Coolest looking gyrocopter, and possibly the hottest looking pilot, I've ever seen


Fly…me…to the moon… .

You must have to be at least a little hot to ride in a gyrocopter. Here is another cool one in Thailand.

I have no idea why gyrocopters aren't more common in the U.S. They are really cheap compared to small planes and practically free compared to helicopters. Plane and Pilot magazine had an expose on them a few months ago and their are some incredibly cool models being made now but I have never seen, let alone flown in, even one in the U.S. despite being an aviation buff.

As for hot pilots, she is getting a little older now but world aerobatics champion Patty Wagstaff is still a looker.

That’s a pretty cool vehicle. I don’t know anything about gyrocopters, but my initial assumption since it looks like a helicopter would be that it would also be able to land like one, plopping straight down. But it looks like it needs a runway to land. Is it because the propeller alone doesn’t give it enough vertical thrust?

Yes, gyrocopters cannot hover (except in a strong headwind). The rotor is completely unpowered and freewheeling. It is basically a horizontal windmill designed to generate lift. The propeller in the back provides forward thrust and that generates the airflow to turn the rotor just by moving the aircraft. That said, most of them are still really good short takeoff and landing aircraft. The unpowered rotor can still typically provide enough lift to get it airborne in just a few hundred feet and sometimes much less depending on the gyroplane, loading, winds and pilot skill. Landings can often be done in less than 200 feet (sometimes close to zero) as long as the pilot conserves rotor speed on approach correctly.

And I understand they are stall-proof.

Depends on your definition of the term. Does a brick stall? I’m thinking it has a very low stall speed if you keep it in level flight, but if you don’t all bets are off.

Yes, they may not truly stall easily but you can still lose enough energy to drop one hard enough to the ground fast enough to destroy yourself and the aircraft.

If you want to see a how a near zero length landing can be done, here is an example but it does take skill. Remembered that rotor is unpowered and when it runs out of inertia, you are going to the ground whether you like it or not.

One thing I have always wondered is why someone can’t make a gyroplane with a limited powered rotor. You already get about 90% of the performance of helicopter at 10% of the cost. Helicopters obviously work but they are basically Rube Goldberg devices for the problem they solve and they are tremendously expensive to buy and operate. It is true that gyroplanes cannot hover but they almost can for a short time given the right conditions.

I think all it would take for a gyroplane to get 97+% of helicopter capability is to have a basic electric motor with modest horsepower and a fairly rapid discharge battery to get even more impressive takeoff and landing capability plus limited hover in marginal circumstances. The supplemental power would typically only be used to spin up the rotor right before takeoff and during landing if needed but could also be used in emergencies.

The whole system only needs to last a few minutes per flight and shouldn’t weigh that much. I think there is real promise in that design and would add a large safety margin and a lot to the category capability.

What sort of license do you need to pilot a gyroplane in the USofA? Are they classed as Experimental?

Do they autorotate well enough to given themselves a soft landing like a chopper?

Most of the newly manufactured ones require a Sport Pilot license because they meet the weight and max speed requirements. That means you need a drivers license but not a medical certificate and at least 20 hours of instructor supervised training to have a full license to operate one.

However, there are some gyrocopters and other very small aircraft like ultralight trikes, powered parachutes and cleverly constructed airplanes that that fall into the ultralight category. Those require no licensing at all. You can build one in your garage and fly it over your own field with no penalty unless you violate other laws in the process.

There are a few examples of gyrocopters that are too heavy to qualify for the Sport Pilot weight restriction of 1320 pounds but they aren’t common. You would need a full Private Pilot license to fly one of those legally.

As always, other laws also apply. If you take your new gyrocopter and fly it over Manhattan unannounced, it doesn’t matter what license you have. You are going to be in a world of legal trouble.

They will when handled well by the pilot but it is all about energy management. That freely spinning rotor is not a magic set of wings and when the energy is gone, it will drop from the sky almost as well as if you pushed it off a building if you don’t have the altitude to regain air and rotor speed.

