Lone Star Rotorcraft Club

Why Fly One?

We are Chapter 62 of the Popular RotorCraft Association, located in Houston, Texas.

Why would you want to fly a gyro?

Simple economics is one answer answer, so is the fact that very few forms of powered flight can give you the unobstructed view that a gyro can. They are fun, exciting, and affordable. If you want to fly, safely and inexpensively, gyros could be the aircraft for you. They can be flown low and slow or quick and sharp. They can be flown with a cockpit or without. And you don't feel separated from nature in a gyro, you feel part of it, and as free as a bird.

                     

Cost

Most forms of flying are expensive and subsequently aren't for everyone. Gyros are the happy exception, you can buy a new gyro from a reputable manufacturer for around the same price your buddy paid for his new sport bike. And if you can't quite afford that, you can always build your own gyro. Many people have built them and they are more than willing to share their experience and advice with you. Thus you have the ability to buy one or build one for yourself.

See the Buyers Guide.

 

Safety

Gyroplanes are very stable aircraft to fly. They are simple in their design and operation, and are more stable in wind than fixed wing ultralights. Unfortunately, many people have heard how easy and stable they are have attempted to teach themselves how to fly, not always with the best results. The self-taught approach is not advised or wise, and usually leads to some common mistakes. The greatest majority of gyroplane accidents are caused by pilot error due to lack of training. Please, get proper training. Gyroplanes are a very user friendly and safe aircraft, but you must be trained to fly them properly and safely.

Read about Myths

Abilities

Depending on the model and weight, gyros can take off with a very short ground roll, usually just a couple of hundred feet, and that can be shortened to well less than a hundred feet when using a pre-rotator. They also land in a very short distance, an experienced pilot can set down with hardly rolling at all. They cruise between 40 and 70 mph and are usually flown between 500 and 1000 feet to enjoy the view and stay out of the way of faster air traffic. But, they can and have been flown over 13000 feet.

They're unique, gyroplanes just do not look like something that will fly, but they do and they do it very well. They're a unique combination of part airplane, part helicopter, and maybe even a little like a powered parachute.

Gyroplanes live in the world of autorotation and are essentially a pendulum weight hanging below a set of rotor blades called the disk. The rotor blades are not powered and depend only on the flow of air over their surfaces to turn them allowing them to generate lift. The forward motion used to move those rotor blades through the air, is provided by a small engine and propeller. 

The engine and propeller can be in a tractor or pusher configuration. If the engine quits, simply push the nose down a little, to maintain airspeed, and glide the gyroplane down for a safe, controlled, landing. The glide slope of most gyroplanes is around 4 to 1, meaning you can glide 400 feet forward for every 100 feet you lose in altitude.

With proper training, a gyro pilot can fly on windy days that his fixed wing counter part cannot fly on. He can also perform maneuvers that will leave his fixed wing counterpart scratching his head in amazement. As our British gyro enthusiasts are fond of saying, "The gyroplane is far more nifty and maneuverable".

   

Gyroplanes are a very cost effective form of flying. They can be home built from plans, purchased in kits, or bought complete and ready to fly. The rotor blades can be easily removed and the gyroplane towed on a trailer, or placed in the back of a pickup truck. They can be stored at your  house in the garage or under a tarp in the yard.  You can even do the maintenance yourself, further reducing the cost of flying your own aircraft. 

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