Gyroplane designs have come and gone over the years. Igor Bensen made a huge splash in the 1970’s with the Bensen Gyrocopter on the cover of Popular Mechanics Magazine. “Gyrocopter” was actually Bensen’s trade name. All others are actually gyroplanes, according to the FAA. Ken Brock’s KB-3 was a huge hit with the EAA crowd and Air Command was prominent in the 80’s and 90’s. Now, it is hard to find anyone flying any of those designs.
Enter Denis Schoemaker, the entrepreneur who started Prairie Automation in Kasota, Minnesota. A real gyroplane fan, he looked at all the past and current offerings and saw wide gaps in quality of construction and design. Incorporating the best design elements from the gyro world, he focused on high quality finished parts and the strength of load bearing components. Using computer design and automation, Denis created the Gyro Technic, an impressive machine that has solid performance. He spent a huge amount of time perfecting stability in the design, utilizing centerline thrust and a generously sized horizontal stabilizer and rudder.
Even more impressive is Gyro Technic’s attention to the homebuilding process. When you purchase a kit, you get all of the hardware and small fabricated parts in individually labeled bags, each referenced to the plans. You also receive a thumb drive with both 2-D and 3-D drawings. If you are not sure how a part is assembled, you can rotate the 3-D drawing to see any side. If you put a cursor over any component of a structure, it highlights exactly what nut, bolt and washer is used in the assembly. For the highly motivated, Gyro Technic offers an “Assist to Build” one-week program, which includes lodging. After the week is completed, you will leave with one sweet flying machine and a structure that will bring tears to a German engineer’s eyes.
The basic kit is designed for a Rotax 582 with development in process for a Rotax 912 ULS. With the 582, the Gyro Technic will cruise between 60-65 mph and climb at full gross weight (750 lb) at 700 fpm.
While other manufacturers are in the throes of supply chain issues and 18 month lead times, Gyro Technic has ten kits ready to go. The basic kit (less engine, rotors, prop and instruments) if $23,800. For more information, visit www.gyrotechnic.com.
Air Command is back in business and some still fly bensens because they are easy to build.