The Air Command Sports Elite is a kit-built gyroplane built in the USA since the early 1990s. It is powered by a Rotax 532 engine. The aircraft can take off within 600 feet in still air and a good pilot can land within 10 feet. The cruising speed is 60 – 80 mph.
Around 65 of the kits were imported into Britain but, after a number of fatal accidents, the aircraft type was grounded by the CAA. After several modifications by its former owner, the museum’s aircraft regained a flying permit and flew successfully for several years until the CAA again grounded the type. After two years in storage, the gyroplane was donated to the Yorkshire Air Museum and arrived in November 2001.
A similar gyroplane, nicknamed ‘Little Nellie’ was used in the blockbuster ‘007’ film ‘You Only Live Twice’.