2 seat gyro types commonly flown in the U.K.

The RAF2000 (side by side 2 seater)

RAF200 in flight, side view

RAF2000 in flight, front view

Marc Lhermette flying his RAF2000.

I have flown this aircraft a couple of times with Marc and it was an interesting and enjoyable new experience for me. It certainly feels a bit different from any other gyro that I have flown - but then, it looks different and it is different!

The RAF2000 is manufactured in Canada and now exported in kit form to many countries around the world. The Subaru Legacy 2200cc engine on the later models of this type have proved themselves to be extremely reliable - a good selling point for any aircraft! They have a long range and, as you can see, they are fully enclosed and even have cabin heating! In hot weather you can remove the doors to get some good old-fashioned gyro breeze blowing past your nose. Sadly, one of the main grumbles against them in the U.K. is that they are extremely noisy. This may not be a problem in the wide open spaces of Canada but in the densely populated U.K. it certainly is! If Rotary Air Force did some serious research and came up with a solution to tackling this problem (not easy, I know), then their increased U.K. sales would pay for that investment in a very short space of time! There must be a way.

U.K. Instructors currently instructing on the RAF2000 include Marc Lhermette (Kent), Roger Savage (Cumbria), Tony Melody (Somerset), David Beevers (Yorkshire) and Mike Goldring (Devon). Full instructor details on the BRA Instructors page.

The U.K. agent for the RAF2000 is Mike Goldring, U.K. tel/fax : 01626 353717 address : 6,Coombeshead Road, Highweek, Newton Abbott, Devon, TQ12 1PY.

When you have finished browsing this site, you can get more information on the RAF2000 gyros at the Rotary Air Force website, or you could even look at the "Gyro-Jamie" page of the Clean-Air Commandos site. They have fitted out an RAF2000 to run on propane gas and are aiming to beat the world 'distance' and 'time to climb' records. I would be very surprised if the present holder of these records, Wing Commander Ken Wallis, is losing any sleep over this. If an RAF2000 (even if it was rocket powered!) climbs faster than Ken Wallis then I will 'eat my hat' (to use a quaint old English expression).

Mel's hat !

Mel's Hat at the craft tent at Europe's largest aviation rally - the Popular Flying Association annual rally, at Cranfield Airfield (1998). I did no flying - and sold no work!!

'Gyro-Jamie' may be good for air pollution, but let's get them working on the RAF's far more noticeable Noise Pollution!

From their site you can download a 1.5MB movie with musical accompaniment to keep on your desktop showing 'Gyro-Jamie' flying around. It lasts 17 seconds, and the picture quality is o.k. as long as you keep it postage stamp size.


The Magni M16 Tandem Trainer (formerly known as the VPM)

Roger Savage and a student flying the Magni M16

The photo above is courtesy of Roger Savage Gyroplanes Ltd.

Tony Unwin taxying out to display the M16 at Kilmersdon Village Day air display, 1996.

photo by Edwin Shackleton

top photo : Roger Savage and a gyro student flying in the 4cylinder 2stroke Arrow powered Magni (formerly VPM) M16.

bottom photo : Tony Unwin winding up the rotor on an M16 and about to do a display at the CAA authorised Kilmersdon Village Day Air Display, 1996. Dave Organ made a video of this event ( including ariel footage of his flight in to the event from Kemble Airfield). If anyone wants to purchase a copy of this video they can do so from Dave's website

I must here express a strong personal bias towards the M16. Apart from 20 terrifying minutes in a Thruster microlight (on a gusty day), I had my first ever flight and subsequently learned to fly gyros in the M16. No other type of gyro, light aircraft or microlight (ultralight) that I have flown since then has matched this aircraft for ease of flying, stability, manoevrability (for its size) and pure fun flying. There may be a touch of 'first love' syndrome here, but which ever way you look at things the M16 is, in essence, a truly great aircraft. However, nothing is ever perfect and I believe that all of the U.K. M16s so far have suffered from appalling, serious engine problems - (ask any M16 owner about sprag clutches and watch him dissolve into tears!). Many of these gyros also suffer from some fairly violent stick shake too, which is never a healthy thing but seems practically impossible to trim out, and the noise level is also frequently remarked on - although they are noticeably quieter than the RAF2000.

Magni Gyro no longer fit the Arrow engines to their gyros, which may be a good thing as far as engine reliability goes, but thanks to our guardians at The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) attempts to use other more reliable engines have largely been abandoned in the U.K. as people realise that without endless time and money their dreams are unlikely to become a reality. It is a shame that several very well researched projects have been abandoned, but one which looks as if it will succeed at last is Roger Savage's conversion to using the Rotax 914 turbo (4stroke). The trouble is that for the U.K. price of this engine alone you could buy two complete second hand single seat gyros like mine - and still have change for 5 years worth of fuel!! Roger has been prepared (and is continuing) to spend a very considerable amount of time and money to legalize this engine change because his aircraft will be in constant use for training purposes. Roger and his club have recently been successful in purchasing Great Orton Airfield in Cumbria as a gyro training centre - well done Roger and The North West Gyroplane Club! Keep 'em whirling!

The 2 cylinder Arrow engines used on some of our single seat gyros do not seem to have the same problems as when they are coupled together as 4 cylinder engines. Other countries are using a variety of different engines on the M16, so let us hope that there will be an affordable engine alternative in the U.K. before too long so that the ordinary sport gyro flyers can afford to fly this superb aircraft in the full expectation of reaching their destinations!

U.K. instructors currently training on the M16 are Tony Unwin (Somerset), Roger Savage (Cumbria), Mac Smith (Hampshire), and David Beevers (Yorkshire). Full instructor details on the BRA Instructors page.

Since the recent sad death of Phil Barlow I do not believe that there has been a U.K. agent appointed for Magni gyros - which were imported in kit form - but you may like to read a review (with photos) of the M16 at the Italian site Ultralight on Line , (in English). Click the Ultralight on Line logo in the bottom right hand side of that page to explore the rest of their site. Details of the gyro and Magnis address are given there.


Using your ' BACK ' button is the quickest way to return to the last page that you viewed

or :

 gyro1minigyro

' Mel's Gyro Page ' (gyro homepage)

gyro2

Ken Wallis page

gyro3

gyro photos taken while filming for TV series

gyro4

single seat gyro types commonly flown in the UK (Cricket types, Bensen, Montgomerie Bensen)

gyro5

single seat gyro types rarely flown in the UK (Wombat, KB2, Air Command, Hornet, McCandless, etc.)

gyro6 - you're in it !

2 seat gyro types commonly flown in the UK (VPM M16, RAF2000)

 gyro7

2 seat gyro types rarely flown in the UK

gyro8

an assortment of other pages - several sub-pages to this one

gyro9

interesting projects going on

gyro10

International gyro page

gyro11

FLYING LINKS

gyro12

Gyroglider page

gyro13

Gyros on Floats

gyro14

Stop browsing this and get proper training to fly gyros in the U.K. (this link will take you to the BRA site)

Fly Gyro! magazine

The new international magazine (printed) for enthusiasts everywhere!