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Gyroplane, gyrocopter, autogyro or rotaplane… whatever you call them, there’s no getting away from the fact that these hybrid flying machines are just plain weird. Looking like the love-child of a helicopter and a microlight, the gyroplane is one of the lesser-known light aircraft, and although they’ve been around for nearly 100 years, for some reason gyroplaning has never quite taken off. But, if you’re looking for a truly unique flying experience, the dedicated gyroplane instructors out there will tell you there’s nothing quite like it.
So, now for the science part. Though they may look like tiny helicopters, gyroplanes actually use a completely different mechanism to get off the ground. Unlike their hovering cousins, the horizontal rotor of a gyroplane is not powered by the engines – the blades spin solely by the force of air pushing through them like windmill sails. The engine powers a more traditional vertical propeller which can sit either in front of (as in a traditional light aeroplane) or behind (as in most flex-wing microlights) the cockpit, which provides the thrust to get the aircraft moving.

As it gains forward speed, the airflow through the horizontal blades increases, providing an overall lift which pulls the aircraft skywards. This mechanism allows the gyroplane to stay airborne at lower speeds than conventional aeroplanes, though not enough so to allow for hovering.
As a relatively uncommon aircraft, Gyroplanes may not be the ideal training vehicle, as there are far fewer locations offering instruction. But rest assured that if there’s a gyroplane experience to be had in your area, FlyingLessons.co.uk is the place to find it, and once you try one of these quirky little flying machines, you may very well find yourself addicted!

Check out some of the Top Gyrocopter Flying Lessons in the UK

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Jake trained as an artist and designer in Manchester and now spends most of his time attached to a computer keeping FlyingLessons.co.uk running smoothly. In his spare time he likes hiking up mountains, exploring art galleries and, of course, all things aviation.

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