A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I took a trial flight in a VPM M-16. It was a lot of fun, but I couldn't bear to deal with the maintenance requirements of the 4 cylinder, 2 stroke engine. After flying the Flightstar for over 8 years, I passed my gyro endorsement in a Rotax 914 powered Magni M-16 (pretty much the same aircraft as the VPM, better engine) and started thinking about getting a gyroplane. I had thought about getting a single seater and keeping the Flightstar, but then Ken announced he was selling his Magni, so I ended up getting a Magni instead of having 2 aircraft.

First up, it needed converting.

We (well, Ken designed, Jim made) made up a pulley system to convert the cable movement from a twistgrip throttle to a forward and back movement to attach to the stock throttle system. This took a lot of tweaking to get the gear ratio right - the 914 has springs that pull the throttles open, which meant closing the throttle was... tricky. I modified the Motion Pro twistgrip to give us more motion, and Ken added a return spring, and it's a lot better.

We added a lever for the brake (I figure the only time I'll need to use it is to take the parking brake off while pre-rotating).

We discovered the stock pre-rotator lever (left) hit the throttle, so I wouldn't be able to get it all the way in. Jim machined up a longer one that'll clear the throttle (right). It's also a match for the brake lever design, as obviously that's important to me :o)

We got everything installed, and tweaked some little issues. I've now done the number of hours the insurance company required, and soloed it. We spotted the brakes were dragging, and I think I that sorted before I flew it too much. It was hard to move it in and out of the hangar, plus it's flat spotted a tyre where it should have spun up fast enough to prevent that. Nothing good can come of that :o(

Other than that, it's just been basic maintenance so far :o)