As reported at AirVenture 2022, Joe Covelli of River Falls Wisconsin purchased the storied Air Command gyroplane company of the 80s and has undertaken a complete redesign of their Commander single seat gyroplane. Covelli is back at AirVenture 2023 with a more complete and robust design, as well as some big news in the powerplant department.
Air Command has been adapting and testing 1000cc four-stroke Polaris engines, originally from the Polaris RZR ATV. The water-cooled engine has electronic fuel injection and throttle to produced 85 horsepower and a stunning 400 pounds of thrust. Plans are also in the works to produce 100 horsepower and 140 horsepower (turbo) engines from the same source. The Polaris engines are run at 8,000 rpm, using a Rotax E Box re-drive and an adapter specially designed and built by Air Command Senior Design Engineer, Keith LeMire.
Air Command has been testing these engines for the better part of two years. They anticipate that complete kits will be ready to ship in the second quarter of 2024. Joe Covelli is targeting a kit price of $35,000, including engine and rotor blades. For more information, visit aircommand.com.