My Gyroplane Journey Begins

My first flight in a Gyroplane was in January 2020, in my friend Tom’s Tango 2, and I was bitten with the gyro grin!  I flew with Tom every chance I got.  He was a great help getting me started explaining the parts of the gyro, its handling & maneuvering, and  preflight checks.  I also got to work with him on some of the routine and unscheduled maintenance on his gyro.

I decided that I would study for the Sport Pilot – Gyroplane rating and signed up for two study programs to prepare me  for the FAA written test:  the Gleim sport pilot course and the online course offered by the Popular Rotorcraft Association, taught by Tim O’Connor.  Tim’s course was focused on the gyro and was really a big help. 



I looked into lots of different gyros and decided early on that I wanted a single-seat machine.  The problem was finding one that fit my idea of what I wanted to fly.

I decided that I wanted to build an Aviomania G1sB “Genesis CE” so I contacted Nicolas, the owner of Aviomania Aircraft, and began discussions with him about options and availability.  After looking at the standard Genesis front panel, I decided that I wanted to incorporate a Garmin Aera 660 aviation GPS and make some other changes.  Nicolas emailed me the CAD file for the panel and I went about converting it to one I could more easily use.  I have been using Front Panel Designer by Front Panel Express for years, so I converted the main panel shape with mounting holes, to a .DXF file and then reentered all of the panel objects.  In order to make room for the GPS, I had to relocate instruments and switches and at the same time remove  elements that I will not be using.  I added a red warning indicator which will be tied to the MGL engine-monitoring system – any abnormal indications will trigger this red light.

Here are images of the original panel and of the redesigned front panel.  I moved the airspeed indicator to the left, removed the vertical-speed indicator and the altimeter and replaced the altimeter with a combo vertical-speed indicator/altimeter and moved it to the right.  The Aera 660 GPS will reside between these two instruments.  I removed the cutout for a transponder, as I do not need one, and made some other, minor changes.  Nicolas will use my revised CAD file to cut the final panel for my Genesis.