The gyrocopter is the closest thing modern aviation has to a flying car. The miniaturized aircraft can take off and land with very little room and can operate effectively at low-altitude. A used one will set you back as little as $US6,000.
There are some serious potential uses for what seems like a whimsical hobby aircraft. Even if it’s aerodynamically difficult to equip a gyrocopter with heavy weaponry, cheap-yet-durable aircraft that don’t need a long runway or large fuel load have a variety of surveillance and law-enforcement uses. And now, Trixy Aviation Products GmbH, an Austrian company based in Dornbirn, has built a military-grade gyrocopter that it claims to have sold to a number of foreign clients.
The TrixyEye Gyrocopter can seat two individuals in tandem. It’s based upon an older model of gyrocopter that was intended for aerial photography and media broadcasting. But it has several upgrades that enable it to perform police and military work.
“This professional model is very different,” Rainer Farrag, the director of Trixy Aviation, told Business Insider via email. “It is designed with police and armed forces in mind. Double electrical system, double fuel system, armoured cabin and special software for the double glass cockpit are only some of the differences.”
According to Farrag, over 100 TrixyEyes have been sold so far. Although many of the clients have requested privacy, Farrag confirmed that Egypt has bought the gyrocopter for border security. Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul also use the vehicle for observation.
Trixy Aviation USA Inc. is also “currently negotiating with officials in the US.”
Below are photos of the TrixyEye in action.
The TrixyEye is designed to operate in multiple different climates. The glass canopy is removable, and the cabin is heated.
The aircraft can also carry a drop box under the cabin which can be outfitted with a parachute to deliver rescue gear and goods.
The TrixyEye’s cabin can also be outfitted with a Kevlar composite to provide additional of security.
The vehicle can reach a maximum altitude of 15,000 feet and speeds of 112 miles per hour.
The gyrocopter also comes equipped with one of two gyro-stabilised camera systems that can be used for security and infrastructure inspections. The cameras can also provide night vision sensors and GPS tracking.
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