There is no question that flying can be an expensive hobby. If you are looking to enter aviation on a very tight budget, I’m afraid you might have a bit of a hard time.
But if you are looking for the cheapest method of getting up into the air, and maybe even owning your own plane, then you may consider looking for the latest generation of gyroplanes.
These rotorcraft are now at a point where they are one of the safest recreational aviation craft on the market and have the added benefit of being cheaper to buy and cheaper to operate than almost all other options.
An autogyro like the Autogyro MTO Sport will consume just 15 liters per hour of unleaded gasoline, giving them a range of between 4 and 500 km.
As with any other aircraft, they require scheduled maintenance every 100 hours, but this will only cost you around $ 400.
All of this means that your direct operating costs for this exciting new aircraft are around $ 25 / hr. Add things like insurance, hangar, and other incidental expenses and your costs are still well below those of a light aircraft or small helicopter.
And to top it all, these planes are extremely easy to use and the average novice pilot can earn their solo certification in around 30 hours of flight instruction. After this, you will need to log an additional 80 hours for yourself in command before you can take a passenger to fly with you.
The MTO Sport offers around 90% of the functionality of a small helicopter with its main limitation compared to a helicopter being the inability to take off vertically. But there are things you can do on a modern gyro that just isn’t possible on a helicopter, so this balances out.
A new MTO Sport costs around $ 87,000 AUD. Therefore, the operating and maintenance costs are not only much lower than for a small helicopter like an R22, but they are also much cheaper to buy.
Flying an open cockpit gyro is an experience like no other. It has all the maneuverability (and more) of a light sport aircraft, combined with the advantages that come with a rotating wing, in particular the inability to stall.
And the autorotation principle combined with the best of German engineering gives you an extremely safe and reliable aircraft suitable for pilots of all skill levels.