Ken Brock was a leader in the development and promotion of autogyro flight and homebuilt autogyro kits. The museum’s 1970 KB-2 gyroplane was one of Ken’s demonstrator aircraft that he donated to us personally. It has appeared in motion pictures, television commercials, and countless air shows in the United States and Canada. Brock’s air show routine included steep chandelles, 90-degree banks, lazy eights, spins, vertical descents, and dead-stick landings, amply demonstrating the maneuverability and safety of homebuilt autogyro design.
This stock KB-2 set several world records for autogyro flights, including the first coast-to-coast autogyro flight in 1971, flying from Long Beach, California, to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, (3,400 miles) in 10 days. In 1968, in an identical KB-2 demonstrator, Ken flew a round trip between Long Beach and Catalina Island, 35 miles off the California coast.
Ken introduced his first KB-series gyroplane kit in 1957. It was inspired by the Bensen B-8 gyrocopter kit, first offered in 1953, but Brock made several refinements, including a modified control system for improved stability.
Powered by a 90-hp McCulloch engine, the KB-2 gyroplane can take off in 100 to 200 feet, land in 10 feet, and cruise at 65 to 70 mph. Ken was killed in a fixed-wing Thorp T-18 accident in 2001, and Brock Manufacturing closed its doors in 2005.