The Aircraft

The aircraft being used for this initiative is the MTO Sport. The MTO is an Autogyro, but can also be called a gyroplane or gyrocopter (the names are used interchangeably)

Unlike your typical gyrocopter, these modern aircraft are factory designed and manufactured and have been fully certified in their home country of Germany as well as in the U.K.

Their suitability for this sort of aerial observation and support role comes from a unique combination of their cost effectiveness and their operational capabilities.

They can perform many of the tasks that a helicopter can, but are far less espensive to maintain and operate. This makes them a superior option for many aerial tasks which would not be cost-effective with the use of a helicopter.

The Autogyro operates on a principle of flight known as auto-rotation, which means that the engine is not powering the rotor on top – instead it powers the rear propeller which provides the forward thrust, and the rotor on top is ‘free-spinning’ and generating lift.

The key advantage here is that in a situation where there are engine problems, the rotors continue to spin, allowing the aircraft to gently and safely descend to the ground.

This makes them idea for low level observational roles like this Coast Watch initiaitve.

While the aircraft is relative new in Australia, they are being used successfully by the police in Germany for a range of tasks including fire spotting, coastal observation, highway patrol, obervation of potential drug crops and more.

It is hoped that this initiative in teh Clarence Valley wil help raise awareness of how these aircraft can help local communities with issues such as coast and beach safety as well as air support in bushfire season.

If you’d like to learn more about the aircraft, feel free to download the pdf from the link below

MTO Sport Brochure

Download Here