Our projects‎ > ‎

Bensen B-8 Gyro-Glider

In 1954, Igor Bensen, a russian immigrant in the USA, designed the B-8, an unpowered rotor kite which can be towed behind a car to give free-gliding experience.

Available in the form of a complete kit or a set of drawings for amateur building, it was the first gyrocopter very simple in design and construction for everyone.

Basically, it is as lightweight tubular aluminium structure with fin and rudder in plywood.

The rotor blades are made in laminated plywood and is titled by a hanging stick to control direction of flight.

Hundreds of kits and plans have been sold and some were used by the USAF as the X-25B.


A powered version called B-8M Gyro-Copter flew on 8 july 1957.

The power plant installed on the mast behind the pilot was a flat four McCulloch 4318 or a 1600cc Volkswagen engine.

Some examples were fitted with floats and known as Hydro-Copter.



Length of fuselage : 3,45m

Rotor diameter : 6,10m

Height : 1,90m

Weight : 58kg



B.A.P.A. example :

Although many examples were built in Belgium and registered officially or not, the B.A.P.A. B-8 come from Luxembourg were it was built by Mr Jean Villiet.

Status :

Private collection on loan and exhibited at the workshop. Restored, non flying

Below : A non official registered B-8M in the belgian homebuilt registration sequence