BTA. Bulgarian Gyrocopter Maker Wins Innovative Enterprise Award


YEREVAN, DECEMBER 12, ARTSAKHPRESS. A Bulgarian company has been producing – and selling – gyrocopters around the world. Based in Pravets, just 60 km to the west of Sofia, NIKI Rotor Aviation is the sole producer of autogyros in the country.

Earlier this week, NIKI Rotor Aviation won the 2022 Innovative Enterprise of the Year award in the field of Innovation in creative industries, at a ceremony in Sofia organized by Enterprise Europe Network – Bulgaria. They took the award for exceptional results achieved in the integration of innovative products, processes, services and practices, successfully implemented on the Bulgarian and global markets, the company told BTA. Among the finalists in what was the 17th edition of the competition were over 130 start-ups, emerging and established market leaders.

Officially established in 2010, the NIKI Rotor Aviation team created their first gyrocopter prototype, NIKI 2004, the same year and saw its successful maiden flight in 2008, the company’s Corporate Communication’s officer, Nikolay Nedyalkov, told BTA. Several years later, they released their flagship Lightning on the market, motivated by the dream of company founder and CEO, Nikolai Nikolov, to build his own aircraft. Nikolov firmly intends to pursue his dream and see them build their own helicopter.

The first Lightning was made for a client in Florida, United States.

The company is part of the NIKI brand, which includes two other companies NIKI Ltd., which specializes in shop fitting and hospitality furniture and LIGNATER Ltd., specialized in working with wood, acrylic, LED and others. Its team of some 160 provide all tailor-made components for each autogyro. They design, create and assemble the parts for each gyroplane themselves, except for some more specific parts such as engine, rotor, fins, avionics and so on, for which they trust the industry leaders such as Rotax, Garmin, Kanardia, TRIG, Averso, Dynon, Plexiweiss and many others.

In the summer of 2022 their second product, Kallithea, meaning beautiful view in Greek, took part in the two largest and oldest events: Bensen Days, where it was named best two-seater gyrocopter, and AirVenture 2022, where more than 10,000 aircraft traditionally participate. Then again, Kallithea received another prestigious award, that of Grand Champion Aircraft from the prestigious 60th Annual PRA International Convention.

Love of aviation and flying is what generally characterizes the company clients, Nikolov told BTA. The company often works with aviation schools and clubs.

Gyrocopters have nearly 60 applications, both military and civilian, and a number of advantages over other aircraft in their class. They are used to participate in rescue missions, fly around borders and areas of difficult access, search for people, survey fires and more, as well as for purely tourist purposes or in agriculture.

Both Lightning and Kallithea have been flying for a number of years in various parts of the world, in countries such as Serbia, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hungary, USA, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. They are appreciated for their design and numerous flying advantages, including an innovative rotor system.

The company’s main market is abroad, chiefly due to the price tag, although Nikolov says it won’t take you back more than a medium costly car – minus the traffic jams.

The Niki gyrocopters fly on regular fuel with an octane rating no lower than 98, making the cost of a flight much lower.

The company believes that the numerous applications of the gyrocopter are at the core of its high potential and say it could be the aircraft of the future.

(This information is published based on the cooperation agreement between ARMENPRESS and BTA).

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