Well what’s an Autogyro?
The most simplistic view, it’s a flying windmill or even a rotating parachute, think of a sycamore seed gently floating down as it spins.
The rotor blades of the gyro are completely free wheeling in flight, being driven solely by the air going up through the rotor disk. There is no mechanical drive to the rotors in flight, the phenomenon of autorotation drives them, once airborne the rotors just look after themselves and keep spinning, even if the airspeed indicator is showing Zero!!
The propeller of the aircraft pushes it through the air for forward flight, the rotor is inclined slight back and the air flows up though the rotor disk keeps the rotors spinning. Stop the engine and the aircraft slows and descends, the air still flows through the disk and keeps them turning, even when flying sideways or even backwards – Birds don’t even fly backwards deliberately!!
As the rest of the aircraft is hanging from the rotor it acts like a pendulum giving the gyrocopter natural stability, the rotors (wings) are flying through the air at 350mph so turbulent unstable air and wind gusts are ‘sampled’, this make the gyroplane much more stable that most other aircraft and capable or flying in conditions other won’t.
Autogyro, Gyroplane, Gyrocopter, Gyro – call them what you like, they are fun to fly and great to watch displaying.
Something different, something unusual, something for all the family to enjoy watching at your event.
2500 Hours+ flying Gyroplanes FI (Gyroplane Flying Instructor) and FIC (Instructor of Instructors).
First British Gold Colibri – at the time the only Gold to be awarded in the World. Fourth in the 1st World Microlight Championship, winning the speed event outright Set a FAI World distance record in category C-1a/0, which still stands to this day.
Won the 1994 Around the World Air Race in ‘Tiger’ a 1500 hp Cessna Conquest II twin turbo prop aircraft owned and flown by Vijaypat Singhania, along with Peter Davies and Dan Brown.
Recorded as official ‘Earthrounders’– persons who have flown around the world in the name of adventure
FAI’s 1st World Air Games – The Olympics for Aviation – attained 4th in the World in the discipline of Long distance navigation flying a Mooney 252 with its owner Bryan Eccles. Peter has flown virtually everything type of flying machine from Hang gliders through to Wessex helicopters and the Worlds largest biplane, the Antonov AN2.
The essence of the Display is – Up Close and Personal
Due to their low speed and low energy the Gyro Display is cleared to fly 50m from the Crowd line at 100ft or less
Unlike a lot of display routines that Flash past the crowd at high speed, from a distance, the crowd never seeing pilot, we bring the display to the crowd line, we bring the pilot to the crowd line.
It all about displaying the aircraft’s capabilities, Displaying something Different, having Fun, Entertaining the Audience, putting a Smile on peoples faces, giving them something to go away with that they remember, something that makes them smile.
Flying along at 50m away from the Crowd line at 100ft, we’re Up Close, the pilot waving with both hands, the crowd waving back, taking a bow in the air with aircraft. The crowd being able to interact with the pilot, they can see him, relate to him. It’s Personal.
The Display Routine is about taking the Show to the crowd line. Most people remember James Bond 007 and ‘Little Nellie’ and when they see this display they can relate to that memory, its all about smiles.
The Display is a set sequence, but it is tailored to suit each event display line and the weather condition on the day. The routine is generally 7-8 mins in length, it’s a flat, non-aerobatic routine, designed to interact and please the crowd.
The Pilot is cleared for 30ft fly pasts, in a visibility a of 1km and cloud base of 200ft and 25kts Cross wind !!. Now not many displays can be flown in those conditions. This one can! We can be displaying when virtually everyone else is grounded!!
