Gyroplanes take flight over Long Island

It's not a bird or a plane but an autogyro is now taking flight from Long Island's MacArthur Airport.

"We're a dealership, training and service center of gyroplanes," Gyro Revolution founder Robert Lutz said. "They're a recreational type of aircraft. There are generally two seats and it's an emerging market."

Gyro Revolution, the region's very first dealership of autogyros, or gyroplanes, offers aviation enthusiasts an incomparable experience.

The aircraft is powered by a sole propellor and large rotor, allowing it to reach an altitude of about 1,500 feet and cruise up to 120 mph.

One advantage of taking flight in a gyroplane is that in the case of an emergency or in the unlikely event of an engine failure, the aircraft can automatically glide to a safe landing, even in a very small space.

"With an airplane, if you have an engine failure, the aircraft will glide, but it will only glide down to about 60 to 70 mph," Lutz said. "If you touch down at that speed, you're going to have to dissipate that energy. It's going to take a pretty large area."

At Gyro Revolution, first-timers can jump on board for 15 minutes to an hour with a certified flight instructor, costing a couple of hundred dollars at most. If you want to learn how to fly one, you'll need about 20 hours of flight training for a sport pilot license.

The price tag on a gyroplane ranges from $95,000 to $160,000.

"Long Island is one of the birthplaces of aviation in the United States," said Javier Diaz, the owner of Wings Air Helicopters and a gyroplane investor. "It's time for it to be reclaimed again, to be brought back."

Gyro Revolution hopes to expand to the Brookhaven, Danbury, and Westchester airports within the next few years.