Alderfer EAA-3 Tractor Gyroplane


Tandem two-seat tractor autogyro designed and built by Edward A. Alderfer in 1985. It flew successfully for eight years until the evening of July 18, 1994, when ultralight pilot Ron Deaton, a friend of Alderfer, collided with it in mid-air, destroying both of their aircraft. Alderfer survived with minor injuries and his damaged gyro was able to land itself without rolling over, while he was unconscious from the impact. Deaton, however, was killed instantly.

It had a 64hp (48kW) Rotax 532 two-stroke, liquid-cooled engine driving a 72-inch three-blade precision propeller. Top speed: 160 km/h.

Earl Minor from Missouri reportedly built a design based on Alderfer's, but due to failing health he lost interest and dismantled it.

Images © Edward Alderfer