Around-the-World Gyrocopter Reaches the Pyramids of Giza
April 6, 2010 — Norman Surplus, an autogyro pilot from Larne, Northern Ireland, has landed in Giza, Egypt, 12 days into his trip around the world. He flew along the English coast in-formation with four other gyrocopters before crossing the English Channel. He made fast work of the European continent before crossing the Mediterranean Sea via the island of Crete. His next destination is Saudi Arabia across the Mediterranean Sea. The plan is to cover at least 300 miles per day and to be back home in Ireland by mid-July.
Surplus is attempting to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe in an autogyro. Surplus intends to visit 26 countries and fly about 27,000 miles, including 4,300 miles over water, over the next four months. An experienced adventurer, Surplus is a cancer survivor, and he credits a television program about the autogyro with providing the spark that inspired him to return to health and learn how to fly.
He’s flying a German-built Rotorsport MT-03 autogyro powered by a 115-hp turbo Rotax 914 with a cruise speed of 80 knots. It’s been modified to carry inflatable fuel bags that Surplus says will increase its range from 300 to 800 miles. That should allow for longer distance hops over the North Atlantic. He’s also wearing a special survival suit he had built especially for the journey.
Norman is navigating with a pair of Garmin 496 GPS units but also carries a Spot GPS unit which integrates with Google Maps so anyone can view his current position online. He has a blog to provide daily updates and links related to the trip. For more details, visit www.GyroxGoesGlobal.com.