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

wolfy

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I think I would rather a turbo engine in a two seat at anything much higher than sea level.

wolfy
Just to note: 912 is quite different to 912S (or ULS). The ULS has higher compression and power (100hp v 80), and requires higher octane fuel. A lot of new guys miss this distinction.
The 914 is basically a turbocharged original (80hp) 912. That brings its hp up to 100, with 115hp available for 5 minutes, max.
Obviously, turbocharging also helps maintain power at altitude.
To add another note, the 912S and ULS are not the same. Essentially the same but slightly different on paper and the S is the certified version of ULS.
912UL 80hp, 912A certified
914UL, 914F certified

wolfy
 

WaspAir

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And don't forget that, on warm days, the density altitude is likely to be well over the field elevation.
But as far as cruising goes, I think most folks fly gyroplanes fairly low (AGL), compared to airplanes anyway, so I imagine you'd be fine, east of the mountains.
A "warm" day in Denver is anything over about 40 degrees F (the standard atmosphere temp at that elevation). To get a feel for this in practice, the closest airport to you is Centennial (KAPA, 5885 ft) and you can get their weather robot AWOS by calling 1 (720)873-2799. In the remarks at the end of the broadcast they often include the density altitude, so you can check it out at various times of day and see how high it gets.

Down the road a bit at CO15, with field elevation 7040, I can't remember a density altitude under 8300 and it is often well above 9000. You can check their AWOS at 1 (303)648-3479.

Climb performance degrades quickly as you get closer to ceiling and that reduces safety margins.
 

Doug Riley

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I had a 912ULS (i.e. the normally-aspirated 100 hp Rotax 4-stroke) tandem Dominator. It had a 28-foot rotor in place of the standard 27, since its original owner lived in the Rockies. I kept it as light as reasonably possible.

Climb was OK, but not great, with passengers in the 200-plus-pound range, at near-sea-level summer conditions. I would expect quite an anemic climb at Denver.

Anemic climb worries me. I'd get the turbo for Denver.
 

Tyger

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If I can follow up on higher altitude machines, what is the consensus if only one pilot were in a 912 uls machine at Denver altitudes. Not ideal but it is available. I could do all tandem work at lower altitudes. Just a thought.
It seems like he's only actually considering flying without passengers in some 912ULS machine he has his eye on.
 

MyTech

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Find a two place dominator. cost less for training and soloing will be a breeze. then buy you a Gyro Technic. flies like a dominator but aint as ugly. a real work of art! you wont want to fly more than an hour or so. something about the frequency of the vibrations gets on humans nerves after an hour. most fun you can have in the air i believe
 

BEN S

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GyroRon

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Im just now getting involved in this thread.... So here is my two cents.

I started gyro flying with a totally homemade, Drop keel Bensen with a direct drive subaru EA81. The gyro was kind of junky, was nothing to look at, it was marginally powered, and was great at nothing. It was also cheap though... Paid like 4 grand for the gyro, and just had to purchase blades ( it didn't come with blades ) so I was into the gyro for about $5500 by the time I got it airworthy.

That gyro was GREAT for my first gyro. Didn't have too much power for me to get in trouble with, and it taught me a lot about managing energy. I enjoyed every minute of flight in that gyro. I have ZERO regrets of that being my first gyro.

I replaced that gyro with a Dominator single place powered by a Rotax 582 after about a year and half later, and yeah..... The Dominator was like going from owning and driving a crappy economy car to now owning and driving sports car. It was worlds better in performance, speed, comfort, and sportiness. And it was a gyro I was proud to own.

Do I have regrets that I didn't just pony up the money ( I think I paid like 10 grand, maybe 12? ) for that Dominator in the beginning versus the 55 hundred dollar junker I started with???? Absolutely not.

And since that time ( got started in gyros in 2001 ).... I have flown just about everything there is out there.... Gyrobees, Bensen's, Dominators, Aircommands, Sportcopters, Little wing, etc... etc... etc... And what I can tell you is this, They all fly the same! Some have better tails than others, some have better suspension than others, some have better control authority than others, and so on, but they ALL FLY THE SAME!

To narrow it down and say a Sportcopter is better than this or that is FALSE. Same for saying a Gyro Technic or Dominator or Aircommand or whatever else is the best thing out there, that would be FALSE! Every gyro has its merits.

Me personally I do think Dominators offer the most for the money... But a dominator isn't " BETTER " than a Sportcopter or Gyrotechnic or many other brands if price is not a factor. Same goes for any argument that for example a Sportcopter is the best and so on.

I would just decide what your comfortable spending, and then keep a eye out for what that amount will buy and get the best machine you can find in that price point. If your not going to build a kit yourself, then your location and how far your willing to drive will be a factor too, because you might find a killer deal on a gyro listed in Maine, but might not want to drive to Maine to get it, where you might find a decent gyro in Texas or Kansas that isn't quite as good of a deal as the one in Maine but its within your budget and within a reasonable drive to fetch it.

Just post it here, or PM a few people here that you feel like you can trust for input that can help you know what your looking at when you find a used bird. I have had people send me pictures of gyros they wanted to buy and looking at pictures I could see stuff that sent up Red Flags, things the potential buyer had no idea was a potential problem. I have also had people send me pictures of stuff for sale and I told them to JUMP on it, cause it was a killer deal and they better not let someone else buy it out from under them. You just want to make sure whatever you pick out is in good shape, doesn't have any funny business going on, and is priced appropriately ( which is important so you can resell it without much loss if you decide later you want a different gyro )

This hobby is like any other Hobby. Your first gyro, your first mountain bike, your first Rifle, your first airplane, your first boat, your first motorcycle.... Almost ALWAYS is not going to be your last. Don't overthink it.

Your better off not spending a ton on your first gyro anyways, cause you might not even end up liking gyros... and you will also likely NOT carry insurance on a gyro and being a new gyro pilot there is possibility of a screw up and a tip over or hard landing and damaging the gyro, and with no insurance do you want to total out a 8 thousand dollar gyro or a 48 thousand dollar gyro? ............... Do you have kids that drive? Did you buy them a super nice fancy car when they turned 16 or did you buy them something with a few scrapes bumps and bruises already cause you expect they will probably have some minor fender benders? It's kind of the same mentality.

I don't know you though. You could be loaded, and to spend 40 grand on a gyro is nothing. If that's the case, go for it.
 

Joe Pires

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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.
I am curious about "Dominators but only if flying off pavement" ,grass strips are part of their heritage. Ernie flew from a grass strip. I flew from grass for over a decade which included a few riverbed take offs and landings. Scott Essex flies from a grass runway. What caused you to offer that caveat?
 

BEN S

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The long spindly leg of the nose wheel is much easier to bend if your wheel hits a bump or chuck hole.
And the "duck walk" can be rather pronounced.
A "grass strip" to me infers a manicured grass covered runway.
A lot of the Sportcopters can be flown off the desert floor or cow pastures a d are used for mustering cattle in the middle of no where.
This is just my opinion and not meant to slight your choice in any way.
 
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