Everson Gyrocopter

This bright orange flying machine was built by a New Zealand enthusiast. It originally flew while being towed behind a vehicle on an Auckland West Coast beach. Donated to MOTAT, it is now on display suspended from the roof in the display hanger.

The official information page can be found on Motat's website:

A gyrocopter – also known as an autogyro or gyroplane – is a type of rotorcraft that uses an unpowered rotor to develop lift. Unlike a helicopter, which uses an engine to power its spinning rotor blades, a gyroplane's upper rotor blades are not powered by an engine. Instead, the engine powers a back propeller that pushes the gyrocopter forward. As the aircraft moves, air passes naturally through its rotor blades, creating lift.

The Everson Gyrocopter was built by Ron and Ernie Everson in the early 1960s. The Everson brothers and their Gyrocopter illustrate the notion of ‘kiwi ingenuity.’ The Gyrocopter was tested at Muriwai Beach, where it was tethered to a vehicle and driven at high speed. The aircraft did not receive a Certificate of Airworthiness.

The brothers were passionate about aviation for many decades. One of their first projects was a glider called Evo I. They went on to build several aircraft, including one with a single-seat twin-engined design called Evo III. This aircraft, in which the pilot’s head was inches away from the propeller tips, was initially condemned by the authorities. Nevertheless, it remains the only twin-engined homebuilt aircraft made in New Zealand.

The drive and ingenuity of the Everson brothers is indicative of the pioneering spirit of many New Zealand aviators including Richard Pearse. It is a spirit that continues today.

Ron Everson donated the Gyrocopter to MOTAT in 1982.

- gyrocopter on display in the main hanger 2007 (Richard Wesley)

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