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The gyrocopters (known also as gyroplanes or autogyros) are quite an unusual kind of aircraft. They look similar to helicopters but by the construction and the way of flying are more similar to the airplanes. This Wikipedia article explains shortly the difference between autogyro and helicopter:

"While a helicopter's rotor is rotated by an engine during normal flight, the rotor of an autogyro is driven by aerodynamic forces in autorotation.""

%ADSENSE%

You can read the entire article if you are interested in the technical side of the things. What I want to discuss here is different - are gyrocopters interesting for ultralight pilots, i.e. for you? Should you look for gyrocopter kits or gyrocopter plans online? The short answer is yes.

As long as there is an ultralight gyrocopter, it looks similar to the ultralight helicotper - a simple construction with minimum overload, sometimes no cockpit and no fancy stuff at all.


Photo by pilot_micha at flickr



Can You Own A Gyrocopter?


First, why would you want to own a gyrocopter instead of an ultralight helicopter? The gyrocopters are not for everyone's taste - they combine the advantages of fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft but can't compete with both on any of these advantages. Said simpler, the gyrocopters need much shorter landing field than the fixed wing airplanes, but at the same time are not as fast as most of them. One autogyro is for sure cheaper to operate than a helicopter but doesn't have the same ability for precisely vertical landing and take off. However the gyroplanes are a bit faster than helicopters.

You see, it's just an unusual animal about which you have to decide yourself - whether you like it or not.

But if you like it, is there a chance to own a personal gyrocopter? Absolutely yes! In most countries the gyrocopters are flown with experimental/homebuilt or ultralights license if such is needed - so if you can have another ultralight or microlight aircraft, you should be able to own an autogyro.

The price of personal autogyros can be quite affordable but it depends on whether you are going to buy a ready one or build your gyrocopter yourself.

Gyroctoper Kits And Gyrocopter Plans


The most popular way of obtaining a gyrocopter is by building from a gyrocopter kit. The gyrocopter kits are sold between $7,000 - $8,000 and $25,000 - $30,000 (at least those that I have seen). (You can find some kits here) Before buying an autogyro kit ask the seller if his kits are certified and who uses them. Since gyroplanes are less popular than other aircraft there is in general less information about the manufacturers so you will need to research more yourself.

Building a gyrocopter from a kit takes few months and follows the same logic as building an ultralight airplane. And as you guessed, you can build an ultralight experimental gyrocopter yourself by using only gyrocopter plans.

Because of the lower popularity of the autogyros it's much harder to find good gyrocopter plans than good ultralight airplane plans. One of the popular models is Benson Gyrocopter but its plans are not sold on any official site - just "by hand". One cheap autogyro can be build from the plans at Vortech Online although I have no information how good it is. For sure it seems to be cute and a really budget solution.

If you are selling gyrocopter plans, please contact us or comment here to let us know.

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