The newest addition to the gyrocopter genre arrived at Aero Friedrichshafen this week in the form of a side-by-side, fully-enclosed, composite construction Cavalon gyrocopter. The gyrocopter is to the helicopter what the microlight is to traditional small aircraft. Invented in 1923 by Spaniard Juan de la Cierva, the gyrocopter uses quite a different layout to the helicopter to give it stability at low speed. It is cheap to run, takes off and lands on a ridiculously small footprint, and has a powered pusher propeller in addition to an unpowered main rotor.
Certification for the EUR65,000 Cavalon is almost complete in Germany and France, and AutoGyro will assist with certification documentation for other countries. Additionally, there are still ten units up for grabs in this year's production run.
The closest competitor to the Cavalon is the Xenon gyrocopter built in Poland, though the Xenon has the one-axle cyclic control while the Cavalon has a two-stick arrangement and the Cavalon stores its fuel outside the cabin.