One of the guys on the theory course is an aircraft mechanic and has worked with a type of aircrafts called gyrocopter (or autogyro). One evening a presentation was arranged so all the questions could be answered; is it really a real aircraft?
Okay, it LOOKS like a helicopter, but that is pretty much also where the similarities stops. It has two rotating fans, which on a helicopter provides lift via the angle of attach against the air. That means that the fans will be tilted forward when flying forward. On a gyrocopter it is the other way around. The fans actually works like a disc when spinning in high speed and it is the disc that provides the lift via its angle of attach against the wind. That means that the fans/disk will be tilted backwards when flying forward. So in other words; the power is not provided by the fans (like on a helicopter) but by a propeller on the back of the gyrocopter. Confused? Take a look at the Wiki article for more information.
The interesting thing about gyrocopters is that they can be flown on a PPL license – actually even with a UL license as it is classified as a UL aircraft.
The cockpit of this Auto-Gyro Cavalon is nice and sporty and you have a great view while flying as there are no wings in the way.
Well I am not convinced to go for the gyrocopter unfortunately. But I might be tempted to try it out one day.