Let me preface all of this with the fact that I have never owned or flown an auto gyro before. I've been in this hobby for a long time and when I saw this kit I figured "aww what the hell I've never flown one of these before". I thought it might be neat. I fly fixed wing but primarily Helis. You can check out my gallery here: http://www.runryder.com/gallery/14264/
The build is pretty simple. It is an all wood and monokote box frame normal type fuse. It's pretty much your standard ARF. All covered you just install the tail feathers, pylon, hinges, landing gear, motor, radios, and rotor head. It took me two days to build, about 12 hrs maybe. The rotor head is fiberglass plate and a CNC bearing cup put onto a metal spindle with aluminum aileron levers which are pull/pull.
The hardware package was cheap. Clevises were weak plastic, screws still had flashings on them, canopy looked like something I could make in the oven with a windex bottle (lol! not really that bad), motor mounts were definitely made by someone in a hurry, and the tailwheel is cheap standard arf material.
The instruction manual was obviously written in Japanese and translated to English with a computer translator. Japanese sentence meaning "tighten the rotor blades until they are fairly tight" put through a computer comes out reading like "force condition far through rotor blade". So, basically useless! However, I think anyone who has built any rc helicopter, airplane or auto gyro before could probably handle it. There was a template in the instructions for cutting holes in the fuse for an OS 32. I was foolish enough to use said template which proved to be for a much older OS 32 so the holes in the fuse were subsequently enlarged for my newer engine.
I read everything on the net about auto gyros before I went out and tried to fly this thing. Things that I expected:
I set it at about 1/4 throttle and just let roll until the blades eventually spun up fast enough and it lifted off the ground. I followed through with power for the climb out. I tried increasing the amount of power on the takeoff roll but ended up spinning out. Wide gear stance on the Kirara makes ground handling pretty safe.
Aileron/tilt control is weak. Use elevator and rudder to start a turn then follow up with aileron. (as a side note if you never touch your left stick don't even try to fly one of these)
The day that I flew it there was no wind at all but I could still slow it down to a walking pace. It's a very nose high affair almost like hovering a 3d plane.
Once I figured out how to make it decend it was very simple. I just flew it down the runway and once I got close to where I wanted to be I reduced power until it almost came to a stop. At this point it started to sink and I let it sink with a little forward speed until the flare where I just added a touch of throttle and up elevator.
That was all that I was prepared for. Here's what I didn't expect:
Now that I think about it it makes sense but when I was flying it initially it made me crazy. When you accelerate the auto gyro wants to roll in the direction of the downwind blade. I kept trying to trim it out but every time I would change the trottle the trim would change. Once I slowed it down enough and kept it at a pretty constant speed it flew just like a plane. That's the other thing, it doesn't like going fast. It's happiest just tooling along at about 1/4 - 1/2 throttle.
I'll let you all know more once I get a few more flights on it. Sorry for the long winded answer.[:-]