Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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To gyrocopter/auto gyro - or not.

Got a colleague who does 3-axis ULM, delta, **** powered parachute thingy etc. He’s colour blind, so never thought of PPL.

I’m not in the situation to fly SEP much (in fact - at all); young kids, busy life etc.

We both kinda agreed we love flying- and in fact “learning to fly”.

I’ve tried 3-axis ULM once; it was for me the equivalent of driving a skittish bare bones 1.0L Vauxhall Nova versus a Lycosaur 3 or 5 series BMW. Not an unpleasant experience, certainly better than nowt - but it just didn’t “click” for me.

Nothing at all against the pilots who fly ULM, and that I made clear to my colleague- it just somehow didn’t “work” for me.

Moving past the ULM thing, he said, the closest he’s had to having “motorcycle in the sky” is the delta.

I’ve never ridden a motorcycle, and never will - delta don’t appeal to me; yet autogyro do.

I’m (again) seriously considering taking up autogyro training.

Has much changed in the past couple of years? An autogyro with enclosed canopy - to me at least - looks effin good fun.
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By GrahamB
Great fun, but I know two people have have/had modern Calidus.

One nearly killed himself when he wrote it off in a take off accident, the other cries off half the meetings we arrange because the thing is so slow if there is any sort of wind, say > 15 knots, he can’t get there and back home in time. :D
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By Flyingfemme
I test flew a Cavalon and almost signed the cheque. Then I found out that it is not night capable. I could live without IFR but no night makes it of very, very limited use. Ye Olde Comanche will have to do for the foreseeable.
The aircraft was modern and nicely finished - a step up from old spam cans - just artificially limited.
By Shrek235
I did an hour in one at Highland Aviation up in Scotland the Summer before last. It was a hoot. If I had had the time and been able to use the licence in a meaningful way down South, I would have signed up on the spot. Right up at the top for the most grin factor per £ I have had in my aviation life. :D
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By ls8pilot
Had a trial lesson last year. Great fun and was quite tempted. If you just want to fly around for an hour or two and enjoy the scenery or visit local strips seemed like it would be fine. For longer tours cruise speed is an issue but no more than a micro light I guess.

My only concern was whether some of my reflex responses as a fixed wing pilot might get me into trouble. Otherwise I was quite impressed with how sophisticated the modern gyros are.

Unfortunately I don't have the time or money to be active in two forms of aviation
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By kanga
I know a gyro pilot now in his 40s. He had been flying with PPL relatives from an early age, and as an Air Cadet. In his late 30s he had the money and leisure to take it up himself. There was a GA field near his home which included a gyro school. He tried it, loved it, and, with some other recently qualified graduates of the same school, started a new small syndicate.

The slow(ish) speed - 70kt cruise is economical in his Magni tandem, but much slower can still be safe - can be an advantage. During my last year of active flying, he and I (I in a C172) were both due to attend two different fly-in occasions: a civil airfield one, and a MCASD at a RAF Station, both at about the same distances from our bases albeit on different tracks. For the former I and a syndicate colleague (both Day/VFR bimblers) set off, but turned back about halfway because of lower than forecast cloud ahead, which we agreed would be fraught at the sorts of heights and minimum airspeeds with which we'd be comfortable. For the latter, given the forecast low cloud, another syndicate colleague and I agreed not even to take off. In both cases my gyro acquaintance got to the destination, and later back, without drama (and with SkyDemon :thumright: ), by being happy to go low, slow and with slight but still legal and safe deviations off planned track. And he could have temporarily landed and took off again from almost any small field en route, if necessary.

If I were starting today rather than the '60s, and had the money and leisure, and with the same intention of flying only as a leisure pursuit on unambitious routes, I reckon I'd have chosen a modern (albeit a side-by-side, enclosed) gyro.
ls8pilot liked this
By Mutley

I'm a gyroplane instructor so I'm a little biased on this one ...... but the easiest way to answer your question is to go and get yourself a flight in one and see what you think - preferably with an instructor so that you can do some / all of the flying.

Other than that - I think Kanga has summed things up better than I could!
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By Grumpy One
GrahamB wrote:Great fun, but I know two people have have/had modern Calidus.

One nearly killed himself when he wrote it off in a take off accident, the other cries off half the meetings we arrange because the thing is so slow if there is any sort of wind, say > 15 knots, he can’t get there and back home in time. :D

I am that brave,. slim, handsome bloke wot nearly kyboshed his rollocks on taking off in my beautiful Calidus, a few moons ago when The Farmer was still in his loafers.
I too couldn't keep the smile off my face when I was training (after 26 years of fixed wing cavorting). So just for that very reason, I'd recommend at least giving it a go.

But for my teeny-tiny wee write-off episode, scratching the paintwork off my beautiful gyrobeast (OK! and breaking off a few important pieces) , together with grinding off some precious hide onto the Shoreham runway, I reckon I'd be flying it now.
HOWEVER - I didn't …...… The anguished grimace on my wife's face when I replied, YES", to inquirers as to whether or not I'd buy another one with all the insurance dosh in my sweaty hands, changed my mind. It made me reflect somewhat - How could I put my wife through the trauma again, every time I went flying in a gyro, she would be highly stressed until I safely returned (still with grin!), demanding my tea and crumpets. How could I justify doing that? I couldn't.
So NO …... I didn't replace the gyro - I bought an RV instead (and still grin widely) and my wife was mucho relieved
By Crash one
They need a slightly different set of set of skills that can go badly wrong for a dyed in the wool fixed wing pilot. Training could fix that.
The cost of the factory builts is phenomenal.
The older home built Cricket variety appealed to me as a fun thing but I think those are no longer available.
Big kerfuffle some years ago regarding thrust line/safety that pushed the price up a lot, ref certification I think.
As a go anywhere, land anywhere, airborne (trials) motor cycle, brilliant.
By Bill McCarthy
The early types had a hellish safety record - too much flailing metal for my liking.
The take off run is not much better than a fixed wing a/c.
By cockney steve
I presume,@ OCB, by "delta" you mean "flexwing" (hang-glider with a trike- pod under. ).

I have had flights in a variety of light aircraft and found Flexwing to be very similar to @Crash one description of a "motorbike in the sky"
I have looked longingly at Giros and the late Ken Wallis's antics did nothing to dissuade me.

The real killer is cost. secondly weather(also the achillies heel of Flexwings)
The latter is very much the best bang for the buck. see many on the bay for under £2000 and Rotax 9-series ones at under 10,000. The assets of P&M (the last British Flexwing manufacturer) are now under Indian ownership and spares at an affordable price may be on the horizon.....meanwhile, any Pegasus/Mainair produced machine will probably be written-off after a bump.

"Gyrocopter Girl "used to post excellent videos on youtube showing the modern machine as being a very capable mount , certainly in warmer climes. (not shy about displaying her own charms, either! ) I think she now flies R22 Flingwing.
on a tight budget?- try flexwing. money no problem? gyro!
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