Gyroplane pioneer Bill Parsons developed his first tandem-seat trainer in 1985 from a Bensen B-8M Gyrocopter in response to numerous accidents in learning to fly single-seat gyrocopters. His original trainer NWP54 is the one on display and was used to train over 600 pilots.
Learning to fly a gyroplane is quite demanding. Previous to this aircraft, learning to fly on a dual control aircraft, such as a McCulloch J-2, was an expensive option, so flight training might typically have included being towed to altitude on a rope behind a truck, followed by free-flight autorotation down. However, free-flight and powered flight require different pilot responses, hence the accidents and the value of training on the Parsons Super Mac II.
A two seat tandem open frame autogyro. Features full dual controls, built of 2×2 aluminium tube bolted together. Rotor blades: 27’ Sky Wheels.
Engine: 100 hp Super Mac (McCulloch) or 64 hp Rotax 582.
Prop: Tennessee 52” x 26” wood (Super Mac) or IvoProp 64” (Rotax).
Engine: 100 hp Arrow 996cc or 150 hp Mazda Rotary
Prop: IvoProp 64” (Arrow) or other Lycoming prop
Min speed: 20 mph
Cruise: 65 mph
Top speed: 85 mph
Empty wt: 320 lb
Useful load: 800 lb
Gross wt: 1120 lb
Width: 6 ft
Height: 15 ft 11 in
Length: 7 ft 8 in