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    New Gyro Delivery Down UNder

    Ken ,who comes from Claremont in Queensland, came down to the Skyranch last October to do his initial training, an put his order in for his machine.

    He then spent a while in America visiting relatives and returned in February to finish his training and take delivery of his gyro.

    Although having no previous aviation experience, Ken has mastered the piloting skills and is looking forward to seeing his neighbourhood from a whole new perspective.​

  • #2
    Tomball Police to Fly Again

    The Tomball City Council has approved a request to replace the police department's gyroplane after an accident rendered the small aircraft inoperable.

    The two-seater aircraft was taxiing after landing on the main runway at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport in January, when it was blown over by a heavy cross-wind that toppled the aircraft onto its side and caused the rotors to be irreparably damaged. The two officers who were in the plane were not injured.

    The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration investigated the incident and found that human error was not a factor. The city has waited until the insurance claim was paid to bring the request before the city council.

    "We have received insurance proceeds in the amount of $65,000 and the remaining cost of the replacement will be paid out of the vehicle replacement fund, which is funded by the red light camera fund," said Tomball Finance Director Glenn Windsor.

    Tomball police officer and pilot Keith Blitz straps himself in as he prepares for a training flight in the Tomball Police Department's Gyroplane, a small two person helicopter. The Tomball Police Department has used the Gyroplane, stationed at Hooks Airport, since March 2011​

    It will cost an estimated $85,000 to replace the gyroplane, with $20,000 coming from the city's red-light camera fund, which generates revenue from motorists who are caught on camera and ticketed for running red lights within city limits. Windsor said the funds can only be used for programs related to traffic enforcement, which Hauck says is one of the many uses of the Gyroplane.

    The gyroplane, a German manufactured rotor-winged hybrid helicopter, has been a staple of the police department since 2011.

    The aircraft was obtained through a matching grant with the U.S. Department of Justice at a cost of $77,000.

    The city paid $37,000 for its part, which came from funds generated through the red-light camera program, while the Department of Justice paid $40,000.

    The Gyroplane made its debut three years ago at the Tomball German Heritage Festival, and has been a fixture during numerous community festivals, and other public events.

    The aircraft has also served a vital role in law enforcement procedures, and has taken part in active crime scenes, missing person cases, and helped assist other agencies with aerial patrols.

    While law enforcement agencies tend to gravitate to the larger and more expensive MD-500 helicopter, such as those used by the Houston Police Department, or the small unmanned drones, like the one used by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Tomball took a different approach and became the only law enforcement agency in the United States using the gyroplane.

    Tomball Police Chief Robert Hauck said the mission and role of the gyroplane has been significant to the Tomball community, as well as other agencies.

    "I came to Tomball (from the Los Angeles Police Department) recognizing the vital importance of having aviation assets available to assist law enforcement and other public safety professionals on the ground," Hauck said. "They can cover so much more area, they can respond much more quickly and they turn into a true force multiplier."

    In exchange for the matching funds in 2011, the city was required to provide the Department of Justice with research that included flight logs and mission uses for the gyroplane.

    Since the department began using the gyroplane, the police department has logged more than 500 flight hours and made several hundred arrests, Hauck said.

    Two of those arrests came as a result of a mission when two men vandalized the air conditioning units at the CVS Store on Texas 249 and Northpointe Blvd., and stole thousands of dollars worth of copper.

    The men were caught in the act by Harris County Sheriff's Deputies who pursued the men, and exchanged gunfire with deputies during the pursuit.

    "Our guys were able to work that scene," Hauck said. "They located those suspects in a field (once they fled on foot). The crew directed the sheriff's deputies to the suspects and they were taken into custody."

    The gyroplane has also participated in other operations that have led to attests for burglary suspects or in drug and narcotic enforcement operations; has participated in traffic control operations from the air, and helped locate three missing persons in 2012 and 2013.

    Hauck said he expects the department will be patrolling from the air sooner, rather than later.

    The placement gyroplane is expected to be in the Tomball Police Department equipment arsenal in June, giving the air tactical teams a few weeks to re-acquaint themselves with the aircraft.

    Hauck said he expects the gyroplane to be conducting operations in Tomball before the end of July.


    • #3
      Trixy's TrixEye

      Trixy Aviation is focusing its efforts around the TrixEye, which was first unveiled at the Milipol show in Paris at the tail end of last year. Since then, the aircraft has been tweaked and fine-tuned and now sports a cabin made of durable Aramid, features anti-explosion fuel tanks and can carry any kind of camera or infrared sensor and displays a full view on the screen of the cockpit.

      The new design is aimed firmly at professional who spend their time in the sky and, as such, there is also the capacity to add on an auxiliary fuel tank that can carry up to 120 litres of fuel. While it’s not quite the flying car that Rainer originally dreamt of, the Trixy vision is still one that has captured the imagination of many new customers who’ve taken off in the craft so far.

      Trixy Aviation reckons that the current specification will make the TrixEye perfect for the likes of aerial photography, media broadcasting, police air support, border control, search and rescue and pipeline surveillance. What’s more, the little aircraft could also come into its own as a crop sprayer, for avalanche blasting and even as a tool for taking on drug wars around the globe, particularly in those hard to reach areas. Really, reckon the designers, the possibilities are endless.

      The aircraft certainly sounds like it’s got the right pedigree for being put through all of the above scenarios. There’s a frame that’s been welded together from aircraft-grade stainless steel and that fuselage is a carbon fibre composite. Three aircraft aluminium wheels make it nimble but sure-footed on take-off and landings while the brakes are hydraulic, promising that the TrixEye can stop in even the tightest of spaces. The glass cockpit features removable canopy glass while a full complement of aircraft instruments allow the pilot to keep on top of manoeuvres both up in the air and back down on terra firma.

      Meanwhile, a 130 horsepower engine that runs on regular unleaded fuel gets additional boost from a turbo/intercooler arrangement while the aircraft aluminium rotor has propeller blades that can be adjusted in flight. Depending on what task you have in mind for it, the TrixEye can also have various camera pods mounted onto the side of the aircraft, making it perfect for those aerial photographers, filmmakers and surveillance types who want to capture footage like never before.

      The Trixy Aviation TrixEye autogyro

      Fitted with surveillance equipment

      The gyro is safe and easy to fly according to Trixy​