If you’ve ever hankered for rotary wings but couldn’t see yourself flying the typical birdcage gyroplane – or affording a helicopter – take a look at the handsome Xenon.
Looking as though a multi-million dollar Agusta helicopter had given birth to a pup, the Xenon is the inspired design of Raphael Celier, whose idea was to build the best possible gyroplane regardless of money. What he produced is a safe, stable and beautiful two-place aircraft that sells for a remarkable $61,000, according to importers Rob and Dee Dubin.
If you choose the most powerful engine and the entire list of options – a combination few would really want – you can get that up to a grand total of $84,130. The Xenon’s nearest true competition is many times that, Rob Dubin points out.
At a glance, you see that the Xenon is different. Its clean styling, its large cabin and comfortable bucket seats are a far cry from traditional hanging-out-in-the-breeze gyroplanes we’ve all seen. The handsomely faired cowling hides a Rotax aircraft engine that gets you off the ground quickly, climbing at 1,200 feet a minute, then cruising at a good 124 mph in actual luxury. On the other hand, it will slip along just as pleasantly at 30 mph for an experience beyond anything possible with fixed wings. Its 23-gallon fuel capacity gives it “about four hours in the air,” Dubin pointed out. As a trainer, of course, it should be superb, he added.
The sleek, aerodynamic shape, large tail surfaces and thrust line through the center of gravity all contribute to efficiency, safety and comfort, according to designer Celier.
The Xenon at Sun ‘n Fun was the first in the United States, according to Dubin, who noted it was named grand champion at the most recent Bensen Days gyroplane fly-in. It is one of 25 currently flying in the world. Number 31 currently is in production, Celier said. The Xenon is the only factory built gyroplane sold in the United States, he added. It meets E-LSA specifications here.
Weighing a mere 600 pounds empty, the Xenon will lift a 400 pound payload, including special baggage that Celier has designed to fit behind the seats — seats that are leather. Seats that can be heated.
“We French take pride in sophisticated design,” Celier said.
For more information: 307-221-6505