Flying Feather Craft


Bensen B-8B Gyro-Boat
The Gyro-Boat is a further variant of the Gyro-Glider, in which the basic free-turning rotor system, known as the Roto-sail, is mounted on any standard small dinghy. The result is literally a flying boat, intended to be towed above water by a motor boat.
The two-blade steel and plywood rotor has a diameter of 6.10m and disc area of 29.2m2. Each blade has an area of 1.0m2. When fitted to a 3.66m aluminium dinghy weighing 45kg, the complete Gyro-boat has an empty weight of 68kg and a loaded weight of 147kg carrying one person or 227kg carrying two people.
It takes off when towed at a forward speed of 37km/h, cruises at 55-110km/h and lands at 11km/h.
The prototype Gyro-Boat flew for the first time on April 25, 1956, and the first production model on July 8, 1956. The 1959 version can be fitted with stabilizing pontoons on outriggers for rough water operation.
The picture with the red boat clearly shows the Feather Craft Logo...
Write up for this photo
How about this for a gyroglider! Igor Bensen enjoying the view from his 'heliboat'. The photographic studio did a good job on this photo, I suspect. But he did actually fly it and live to tell the tale! I understand that it did NOT fly as gracefully as shown in the picture - indeed he was lucky to survive the experience! * I have recently heard that it did not fly so badly. Anyone else have any first-hand experience with this gyroboat?

Life Magazine, July 23, 1956
A one page article about the Bensen Gyro Boat. If you look real close you can see the Feather Craft logo on the front of the boat.

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