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Bensen Aircraft Corporation Papers


Igor B. Bensen, a Russian immigrant to the United States, realized in 1953 his dream of establishing his own aircraft company. At the invitation of North Carolina state officials, Bensen formed the Bensen Aircraft Corporation near the Raleigh-Durham Airport with the goals of developing safe, light-weight, rotary-wing aircraft for both construction and use by private individuals. By April of 1954, Bensen had completed the first gyro-glider and was making towed flights with this prototype. The gyro-copter, a powered version of the glider, was first flown on December 6, 1955.This collection, dating from 1966-1973, includes promotional material relating to the gyro-copter, a manual for building ... (more below)

Title

Bensen Aircraft Corporation Papers

Collection Number

PC.1931

Date(s)

1966 - 1973

Language

English

Physical Description
Items
23
Genre/Physical Characteristic

Including brochures, leaflets, manuals (1),technical drawings (double oversize).

Abstract

Igor B. Bensen, a Russian immigrant to the United States, realized in 1953 his dream of establishing his own aircraft company. At the invitation of North Carolina state officials, Bensen formed the Bensen Aircraft Corporation near the Raleigh-Durham Airport with the goals of developing safe, light-weight, rotary-wing aircraft for both construction and use by private individuals. By April of 1954, Bensen had completed the first gyro-glider and was making towed flights with this prototype. The gyro-copter, a powered version of the glider, was first flown on December 6, 1955.

This collection, dating from 1966-1973, includes promotional material relating to the gyro-copter, a manual for building and operating the gyro-glider, and 6 double oversize technical drawings for Model B-8 of the Bensen Gyro-glider.

Physical Location

For current information on the location ofthese materials, please consult the Public Services Branch, State Archives of North Carolina.

Creator

Bensen Aircraft Corporation

Repository

State Archives of North Carolina


Available for research.


Copyright is retained by the authors of these materials, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law (Title 17 US Code). Individual researchers are responsible for using these materials in conformance with copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.


Processed by George Stevenson, July 16, 2003

Encoded by Fran Tracy-Walls, September 16, 2003


Bensen Aircraft Corporation, located near the Raleigh-Durham Airport, was incorporated in 1953 by Igor B. Bensen, at the invitation of North Carolina state officials. Bensen, son of an agricultural scientist who fled Russia shortly after the 1917 revolution, was educated in the University of Louvain, Belgium (1934-1937), the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J. (1937-1940), and Indiana University (Ph.D., 1968). After some years in the employ of the General Electric Corporation, Bensen resigned to study helicopter design under Igor I. Sikorsky (1889-1972), father of the multi-engine airplane and of the modern helicopter.

Bensen invented and manufactured at his Raleigh plant both the gyro-glider andthe gyro-copter. Both were small, light-framed, single-passenger craftthat were furnished with rotary blades that were kept in motion by airrather than by engine power. The gyro-copter, as opposed to the gyro-glider, was furnished with an additional propeller driven by a 60 or a90-horsepower engine. Bensen Aircraft Corporation manufactured both kindsof aircraft and sold them in inexpensive kit form. In 1963, Bensen, usingone of his gyro-copters, duplicated the first flight of the Wright brothersby taking off and flying at the same speed and height as the celebrated 1903flight and using the same spots among the Kitty Hawk dunes for his flight.He dubbed the gyro-copter used for this feat,  "The Spirit of Kitty Hawk" and subsequently, in 1969, gave it to the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum.


Bensen Aircraft Corporation, located near the Raleigh-Durham Airport, was incorporated in 1953 by Igor B. Bensen, at the invitation of North Carolina state officials. Bensen, son of an agricultural scientist who fled Russia shortly after the 1917 revolution, was educated in the University of Louvain, Belgium (1934-1937), the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J. (1937-1940), and Indiana University (Ph.D., 1968). After some years in the employ of the General Electric Corporation, Bensen resigned to study helicopter design under Igor I. Sikorsky (1889-1972), father of the multi-engine airplane and of the modern helicopter.

Bensen invented and manufactured at his Raleigh plant both the gyro-glider andthe gyro-copter. Both were small, light-framed, single-passenger craftthat were furnished with rotary blades that were kept in motion by airrather than by engine power. The gyro-copter, as opposed to the gyro-glider, was furnished with an additional propeller driven by a 60 or a90-horsepower engine. Bensen Aircraft Corporation manufactured both kindsof aircraft and sold them in inexpensive kit form. In 1963, Bensen, usingone of his gyro-copters, duplicated the first flight of the Wright brothersby taking off and flying at the same speed and height as the celebrated 1903flight and using the same spots among the Kitty Hawk dunes for his flight.He dubbed the gyro-copter used for this feat,  "The Spirit of Kitty Hawk" and subsequently, in 1969, gave it to the Smithsonian Institution's Air and Space Museum.


[Identification of item], PC.1931, Bensen Aircraft Corporation Papers, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Gift, Kenneth Brokamp, Missouri, to North Carolina Museum ofHistory; transferred from Museum to State Archives of North Carolina, 1999.


Additional information on topics found in this collection may be found in the Manuscript and Archives Reference System (MARS) at  http://www.ncarchives.dcr.state.nc.us

Additional information on the Bensen B-6 Gyro-glider and the Benson B-8M Gyrocopter may be found at the National Air and Space Museum:  http://www.nasm.si.edu/


This collection of materials contains some promotional material relatingto the gyro-copter, and a manual for building and operating the gyro-glider.It includes, as well, six double oversize technical drawings for Model B-8 of the Bensen Gyro-glider.


This collection of materials contains some promotional material relatingto the gyro-copter, and a manual for building and operating the gyro-glider.It includes, as well, six double oversize technical drawings for Model B-8 of the Bensen Gyro-glider.


  • Bensen, Igor B.
  • Bensen Gyro-Copter.
  • Bensen Gyro-Glider.
  • Gliders (Aeronautics).
  • Helicopter industry.

Physical Description
These drawings measure approximately 22.5 in. x 34 in. in size

Box: PC.1931.2 (Double Oversize)  
1. Technical drawing 8-102-100 (Rotor Head System, Bensen Model B-8)

16952
2. Technical drawing 8-103-100 (Rotor blades, Bensen Model B-8)

16953
3-6. Technical drawings 8-104-100

Sheet 1: Gyro Glider, Bensen Model B-8 (two copies of this drawing, one of them having measurements penciled in)
Sheet 2: Details, Model B-8 (Keel, axle, and mast tubes, tall wheel assembly, etc.)
Sheet 3: Details, Model B-8 (Nosewheel and brake assembly, brake plate assembly, head plate, stop contact, gusset plates)
Sheet 4: Details, Model B-8 (Rudder assembly, horizontal stabilizers, indicator assembly, cable attachments, airframe bolts, seat frames, etc.)