What people say about stalling is true but very misleading. Stalls refer to a disruption of the airflow over the primary lift surfaces and gyroplanes resist that tendency. However, some lift does not always mean enough lift to sustain altitude. The rotors can still be generating lift quite well when you smack straight into the ground if it isn’t enough to counteract gravity.

It is almost like going downhill on a mountain with your engine is off but there are some hills in the way as well. If you just coast, there is enough energy to make it all the way down including going over the hills but, if you do something stupid like hit your brakes hard on an uphill slope, you may just roll straight back down and never make it. Watch the short near zero stop video that I posted above. The pilot is building up energy on his rotor so that he can do a limited hover at the final stage of landing because that is the only tool he has.

It is a little more complicated when you are dealing with 3D but the basic idea is the same. I don’t think gyrocopters are fundamentally unsafe at all. In fact, I think the newer ones are some of the coolest machines yet invented but some of their proponents try to oversell the no-stall feature because you can still kill yourself in one quite easily and they take just as much skill to operate well and safely as any other small aircraft.

Yes! They auto-rotate very well. That is the mode that they usually fly in. Think about it, A helicopter only uses its auto-rotate feature when the rotor loses power due to an engine or transmission failure. A gyro-copter does not have a powered rotor, thus it is always in the auto-rotate mode.

If, due to an error on the pilots judgement, the rotor slows down below the speed needed to produce lift, the auto-gyro will come down. If due to some more poor pilot judgement, the aircraft is too low to auto-rotate, it can make a big hole in the ground. This is hard on the aircraft as well as pilots & passengers. Try not to do this.

Some auto-gyros have a system to pre-spin the rotor. This is used to shorten the take off roll. I doubt if it could be used in flight.

Well that’s what I thought, which is why I asked my question, given what Shagnasty said. But of course auto-rotation isn’t magic and won’t save you in every circumstance for reasons Shagnasty gives.

The reason you don’t see them is they like to die - and take all aboard with them.

You know when your dad would crest a hill and give you that little ‘Wheeee’ ride?
That is a negative G - which, in a gyroplane (‘Gyrocopter’ being a tm) stops producing lift, and drops straight down. No, it CANNOT be recovered. Kiss your ass goodbye.

A gust of wind in the wrong direction will kill you. Enjoy your flight!

Bolding mine.

Are you sure about this? I first saw them flying at an airshow when the other performers were grounded due to the gusty winds. The pilots told me that winds are not a big deal with a gyro-copter.

Here listen to an airline pilot that flies these.

No, that feeling is not negative g. It is a feeling of slightly less than 1 g, because we are all so used to living at 1 g, any reduction below 1 g feels very unusual. You will never get negative g cresting a hill in a car. The best you could do is 0 g if you get airborne.

The Thread title praises the pilots hotness but the pilot is not prominently featured in frame in the linked video (maybe she is if you keep watching but I was mostly seeing scenery shots before I stopped).

So, out of healthy curiosity I did an image search of the pilot’s YouTube name "Gyrocopter Girl ".

Did not at all expect the “safe search” setting to be relevant but, apparently, it is relevant.
More nudity in the Bing image search results but there’s certainly plenty of nudity in the Google image search results too. Seems like naked gyrocoptering is a thing? The pilot from the OP shows up naked in more than a few results and there are various other woman gyrocopter pilots who are naked or at least topless.

Is there some kind of significant overlap in the gyrocopter community and the naturism community?

It just doesn’t stop producing lift. If its a bad design (and there are lots of them) they flip over almost instantly in a forward direction which rips the rotors right off then and there at which point you are basically in a seat of death falling towards the ground.

Gyroplanes SHOULD be very safe if built and operated properly. But the safety record is hideous. Mainly because for some reason the gryoplane community attracts the biggest bunch of dumbass aviation rednecks that are stupid, careless as hell, and don’t understand shit about most things aviation and physics related.