- Apr 21, 2008
- San Diego, CA. USA
- Airgyro AG915 Centurian, Aviomania G1sb
- Total Flight Time
- Gyroplane 70Hrs, not sure over 10,000+ logged FW, 260+ ultralights, sailplane, hang-gliders
I agree with you.What's "modern" about the newer generation of gyroplanes amounts to three things:
1) sleek, sexy looking fuselage (which has no discernible impact on reliability)
2) avionics with GPS, fancy displays, and so on (which may enhance pilot awareness but not aircraft reliability)
3) Rotax engines instead of Macs, Subarus, etc. (which can provide meaningful reliability improvement)
What is not changed is:
a) the same old teetering rotor design that has been around since Eisenhower was in the White House, with all its shortcomings
b) design, test, manufacture, maintenance, fleet monitoring, and support that is not up to the level required of Standard Airworthiness aircraft
c) inherent inefficiency in an air driven rotary wing instead of a fixed wing
(d) VMC only capability
IMHO, (3) is nice to have, but absent progress on at least (b), if not also (a), (c) and (d), I won't be picking one of the modern designs for transportation.
I am still open to aircraft for fun (obviously, or I wouldn't fly balloons and gliders).
(a) I did not know about this or it was causing accidents. Can you teach me more...
(b) Europe's biggest difference is they are all factory-built and suspect support is more like our certified aircraft. You can mitigate that with Abid's and many other factory-build assist or paying an experience A&P to install and maintain it as we had to do with the ARGON as they had no builder assist. Then fly Raul who has built several out to do the final inspection, rigging, test fly her, and training of both Henry Bolger and me so he can continue my training in the ARGO he has now been checked out in.
(c) They are draggy/slow.
In the USA to travel from coast to coast, it may take 2 or 3 days in a FW. This is the biggest difference between Europe and why gyroplane will never be used in the same percentage because of our long-distance travels and you can buy a faster 6 place FW and take the entire family from our local used fleet of FW's for less or the same price as a modern gyroplane.
But in a FW I fly to catch the tailwind at 10K or higher where the destination is the adventure, more like a bus trip. With a gyro the lower and slower sightseeing is one adventure and the destination is a second. More like a motorcycle.
Few can afford both FW and gyro so in the US it will be mainly FW's transportation of the entire family compared to Europe as it is cheaper and faster to travel to 2 or more states away.
(d) Has to VCM (visual meteorological conditions) most FW pilots even if instrument-rated fly only in good weather unless for business needs.
I enjoy flying on clear sky full moon nights and plan my pleasure trips accordingly.