Insurance:- The aircraft carries £1.5m liability insurance with an underwriter rated as – A.M. Best rating of “A” (Excellent)
Mike Wood - R5 Air Displays
“Peter Davies and his Calidus autogyro offer a new dimension to the air display scene. The display, which is compact and very well flown, fully exploits the unique envelope of the Calidus. It is exciting and, due to the low speeds achievable, can operate on the 50M display line which gives the crowd a great view of the diminutive and futuristic machine. Whilst the display is probably best suited to the smaller and more intimate venues such as East Kirkby, I have used it very effectively at larger seafront displays including Blackpool. The Blackpool display area is normally between the Central and North Piers which often means that the ‘heavy metal’ is a long way offshore and distant from the bulk of the crowd. By contrast the Calidus happily waltzes up and down the 50M line between the piers restoring the crowd’s intimacy with the event. In summary , a versatile and different act to add to your display programme.”
Peter Holloway, Display Pilot, The Shuttleworth Collection
“I displayed my Fieseler Storch STOL aircraft at East Kirby this season and watched Peter Davies amazing Autogyro display from start to finish. It is unusual these days to see an autogyro display and Peter, in his latest generation machine, performed a series of manouvres that demonstrated its capabilities extremely well. Judging by the appreciation of the crowd as he landed ( and bearing in mind I couldn’t hear the applause following mine!) I have no doubt that he stole the show. I would urge any airshow organiser to book Peter for next season without delay in order to avoid disappointment.”
Ken Cothliff - Air Show Commentator
“The display was excellent and really enjoyed by our clientele, who were seeing such a display for the first time in many years. The demonstration of ‘hands-free’ flying, and the different performance factors, where well shown by the pilot
“From a commentator’s point of view the notes, so often inadequate from many display pilots, were excellent enabling me to give the audience good information on pilot and aircraft.”
Robb Metcalfe - Ex Head of General Aviation Inspectorate, Civil Aviation Authority
“In today’s display environment, it often appears that the only items available are jets and warbirds which use acres of sky during their display. However, with Peter’s autogyro display you are reminded that there are other aircraft available which are just as interesting and exciting
An autogyro will perform manoeuvres that seem impossible to one used to conventional aircraft displays, Peter makes full use of this characteristic during his display and flies the full range available with panache and style. I look forward to watching Peter’s display again
Jeff Brownhut - Air Show Organiser & Founder, National Outdoor Events Association
The Autogyro is a unique aircraft and so versatile that it can be used for a wide range of uses both as a “featured performer” and as a camera platform, similar to a helicopter but far more uses and manouverability. I can reccommend Peter Davies, Europe’s first “Aerial performer Equity Card Holder” for all types of events and roles. Totaly different and with all the special knowledge and skills, licences and documentation required to fill any aerial role. Be one of the first in Europe to feature the superb Autogyro in your production in front of or behind the camera..”
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History of the Autogyro
Autogyro’s where invented by Juan de la Cierva, only 20 years after the Wright Brothers first flight, they marked a departure from conventional fixed wing aircraft in an attempt to invent an aircraft that couldn’t STALL.
The name autogiro was a Trade name for Cierva’s make of aircraft, nowadays, they are also known as gyrocopters, gyroplanes, and autogyro’s and just Gyro’s, they were the first rotary wing aircraft to fly successfully under full, safe control.
They rely on a phenomenon known as autorotation, where the airflow makes them spin by the aerodynamic forces of the airflow through the disc of the rotor and over the blades, exactly the same way a windmill blade turns. No Power, just the wind.
The technologies essential for helicopters rotor heads were all first developed for the autogyro. They have a number of advantages over helicopters, namely simplicity, cost, and weight. A helicopter rotor is a complex and expensive piece of engineering; it provides the lift, thrust, and control for the aircraft.
The Autogyro also uses the rotor for flight control, but by the use of a two blade teetering (seesaw) rotor it reduces the complexity of the system, and thus reduces weight and cost. In flight the autogyro has one other major advantage that over both airplanes and helicopters – safety in the event of an engine failure. If an engine fails in a gyro, the same thing would happen as if the pilot tried to fly too slowly, no stall, the aircraft will slowly descend vertically under full control. In fact, the procedure for landing an autogyro after engine failure is similar for landing an autogyro under ordinary circumstances, quite simple and with a 3m landing roll, very safe to be put down anywhere safely
All rotorcraft exhibit the ability to handle strong and gusty wind conditions, the autogyro in no exception, capable of handling 40kt winds, there natural stability make them easy to fly in these condition, making hovering in the wind relative to the ground a easy maneuver.
