The Gyrocopter Experience

Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked lots of questions about Gyrocopters.? Here are the most common questions we are asked.? If you have any different questions or you would like more information then please Contact Us.? We will be delighted to help you.

Even though you are out in the open it is not significantly colder in the air than it is on the ground because we fly quite low.? You are sheltered from the wind by a large windscreen.? If it is a cold day then you should wear thick socks and wear some 'layers' ideally with a fleece.? Trousers and sensible shoes are a must, trainers or walking boots are best.? No high heels or sandals.? We will provide a flying suit, neck warmer and gloves if required.? In the summer we often fly without a flying suit and would instead wear a jacket.

Nothing. Nowadays they are all the same.

Technically the word Gyrocopter is a trademark of the Bensen corporation and was used to try and differentiate between the work of Igor Bensen and others. As a generalisation the CAA tend to use the word Autogyro, manufacturers tend to use the word Gyroplane, personally we like the word Gyrocopter - we think it just sounds better. What do you think, have some fun and click the poll on the left.

Put simply - a Gyrocopter is like a helicopter except that the engine is not connected to the rotors - they freewheel (or autorotate).? A Gyrocopter has a propeller (like an aeroplane) and the forward motion of the gyrocopter through the air as a result of the propellor turning, forces wind through the rotors in turn making them autorotate.

The best description on the web of a Gyrocopter is available at

It has a propellor connected to an engine whih moves it forward and which in turn pushes air through the rotors (like running with a child's windmill).? The rotors spin fast enough to create "lift" which lifts.

As the engine does not control the rotors, they keep turning at exactly the same speed with or without the engine.? In the event of an engine failure, the Gyro will glide to the ground in a very slow and controlled manner.? This makes the Gyro one of the safest type of aircraft to be in should the engine fail.

When it is in the air, the gyrocopter can hover, however it cannot increaase height during a hover like a helicopter therefore is not able to take off and land vertically.? The gyrocopter requires a very short distance to take off, about the length of a football pitch; and an even shorter distance to land, about the length of a tennis court.? (Although you would of course have to take the net down if you wanted to land safely!!!

The flying controls are identical to a fixed wing aeroplane, therefore flying a gyrocopter has about the same difficulty as flying a plane.? Most people can handle the controls satisfactorily after about 10 hours of instruction.

Almost anywhere you can fly a small aeroplane - most of the UK except around major airports and airways.? You cannot fly over towns / cities, above the clouds or fly at night.

You must never fly closer than 500ft from any person, animal or structure (unless you have just taken off or are landing).? However this 500ft does not have to be a vertical distance, for example, legally you could fly along a sandy beach at 50ft as long as there were no dog walkers, sun?bathers ?etc within 500ft of the machine.

  1. You generally only fly at around 800ft above the ground which allows you to see all that is happening below quite clearly. It is safer to fly at this height in a Gyrocopter compared to most other flying.? A?helicopter generally flies at about 1200ft for safety and an aeroplane generally flies above 1500ft to 2000ft.? These?guidelines are designed around?being able to land safely in the event of an engine failure (unlikely though it is!
  2. A gyrocopter is very manoeuvrable and can turn very quickly and steeply safely. In a winged aircraft (like an aeroplane, microlight or glider) the steeper the turn, the more dangerous it is due to inherent dangers of stalling and spinning.? Because a Gyrocopter has rotors in place of a wing, the lift is generated in a circular manner and therefore cannot stall or spin.? Also, tight turns increase the G loading, which in turn spins the rotors faster and increases their performance.? Steep turns can be great fun.
  3. You can fly very slowly, or hover safey so you can watch things. Yes, Gyrocopters can hover in the air.? It is a great way to watch the world go by below you.? One of the best things is watching traffic holdups on the motorways below you, knowing that you have the freedom to travel without congestion.
  4. You fly out in the open and get that "wind in you hair feeling". Some people are scared at the thought of flying in an open cockpit.? Trust us, you dont feel much more exposed than if you were in an enclosed cockpit.? There are large windscreens in front of you which makes you fell quite sheltered but at the same time there is something quite exhilarating flying out in the open air.
  5. A gyrocopter is not bumpy even in windy conditions or turbulance.? It feels stable and comfortable. If you dont like bumpy flying experiences then then Gyrocopters are definitely the flying machines for you!? Because there are no large wings like an aeroplane there is nothing for the turbulance to hit against, the Gyrocopter rotors slice though the air.? It's just fantastic!

No, a Gyrocopter cannot do negative-G manoeves like an aeroplane because it has rotors and rotors use gravity to keep them turning.? However believe us, you will still find it to be an exciting and exhilarating experience even without loop the loops!!

A two seat factory-built Gyrocopter will cost you about ?40,000 for a standard machine.? This is the MT-03 Gyroplane which is built in Germany, comes direct from?the factory and are fully certified by the CAA for use in the UK.

Please do get in touch for more details.? We would be happy to talk you through all the options and provide you independant advice. See Contact Us for more information.

Yes.? You need a PPL(G) to fly a Gyrocopter.? This is a different licence from a PPL(A) - which is for aeroplanes; a PPL(H) - which is for helicopters or a PPL(B) which is for balloons or an NPPL (Microlights) which is for microlights.

If you already hold another licence then you do not have to do the full training course in order to obtain a PPL(G).? See our section on Training for full details.

Indeed it is!? Little Nellie was?used in the James Bond film "You only live twice".

The Gyrocopter in the film was actually flown by Ken Wallace who invented that particular model.? We are told that they filmed over 50 hours of flying for just 4 minutes of film footage.