Air Command Commander Sport

Air Command was founded 1985 by Dennis Fedders of Liberty, Missouri. He wanted to upgrade the basic Bensen gyrocopter design to incorporate new lightweight airframe construction techniques introduced in the fixed‑wing ultralight movement of the 1980s. Air Command quickly became one of the largest manufacturers of homebuilt rotorcraft kits in the United States. The kits were high quality and easy to build and unlike the earlier Bensen B‑8M, the Commander 447 and 503 required no cutting, drilling, welding. The builder could be flying in just a few weekends with a bolt together kit.

By 1991, Air Command was acquired by H.F. 'Red" Smith, a retired U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Engineer who established the company in Wylie, Texas. He introduced the semi‑enclosed tandem Commander 1000 which accelerated flight training across the country under an exception issued by the FAA to allow commercial dual training in an experimental class aircraft. This exception promoted increased flight safety in the sport rotorcraft movement not found in the single‑seat Bensen days where builders had to teach themselves to fly. Air Command markets several kit rotorcraft including the fully‑enclosed Commander 147A which was awarded the "Best New Rotorcraft Design" by the Experimental Aircraft Association in 1995. The Commander displayed here is a typical Air Command single‑place sport autogyro.

 

Air Command International, Inc. Wylie, TX

Single place

Acquisition Source: Red Smith Donation

 

Aircraft Specifications

Rotor Diameter: 
23 ft
Fuselage Length: 
10 ft 8 in.
Maximum Speed: 
63 mph
Cruise Speed: 
50 mph
Height: 
7 ft
Empty Weight: 
252 lbs.
Gross Weight: 
552 lbs.
Engine: 
40 HP Rotax 447