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gs001

New Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
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2
Beginner Questions
If the prices are the same, which aircraft will you build?
gyroplane or helicopter
 

wally

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Joined
Mar 31, 2004
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928
Location
southwest TN.
If the prices were the same, a helicopter for sure. But they are two very different flying machines and way different in price. a gyro can be flying for a lot less $$.

A gyro flys almost like an airplane. I say almost because they have a couple of quirks that will kill you - like regular airplanes have and even helicopters. A helicopter of course flys like a, well, you know, a helicopter.

Gyros have a very loyal following and they can be a lot of fun. I have had a couple of rides in one. But the flight characteristics of a gyro must be understood in order to fly one successfully.

Best wishes and have fun!
Wally
 

bmcj

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Apr 10, 2007
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13,495
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Fresno, California
If you already have some airplane experience, gyro would definitely be an easier and less costly transition. Helicopters are also require more preventative maintenance due to the nature of the design (primarly in the transmission that links/syncs the tail rotor to the main rotor). Helis definitely have more severe consequences for certain failure modes (hence the preventative maintenance requirements).

Of course, when it comes to gyros, there are some good ones and bad ones out there. As Wally said, some gyros "have a couple of quirks that will kill you." Ther is another thread on this forum that discusses some of those issues. You can find that thread here:

https://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3059

Best of luck on your choice. While helicopters have some unique capabilities, I vote Gyro :ban: (tractor version as long as I'm putting in my two cents worth) unless you have specific need for those heli-unique abilities.

Bruce :)
 

GaryBuster

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Jun 3, 2011
Messages
10
Location
Frankston, Texas
I use my Zodiac for travel to "Get there"... and I use my tandem gyro for taking people for local rides... I use my single gyro for local pleasure.
 

Dan Thomas

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Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
5,410
I Helis definitely have more severe consequences for certain failure modes (hence the preventative maintenance requirements).

Of course, when it comes to gyros, there are some good ones and bad ones out there. As Wally said, some gyros "have a couple of quirks that will kill you."
The failure of almost any moving part on a helicopter--and there are many--is going to be catastrophic. There's so much going on, and all of it extremely important, that only good stuff is safe and only good maintenance keeps it safe. Hence, helicopters are expensive.

Gyrocopters rely on the air moving upward through the rotor to keep it turning, or "autorotating." Interrupt that flow and the rotor slows very quickly. I understand that if you pitch forward a bit too aggressively, the reduced G loading reduces the airflow through the blades (by reducing their angle of attack) and the rotor's driving force diminishes. As the rotor slows the centrifugal force that keeps it stiff enough to support the weight of the machine and its occupants also diminishes, and the blades flex upwards. The disc area decreases, loading the remainder more heavily, increasing the upward coning of the rotor and perhaps stalling the blades as the descent steepens. The end comes soon after.

I like the earlier definition: A gyro has the cruise speed of a helicopter (slow) and the hovering capability of the fixed-wing aircraft (none). They tend to get terrible fuel mileage, being rather draggy, and I don't know that much could be done about that. Helicopters autorotate, too, when their engines fail, but the glide is almost as bad as a sack of rocks. Again, drag. Rotors are full of it.

Still, I'd love to fly a gyro someday. I was eager to build one when I was young, but some of the older guys knew of many accidents with them (some due to failures of the notorious McCullough drone engine, which had been designed for a 15-minute service life) so I went fixed-wing instead. Still here over 40 years later.

Dan
 

autoreply

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Jul 7, 2009
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10,753
Location
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Nice summary Dan!

To me, the major benefit of gyro's is the feeling. You're sitting out in the open, with unobstructed panoramic vision, "free" with that annoying engine far in the back. A feeling, I guess is only duplicated in the Aircam and the Grasshopper
 

Topaz

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Orange County, California
+1 on AR and Dan.

Gyros facinate me. Such a darned simple way of getting airborne. But that seems to be about all they're really good for. The Carter Copter design looks to be interesting, but man there's a lot of parts and mechanisms in that thing...
 

Dana

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Apr 3, 2007
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CT, USA
Nice summary Dan!

To me, the major benefit of gyro's is the feeling. You're sitting out in the open, with unobstructed panoramic vision, "free" with that annoying engine far in the back. A feeling, I guess is only duplicated in the Aircam and the Grasshopper
And the Breezy, and lots of ultralights...

-Dana

Can a Cessna 150 truly "slip the surly bonds of Earth"?
 

D Hillberg

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Nov 23, 2010
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very low low low earth orbit
Its not the machine, Gyro ,Helicopter, starched wing or rocket ship- Its the owner-pilot that is the brains-This crud of fixed wings better or other bull is just that-You get stupid or cheap and gravity takes over-Had a lot of good guys buy the farm for just being in the wrong spot & time. What ever you choose to fly get some sort of "Good" training. 35 years all helicopter all the time.
 

frenrg

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Joined
Jun 15, 2011
Messages
2
Location
Auckland New Zealand
Many years ago, I built a Benson Gyrocopter with 20 ft. rotor.The most exacting job was the rotor.This was followed by a 3 seater hovercraft twin fan arrangement driven by a 1,000cc Aerial motorbike engine.I am now considering building a VTOL.This would be similar to the VZ-8 VTOL developed many years ago.It apparently was only abandoned, because it could not adequately carry all the military equipment the Army wanted.However, I can't see anything wrong with using a similar design for recreational purposes and building it as light as possible.The current method of control of these VTOLS all seem to be via aerodynamic surfaces e.g. vanes in the ducted fan shroudes and a rudder.What I am proposing is the use of three gyroscopes instead.These would be tumbled at rightangles to their rotation to provide control of pitch, roll, yaw.They don't have to be large to do the job, and would be driven by small electric motors.This eliminates the neccessity for complicated variable pitch mechanisms and also allows one to control attitude in any direction even whilst hovering.One engine drives both the front and rear fans at the same speed.Fans would be 8ft. in diameter, one cw rotation and the other ccw.I am wanting to know where I could get a quote on the fabrication of these fans.Obviously, all the specs. for the original VZ-8 arcraft must still be around somwhere.All suggestions welcome.
 
S

suzienderson

Guest
I haven't any experience of flying gyro plane or helicopter. but If the price is same for both than I like to buy helicopter because we no need any runway for helicopter. I think we can fly and land it easily.
 
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