Flying (Almost) Straight Up

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At the far end of the field, near the woods, the little village of Choppertown hosts an assortment of ultralight and experimental rotorcraft. Attracting attention this year was the Monarch-Butterfly kit gyrocopter, with new "g-force" landing gear. The hydraulic gear offers a wide stance for more stable landings, and high energy-absorption that is "friendly to low-time pilots," according to the company brochure. Also popular was the ultralight Mosquito one-place helicopter. The little Mosquito, which sells for about $20,000 per kit, is a true helicopter, not a gyro, with a two-cycle, two-cylinder engine, an aluminum main mast, and a carbon-fiber tail boom and support struts. The company says construction of the Mosquito can be completed in 200 hours or less.