Our Display Aircraft
RotorSport Calidus with Rotax 914 (115hp).
Tandem two-seat aircraft, designed in Germany 3 years ago as a comfortable touring machine capable of going places, with cabin heat, fully adjustable pilot seat. Was certified by CAA in UK Jan 2011. Over 1000 of this make sold Worldwide. Built in response to the demand for an enclosed gyroplane, the Calidus addresses many of the problems which have occurred with other aircrafts of this type:
- Uses tried and tested technology
- Low weight – great performance
- Tandem seating for low drag
- Aerodynamic profile gives clean airflow to the prop
- Spacious interior for comfort
- High payload allows serious cross-country flight
- High-tech composite bodywork & horizontal stabilizer
- High performance aluminum rotor system 8.4m diameter
- 115hp Rotax 914ULS flat 4 four stroke engine with a 2000hr life, runs on Mogas (car petrol)
- Quiet – meets strict German noise regulations
Max Take-Off Weight
VNE (max speed)
Rate of Climb
Length (exlc. rotor)
up to 100 mph
up to 1,200 fpm
10m – 70m
0m – 15m
up to 4hrs endurance
12 -18 litres per hr
2021 Display Schedule
Last updated: March 4, 2021 at 10:33 am
We will post details of our displays here when they are known.
Please Note: Please check with display organisers before travelling an event. All displays are subject to weather, serviceability and operational requirements.
We will update the dislay schedule as and when venues are confirmed. This usually starts in the Spring.
Where Gyro Air Displays have displayed
- Abingdon Air and Country Show, Oxfordshire
- Aero Expo, Sywell Aerodrome, Northamptonshire
- Airwaves: Northern Ireland International Airshow, Portrush, Coleraine, NI
- Armed Forces day – Aylesbury
- ASDA Charity day , Bruntingthorpe
- Barton Open Day, Manchester
- Blackpool Airshow, Lancashire
- Clacton Airshow, Essex
- Cleethorpes Festval of Flight, Lincolnshire
- Douglas Bader Foundation Day, Sleap Aerodrome, Shropshire
- EAA Airventure, Oshkosh, United States
- Heli Expo, Sywell, Northamptonshire
- Helicopter Museum, Weston Super Mare, Somerset
- Hoylake RNLI Open Day, Wirral
- IWM Duxford Airshows, Cambridgeshire
- Little Gransden Air and Car Show, Cambridgeshire
- Manchester Airshow, City Airport, Barton, Manchester
- Midlands Air Festival, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire
- Minehead Summer Festival, Somerset
- Northern Ireland International Airshow, Portrush, Coleraine
- Old Sarum Airshow, Wiltshire
- Plymouth Armed Forces Day, Devon
- Popham Microlight Fair, Hampshire
- RAFA Shoreham Airshow, West Sussex
- RAFBF Airshow, East Kirkby, Lincolnshire
- Red Bull Air Race, Ascot
- Rhyl Airshow, Denbeighshire
- Shuttleworth Air Displays, Old Warden, Bedfordshire
- Shobden Food Festival, Herefordshire
- Southport Airshow, Lancashire
- Stotfold Mill Steam Fair & Country Show, Bedfordshire
- Sunderland International Airshow, Tyne & Wear
- The Victory Show, Cosby, Leicestershire
- Throckmorton Airshow, Worcestershire
- Torbay Airshow, Paighton, Devon
- Wales Airshow, Swansea, South Wales
- Welshpool Airshow, Powys
- Weston Air Festival, Somerset
- Weston Park Model Airshow, Shropshire
- Wings over Wairarapa, Masterton, New Zealand
- World Air Games, Dubai, UAE