Gyros on Floats :

This looks like fun to me! If anyone has any more interesting photos of gyros on floats I would love to add them to this page (either e-mail them or send them and I will return them to you). So far all the photos except the one at the bottom of this page were taken and sent to me by Bill Lochridge who used to live on Friday Island, between Queensland, Australia and Papua New Guinea. If you want to know any more about either of these gyros e-mail Bill Lochridge by clicking on the underlined coloured text. He would be pleased to help.

Before anyone considers flying a floats gyro they should be VERY aware that it is a far more risky business than flying an ordinary, 'wheeled' gyro. The aircraft are far more susceptible to the dreaded 'Power Pushover' (PPO) in any conditions other than flat calm at the gyro's optimum cruise speed, and there are several techniques used by successful pilots that must be followed to avoid the gyros tipping over either on takeoff, taxying or landing. Most gyros seem very ill-suited to flying with floats, but there do seem to be a few exceptions. In short, I would advise gyro pilots to steer well clear of them unless they are very experienced, aware of a type which they are absolutely sure has been flown very successfully (rare!), has received large amounts of advice from the pilot of such a craft, and then - only if conditions are perfect, with not a hint of wind gusts or windshear.

for me this is the ultimate flying boat!

This gyro belongs to Bill's friend Greg Pope, seen here anchoring the gyro at Bill's beach on Friday Island. The gyro is a much modified Air Command 582 with a dual 2" x 1" mast and thicker than usual plates at both ends. The rotor is 26 ft and by Bert Larkin of Home Hill, Queensland, and the floats are made of 1 ft x 1 ft x 8 ft sheet fibreglass - although Greg reckons that they ought really to be about 2 ft longer. Under the seat on the frame you might just be able to see a paddle.

Greg taxying his gyro in to the beach

Greg coming into the beach - the island behind him is Thursday Island

Greg's gyro in flight

The gyro takes flight.


Side view of Bill Lochridge's gyro

This is Bill Lochridge's gyro which as you can see is on a Full Lotus float with outriggers. Bill says that this is fine for fairly flat waters on lakes or rivers, but not really ideal for his area. Bill's gyro has a 110 hp Subaru engine with belt reduction drive and a 72" warp drive propeller. The rotor head is made by Bill Larkin, as is the 26 ft rotor (not shown).

Rear view of Bill's gyro

a French gyro - nice floats!

This tandem gyro was designed and built by Jean-Pierre Doleac. A prototype, DJP 01. The picture was taken in July 1998, at Cavalaire, near Saint Tropez (on the French Riviera) during a meeting of amphibian / hydravion aircraft, ultralights and gyrocopters. It had a Rotax 582 engine and is basically very similar to the wheeled version which Jean-Pierre is flying now (but on a BMW motorcycle engine) - some photos on page 21 of Fly Gyro! magazine issue #6

Hopefully I may have some more information on the gyro seen above soon.

This bright yellow 2 seat side-by-side gyro I think was photographed in Florida, USA. If anyone has any more information on it then please let me know. How the engine stays cool I can't imagine. No horizontal stabilizer either - though it obviously does fly. Thanks to Patrick Howell for sending me the photos.

making waves!how does he get airflow to that engine or radiator?interesting ...



If you want to try a different alternative to gyros on floats, then what about The Hoverhawk! A hovercraft with detachable wings which you can store on board. With the wings attached you can fly the hovercraft in "surface effect" up to 5ft above whatever surface you want. Take the wings off (stow the wings on board) and it will take more passengers as a conventional hovercraft. I have no idea how dangerous flying in this craft would be. Click on the photo - and use your 'Back' button to return here later.

The Hoverhawk


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

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Gyros on Floats

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