What in Sam Hell Is a Gyroplane?

It does 120 and looks like a toy. So you know it's good.

April 4, 2017 9:00 am

There’s a new flying machine taking over U.S. air and believe it or not, it’s not a drone. Perhaps more surprising: it requires a pilot. 

Launched by German aircraft manufacturer AutoGyro, the Calidus is a gyroplane that comes pre-assembled and is ready to fly right out the box.

Now here’s the thing about gyroplanes: they’re rather popular in Europe. They also look like cartoon mini-helicopters, except they usually only have enough room to seat one or two. To help popularize the aircraft in the States, AutoGyro launched a full-fledged U.S. division. Meanwhile, the Calidus was just  awarded type-certified status by the FAA, according to Robb Report.

So expect to see a few more of these guys up in the sky.

Capable of taking off with just 30 feet of runway space, the lightweight Calidus relies on a rear-mounted Rotax engine with up to 150 HP for power and can hit a top speed of 120 MPH.

Gyroplane (2 images)

Ninety percent of the components used on the two-seat aircraft — including the propeller, suspension bow and stainless steel frame, are produced in-house and AutoGyro puts each one of its gyroplanes through a standard test flight schedule it allows a customer to take possession.

“The innovative Calidus is unique and ground breaking in design and engineering, in comfort and in-flight characteristics,” AutoGyro says. “Prepared for diverse demands and weather conditions, the Calidus copes easily with turbulence and proves that the air is its element.”

The Calidus is priced near $100k and more info is available here.

Don’t forget a pilot’s license.

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