My major interests and career include piano tuning, aircraft piloting, and nature walking. My talented wife made the chain-linked armor.
When Doug Hughes flew his gyrocopter to the white house and landed safely on the front lawn, it caused quite a sensation and the interest surged for these tiny helicopter type aircraft. The Internet traffic for the gyro went up at least 10 times as much as folks were researching what they were and how easy it would be for them to get one.
The correct word for the gyrocopter is actually, autogyro. Gyrocopter is a trademark of the Bensen Aircraft Company who manufactures some of these tiny helicopters. But the public knows it best as the gyrocopter, so that is what we will call it here.
They may look like a tiny helicopter and work similar but instead of drawing up the air with its blades the gyro pushes the air down to gain lift.
They also fly very slowly for an aircraft. The top speed is about 90 knots, which is 100 miles an hour. The trip from Florida to the White House would have been a hard trip in such a tiny craft.
Instead of flying from his home in Florida, Douglas Hughes loaded his gyro in a truck and brought it to Pennsylvania to launch it from there to fly it to the White House. The trip from Florida to the White House would have been a hard trip in such a tiny craft.
Tips for Buying a Gyrocopter
- Gyrocopters cost just a fraction of an airplane or helicopter, so it is a good investment if you long to fly and want something affordable. However, insurances companies are reluctant to insure one, so there must be a good reason to be cautious. Be sure to get the correct training before purchasing one.
- A kit is easier to buy than the whole aircraft. If you decide to go with a kit make sure it is certified and includes everything that you need.
- Training is a necessity before purchase. You need about 20 hours of training. There are several places where you can get your training. Just look it up on the Internet.
- The cost for a personal gyro-copter can go as high as $40,000 or more. A kit will cost around $10.000 but you need the skills to build it right. You life will depend on it.
- A used one will be much less, but be sure to check it over thoroughly before buying. Have a aircraft mechanic inspect it to make sure it is flight worthy.
- You still have to have some training to fly one even if you already have a pilot's license
Gyrocopters for Sale
A used Gyrocopters may be best on your budget but be careful that it is in good flying condition. A kit is the next best option, but if you don't have the time or skill then getting a new one could be the best option for you.
When you purchase your aircraft you will need to either truck or fly it home. Trucking is the best option, so be prepared to pay a large shipping cost unless you can buy one near your home.
Of course, a kit can be shipped right to your door avoiding the fuss of transporting it yourself. Plan to spent a good year putting your kit together. So if you are in a hurry, a completed aircraft may be better.
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Types of Gyrocopters
The Benson gyro is one of the best known. They built a tiny single-seat aircraft that is still popular. The company is not doing business today, but you may still be able to get a used one or buy their plans to build your own.
The most common type of gyro is the pusher. The pusher has the motor and propeller behind the pilot. The Benson Company built their gyro-craft this way.
The other type is called the tractor. It is called this because the motor and propeller are in front of the pilot. This style is much less popular and you don't see this as often.
Many gyro's are single seat but if you want to have company while flying and can pay a little more there are double seat aircraft available. Some even seat more.