Minnesota Rotorcraft Club/PRA Chapter 17 History
The Minnesota Rotorcraft Club was organized in 1963-64. the founding members were Charles Ryan, Dan Danielson and Ray Dammar. Dan Danielson was the first person to pilot a powered gyro in the state of Minnesota. Dan utilized a special spindle type rotor head that he designed and built, while others built and flew the Benson style gimble heads.
A club trainer was constructed by the club members at Charles Ryanís home in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Bob Barett, Herb Krause, Al Kretsinger and Russel See were also active club members in the early 1960ís.
As the club grew and the years passed Ray Bittmann assumed the roll of MRC 17 President. Ray held monthly meetings at his home through the early 1990ís. As the chapter members aged and interests changed to other hobbies the MRC 17ís chapter went into an inactive status. Some of original active members continued to fly and participate at local and national sponsored fly-ins. As the number of gyroplane kit manufacturers grew, a new breed of rotorcraft enthusiast around the Twin Cities came together.
Thanks to the dedication of many the Minnesota Rotorcraft Club/PRA Chapter 17 is once again active and growing at a respectable rate. Due to the technology advances and flight instruction available the gyroplane is enjoying a revival like never seen before.