Gyrocopter vs Helicopter

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The basic difference between a helicopter and a gyrocopter is in the way their rotors function during flight. The helicopter rotor is powered by an engine, while the gyrocopter’s rotors is power by airflow.   (The helicopter is pulled through the air and a gyrocopter is pushed through the air.)


  • The rotors are un-powered, they provide lift only.
  • Thrust comes from the propeller at the rear of the aircraft.  This pushes the gyro and air is forced through the rotor
  • Short take-off and landing
  • Cannot hover but can fly comfortably at very slow speed
  • Easy to fly
  • Inexpensive to own, operate and maintain
  • Run on regular fuel: 130L for about 4.5 hrs of operations


  • Rotos are powered and provide both thrust and propulsion.
  • The rear wing propeller offsets the helicopter’s natural desire to spin.
  • Vertical take-off and landing
  • Can hover
  • Expensive to own, operate and maintain
  • Runs on aviation fuel: 1251L for about 3hours of operation.
Wagtail Aviation
Big brother and little brother
Big brother and little brother