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Thread: Gyrocopter Service Ceiling

  1. #1

    Question Gyrocopter Service Ceiling

    I live in Colorado at 6,500 MSL, where summer density altitudes can easily achieve 10,000 ft. I own a turbocharged Cessna and teach mountain flying, so am quote familiar with fixed wing performance issues. It appears most gyrocopters are quite limited (e.g. < 10K) in service ceilings. As I am new to this aircraft category, and non-certified engines in general, do these engines when turbocharged provide full rated horsepower at altitude? Are rotor blades more subject to loss in lift associated with high density altitude, as compared to fixed wings? I am interested in purchasing a two place gyrocopter, being my first.

  2. #2
    PRA Secretary JOHN ROUNTREE 41449's Avatar
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    Hi Rob
    It's not that rotors are more or less effected than fixed wing airfoils. All airfoils are effected to the same degree.
    It's that our rotors are always in auto-rotation. Like holding a kids pinwheel out a car window it has a great deal of drag 3 to 5 to one glide ratio compared to at least 10 to 1 for fixed wing aircraft.
    Also know that with the correct engine selection the record for a modern gyroplane set in an MTO is 28K so they can and do defiantly fly higher than 10K with the correct engine!

    You can get into trouble with down drafts in gyro's as two accidents have been caused by them in modern gyro's. Both pilots were OK but it shows there is a problem when the engines are not turbo charged.

    It takes longer to fly out of it than in most fixed wing aircraft however with your training in mountain flying you would know how to fly out of it and avoid the problem that way more than likely even with an engine without a turbo.
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