and with a Rotax 582 was reasonably priced.

Where are you in Texas? I'm in Central TX and you can come fly with me. I bought the Sport Copter tandem trainer. I'll put you in the front seat and the sight picture looks just like it will if you get a Vortex single place.

By the way, I flew PPGs and trikes too, but the great thing about gyros is they're not limited by winds and thermals like those and you can still safely fly low and slow. Flying PPGs in the summer in Texas is definitely a young man's sport.

You're going to love it!

Eric
 

Sv.grainne

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Jan 14, 2020
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1,051
Location
Kerrville, Texas
My 2 cents. I was not looking at a 2 place machine so I narrowed my search to 2 machines. Gyro Technic and Aviomania, both single place and transition process more challenging.

Look at them as perhaps a starting point. I did not want to build from scratch or buy someone else's machine.

Do the classwork, train, and decide.
 

BEN S

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No shock I am going to second a Sportcopter. Either the Vortex or Lightning depending on D.A. at your location and pilot weight.
Next I would look at the Dominators but only if flying off pavement.
A used Butterfly might be an option and you could probably find an old Snowbird to fix up.
Go for a flight in Eric's Two seater. I learned to fly in it and love that rig.
I will give you one BIG piece of advice as a noob starting out in Gyros, do not get enticed by the myriad of RAF 2000's that seem to be in like new condition with no horizontal stabilizers, there are a whole lot of them out there and some really awesome prices. but you don't know what you don't know and by the time you buy it and get it home and start rebuilding it, that's when you find out to truly make it a safe beginner aircraft you need a bunch of not cheap upgrades.
Best advice is to get training, then get more training. You will learn what you like or don't possibly. If you find a single for sale ask on here if anyone knows about that make and model BEFORE you buy it....just saw another typical post today....."Hi, new here, just bought a so and so, how do I proceed?" The purchase should be the LAST part of the equation.
 

BobTales

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Aug 15, 2021
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Location
Texas
BobTales,

I recommend the Sport Copter Vortex. It's what I started in and with a Rotax 582 was reasonably priced.

Where are you in Texas? I'm in Central TX and you can come fly with me. I bought the Sport Copter tandem trainer. I'll put you in the front seat and the sight picture looks just like it will if you get a Vortex single place.

By the way, I flew PPGs and trikes too, but the great thing about gyros is they're not limited by winds and thermals like those and you can still safely fly low and slow. Flying PPGs in the summer in Texas is definitely a young man's sport.

You're going to love it!

Eric
Eric:

I am in the Lubbock area, so a ways from Kingsland, but I travel a lot for work and was in Cherokee last wee, only 30 minutes or so from Kingsland. I will keep in touch and maybe swing by when work brings me into that area again.

I have seen a lot of 582 powered aircraft and wonder about two strokes. There isn't a PPG guy that hasn't had an engine out, but when you are flying under a parachute, it's not as much of an issue. The gyro can also rely on it's rotor to keep spinning, but it's not quite as friendly as my PPG in that area. Is a four stroke really as big a deal as I think it is, or am I over analyzing this?
 

Eric S

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Dec 22, 2012
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197
Location
Kingsland, TX
Aircraft
Sport Copter Vortex & AAI (Sparrowhawk) RAF
I had a Solo 210 2-stroke on my PPG. It failed me more than once. I've had good luck with Rotax 2-strokes and 4-strokes, but there was a learning curve. In my opinion, it mostly comes down to maintenance. Both will fail you if you take shortcuts or don't know what you're doing. I've also had good luck with Subarus, but they're heavy. Lots of them to be found in the gyro world.

Spend some time on the forum and learn which ones are safe. I would certainly be comfortable with a new gyro pilot flying a Sport Copter, Dominator or Aviomania.

The castering nose wheel and differential brakes on the Sport Copter were a big help for me when learning to fly a gyro.

Get training in a 2-place, then follow the Bensen training manual religiously when you transition to your single-place. Don't rush it. My first 50 hrs. learning to fly a gyro was some of the most fun flying I've ever done. You won't believe what these things can do in the sky!

Eric
 

Doug Riley

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Dominators are extremely user-friendly in the air. I do not like the landing-gear design.

Although I have never flown one, the Aviomania looks good to me, and the person behind the company is very well-informed and level-headed.
 

DavePA11

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My 2 cents. I was not looking at a 2 place machine so I narrowed my search to 2 machines. Gyro Technic and Aviomania, both single place and transition process more challenging.

Look at them as perhaps a starting point. I did not want to build from scratch or buy someone else's machine.

Do the classwork, train, and decide.
What is the starting price for those two options sv.g?

I personally do not want the risk of flying anything with 2-stroke engine given how many engine failures I have witnessed. However, really depends on where you are flying to safely land upon engine out. If your flying in area with dense trees then wouldn’t fly an aircraft with 2-stroke, but here in plains of Colorado there are a lot of options landing in fields. Have to watch for wire fences, power lines, big sprinklers and ditches. Maybe some rotten holes too. Seems someone got shot at too so don’t bother the farmers. I assume Texas is similar to Colorado in the plain side of the state…

I 2nd the Sport Copter! Great machines. I personally like the SC M912, but probably outside your budget. Eric is right about not believing what these things can do in the air! Just don’t do them until you are ready. :) One of reasons why I sold my SC cause doing dumb things in it off airport.
 
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BobTales

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Aug 15, 2021
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Texas
What is the starting price for those two options sv.g?

I personally do not want the risk of flying anything with 2-stroke engine given how many engine failures I have witnessed. However, really depends on where you are flying to safely land upon engine out. If your flying in area with dense trees then wouldn’t fly an aircraft with 2-stroke, but here in plains of Colorado there are a lot of options landing in fields. Have to watch for wire fences, power lines, big sprinklers and ditches. Maybe some rotten holes too. Seems someone got shot at too so don’t bother the farmers. I assume Texas is similar to Colorado in the plain side of the state…

I 2nd the Sport Copter! Great machines. I personally like the SC M912, but probably outside your budget. Eric is right about not believing what these things can do in the air! Just don’t do them until you are ready. :) One of reasons why I sold my SC cause doing dumb things in it.
I live near Lubbock Texas, and you 'aint got nothing on us when it comes to flat and open.
The old joke here is that it's so flat you can see your dog running away for three days. :)

The starting price for the Gyro technic is about 24,000, but no engine, prop, instruments or rotors... so.... 35K if you buy a rebuilt 582. I have spoken with the fellow from Aviomania as well, and been keeping track of a build for the one seater. He's from Cyprus, and seems up front and open (forgot his name, sorry), and the price to get one in the air seems north of 40K.

Personally the two seat Aviomania looks great, (50k +) and the Gyro Technic is very attractive, in a minimalistic, polished metal sort of way (love it). One hour and 15 minutes of flight time though does dampen things a bit.

Still looking for training, which in my neck of the woods means 4 or 5 hours driving.
 

BobTales

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Aug 15, 2021
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Texas
Dominators are extremely user-friendly in the air. I do not like the landing-gear design.

Although I have never flown one, the Aviomania looks good to me, and the person behind the company is very well-informed and level-headed.
I've now heard a few positives about the Dominator, although I agree, the high stance and long landing gear makes me wonder about ground stability.

Of course, I fly a PPG trike with my ass in the grass, so everything looks high to me.
 

DavePA11

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I live near Lubbock Texas, and you 'aint got nothing on us when it comes to flat and open.
The old joke here is that it's so flat you can see your dog running away for three days. :)

The starting price for the Gyro technic is about 24,000, but no engine, prop, instruments or rotors... so.... 35K if you buy a rebuilt 582. I have spoken with the fellow from Aviomania as well, and been keeping track of a build for the one seater. He's from Cyprus, and seems up front and open (forgot his name, sorry), and the price to get one in the air seems north of 40K.

Personally the two seat Aviomania looks great, (50k +) and the Gyro Technic is very attractive, in a minimalistic, polished metal sort of way (love it). One hour and 15 minutes of flight time though does dampen things a bit.

Still looking for training, which in my neck of the woods means 4 or 5 hours driving.
Bob - most of the single seat gyros do not carry a lot of fuel due to weight limitations so you will be restricted to less flight time. I would think you could add them to some of the single seat gyros. The Sportcopter M912 had an option for 2 additional 5 gallon fuel tanks which could be pumped up to the main seat tank. I had this in my SC M912, and used it often. I flew SC M912 often on trips more than 3 hours in flight long, but in my SC M912 configuration it was not ideal. I didn't have trim system nor any wind guards. I often forgot to turn off the fuel pumps, so would recommend adding a light to indicate they are on and pumping so not to overfill main tank. Also, it was hard to see the fuel in the tube indicating the level. Maybe add a mirror or some sort of electronic sensor would help. All of this is pretty standard now in the name brand gyros. Used AR-1 would be a great option and can get training in Florida.
 

BEN S

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Dave I have a new Sportcopter Vortex, and the fuel transfer light Evan installed on my dash is so blindingly bright even in daytime I joked it was a laser aimed at my retina! You can't forget its on cause as soon as you flip the switch you are counting the seconds till you can turn it off again!:)
Any your right the Right Shoulder Grab and turn head, then use thumb on chin to turn more is like a chiropractic move, but I like the Tube WAY more then I would any other type of fuel gauge!
Now if I could just fine a floatee
 

chrisk

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Look the folks who flew around world in a gyroplane. I belive one was an MTO. The other a Magni M16. Either one would be a good choice.
 
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