Is it a gyrocopter, a gyroplane, an autogyro or even an autogiro? Whatever you call these ‘Little Nellie’ flying machines, they’re agile and easy to fly, enabling you take control on your very first flight. We've got gyrocopter lessons at locations dotted around the country, at some great clubs and training schools. If you've tried the rest, isn't it time you took to the skies in a funky autogyro?
• Fly open cockpit gyros from Rochester Airport Kent • All aircraft are dual-controlled & tandem seating • Experience the phenomenon of autorotation • You have the chance to sit up front if you want to
• Flights in a gyroplane from Melbourne Airfield • See the East Yorkshire countryside from the air • Lessons with David Beevers, expert gyroplane pilot • Fly in a side-by-side Magni 24 enclosed gyrocopter
Gyrocopters are becoming increasingly popular, especially given how cost-effective gyrocopters are compared to other aviation experiences. So if you’re looking for a great value way to take to the skies, this is it!
Who it's not for
They might look a tad fragile, but autogyros are actually really stable. However, if you’re a nervous flyer you probably won’t be convinced. If that’s the case, maybe look at a driving experience, where you keep your feet firmly on the ground?
What’s the difference between a gyrocopter and an autogyro?
Gyrocopter, gyroplane, autogyro or autogiro - they are all essentially the same thing, it’s just a different name.
Is a gyrocopter a mini helicopter?
No! Gyrocopters might look like miniature helicopters but they’re not. And no, they’re not toys either, these are proper airworthy aircraft that you can fly in!
How does a gyroplane work?
Unlike a helicopter, a gyro doesn’t use powered rotor blades to provide the thrust. That’s done by a propellor and engine at either the front or the rear of the aircraft. The blades above you auto-rotate when the wind rushes at them, making them turn and provide lift. That’s the science bit for you and it’s as simple as that really!
Wasn’t ‘Little Nellie’ a gyrocopter?
Yes she was! ‘Little Nellie’ featured in the 1967 James Bond film ‘You Only Live Twice’, having been shipped by Q to Bond in just four suitcases. She was designed, built and flown by Ken Wallis, a former Royal Air Force Wing Commander, now considered as the Godfather of modern gyroplanes.
Can gyrocopters hover?
Whilst they can’t hover and execute sheer vertical take offs like helicopter, autogyros need very little space to take off and land and they can fly at very slow speeds, making them excellent for surveillance work. They are also a lot cheaper to buy and maintain than a heli, for an aircraft that flies almost as well as an entry-level chopper.
Can a gyrocopter take off vertically?
No. But as Little Nellie’s inventor Ken Wallis said when asked how much space a gyrocopter needed for take off: ‘a small putting green will do’!
How far can you fly in one?
Now that all depends on the model of gyro you have, how many people are on-board and how big the fuel tank is. But on average, you can easily be cruising the skies for around two hours, covering in the range of 130 miles on a full tank. For these gyrocopter experiences, vouchers are offered in terms of flight time, usually giving you a 20, 30 or 60 minute flight.
Do you need a pilot’s licence to fly a gyrocopter?
To fly solo in a gyrocopter you do need a PPL(G) - that’s to say Private Pilot’s Licence (Gyrocopter). However, for these trial lessons no previous experience is necessary and if you’re up for it, you’ll be able to have a go at the controls during your flight too.
How much are gyrocopter flying lessons?
If you want to learn to fly a gyrocopter you will need to undertake a programme of training that includes theory and practical skills at a qualified training school. Whilst the cost is quite significant, it’s a lot less expensive than learning to fly a helicopter or a plane. Likewise, our gyrocopter lessons start at under £50, making them a lot cheaper than light aircraft or heli lessons.
Are gyros safe to fly?
Unlike other aircraft, gyros can’t stall or spin. However, there’s an inherent risk involved in flying, no matter what form of aircraft you use to get up into the sky. All our autogyro pilots are fully qualified and licensed, with all aircraft meeting current CAA safety regulations.
Are all gyrocopters open cockpit?
Traditionally, autogyros are indeed open cockpit. Having said all that, there are increasing numbers of new generation gyros that are fully enclosed. The little cabin is rather snug, but it does mean you are protected from the wind a lot more. And you have the advantage of a side by side cockpit, so you can sit next to your pilot and learn and awful lot by watching what they are doing as they fly.
What should I wear for a flight in a gyrocopter?
If it’s open cockpit you’ll be wanting to wrap up with gloves and a flying suit, as it can feel pretty cold up there. Your instructor will advise you on what to wear and bring before you arrive for your flight.
How high (or low) will I being flying on my gyrocopter lesson?
If the power of the engine and the pluckiness of the pilot is there, a gyrocopter can climb to several thousand feet. For these experiences you will be flying at around 1000ft in your gyrocopter.
Are there any gyrocopter flight experiences near me?
We work with gyrocopter operators and training schools based at airfields and aerodromes around the country. With a fair few on your books, it’s the proof that gyrocopters really are a popular form of flight. Our current locations include: