Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Autogyros - certification, and is anyone flying them?

From here

A bit off topic, but as the thread is going that way, perhaps one could spare a thought for the autogire/autogyro/gyrocopter market.
Here is a part of GA which in many European countries manufacturers are being incredibly innovative. Yet EASA doesn’t really say anything about them, I don’t think they are even mentioned as annexe 1. Not all countries in europe allow gyrocopters in their airspace, out of those that do there are various MTOM’s from 450 kg in Sweden to 560kg in Germany. On top of that there are maximum empty weights in some countries as well.
Various countries have different licencing regimes as well. For instance a PPL (G) is required in the UK to allow you to fly a G reg gyrocopter in the UK. In France you need a ULM licence I think its (ULM 5 but not sure) but that limits the autogire to 450kg (maybe soon to become 500kg)
And finally autogire instructors (because the market is limited) often charge more per hour for their services than an IR instructor.
IMO it is lack of joined up regulation that is likely going to kill the autogyro market in Europe.
Fortunately, for manufacturers in Germany, France, Italy and Spain they are coming up with such innovative aircraft that for the moment at least, they are finding a ready market in the USA.
I have no connection of any sort with the autogyro market other than to look at them and think “that lookss like fun”.

France

AFAIK they are quite popular in Germany. A lot are being manufactured there and there is a lively market for used ones.
I’ve flown in one a few times. An open version. A bit intimidating at first, giving you the feeling of sitting on a motorbike at 1000 feet. One feels pretty safe being able to land on a postal stamp in case of an engine failure. In such case, like in a helicopter, be quick to keep that fan turning though..
The only thing I did not like was the vibration that the rotor induces to the stick. That would get tiring on a long trip. Probably not easy to engineer around that.

Last Edited by aart at 11 Jul 11:09
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

A few years back they had a fatality every 1000 hours. Since then there’s been a lot of work on making them safer, but personally I would still wait until there is some proper data to show that the issues have been fixed before considering taking the plunge.

My post was actually more about how difficult it is in Europe to take " the plunge" because of the things I have mentioned, rather than whether or not they are safe.
I have no statistics on this. The latest Gyroplanes from Germany (The Calidus and Cavalon) the Magni from Italy, the JB from France and others from Spain are enclosed aircraft, aesthetically pleasing (but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder) are well engineered and claim to have come a long way since the bad old days.
Surely it would be a shame if the manufacturers could only export out of Europe because of lack of joined up thinking within the EU. Would it not make such innovative designers and manufacturers think about relocating out of the EU, and would that not be a loss for European GA as a whole?

France

gallois wrote:

he latest Gyroplanes … are enclosed aircraft, aesthetically pleasing

I don’t think that high a proportion of deaths were due to pilots dying of shame when spotted in their ugly contraptions.

Biggin Hill

How high was the proportion of deaths and for how long? I know there was a time during their long history when there was an uptake in deaths for a short period. I understand that this spike was a bit like the one Cirrus suffered from during its evolution.

France

There is a large Gyrocopter school at my home base, with half a dozen aircraft or so. They are always active whenever I’m at the airport, so obviously popular. AFAIK the cost per hour is quite cheap and factory new gyrocopters can be had for under 50k€.

Low-hours pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

Re the comments on sales to the US, it’s a big country but for what it’s worth I’ve seen many Gyroplanes in Italy (Magni style, typically) while the only place I’ve seen them in the US is on display at Oshkosh.

Robinson R22 Helicopters are meanwhile around here in volume. On the evening of Independence Day (July 4th) I heard an unusual sounding noise above while watching fireworks from our house. All I could see was their nav lights so I checked FF traffic on my phone and it was an R22 and an LSA pusher-prop amphibian in loose formation, cruising together at 50 knots and enjoying the fireworks. A very odd combination of propeller and rotor sounds moving very slowly across the sky.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 11 Jul 17:03

There are sharply differing views on gyrocopter safety.

Some say they are perfectly safe if correctly assembled but apparently this often does not happen.

I used to know a guy who had a C182 for many years, got bored, and bought a gyrocopter and on one of his first flights crashed it and nearly severed an arm. I don’t think he flew them again…

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

There are sharply differing views on gyrocopter safety.

Some say they are perfectly safe if correctly assembled but apparently this often does not happen.

You mean that the high accident rate for gyrocopters are due to construction issues and not to the flight characteristics inherent in the gyrocopter principle?

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
55 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top