|First flight||27 June 1969|
|Developed from||Aero Commander 200|
The Interceptor 400 was a turboprop-powered single-engined light aircraft developed from the Aero Commander 200 [originally the Meyers 200] a Continental single engine piston plane. It attracted buyers but was unable to obtain adequate manufacturing financing, and was perhaps too far ahead of its time. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, at the time of its development, the market for single-engined turboprops was still a decade away.
Design and development
Development of the aircraft commenced when Lymon Lyon approached Aero Commander to build him a one-off modification of the 200, to be powered by a turboprop. His request came just as Aero Commander was realizing that the 200 piston engine aircraft was not economically viable in volumes they sought, and instead, offered to sell Lyon the 200 type certificate and work that Aero Commander had begun on a turbine engine conversion model 400 instead. Lyon and a group of investors assembled by entrepreneur and merger and acquisition expert Thomas W Itin, then formed the Interceptor Corporation to develop and market the 400 turbine engine version, the Interceptor 400 aircraft.
The plant was moved from the Aero Commander site in Albany Ga to Norman Oklahoma where the engineering was completed for the Interceptor 400 type certificate
Its first flight was on June 27, 1969, and certification was obtained in 1971. However, without adequately funded buyers, major Interceptor investor Paul Luce eventually took possession of the company's intellectual property and the prototype Interceptor 400 when the firm could not repay capital he had loaned it. The rights are now owned by Prop-Jets Inc, in which Luce has a 50% stake. There is one Interceptor 400 plane still registered and still flying.
A militarized version, the Interceptor I400-M reached at least the planning stage. It was envisaged for a wide variety of roles, including training, reconnaissance, Forward Air Control, and Counter-Insurgency, as well as general utility duties.
The first customer delivered plane was sold to F Lee Baily. Baily's test pilot ran out of fuel over the Santa Monica Bay and the pilot had to land it on the bay. [see the LA times article] that incident obtained world wide publication and destroyed the plane..as it appeared that the plane had failed. It had not. Litigation followed and the Interceptor Company was unable to recover.
Specifications (Interceptor 400)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1971–72
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 3 passengers
- Length: 26 ft 11½ in (8.22 m)
- Wingspan: 30 ft 6 in (9.29 m)
- Wing area: 161.5 ft2 (16.0 m² m2)
- Empty weight: 2,300 lb (1,043 kg)
- Gross weight: 4,005 lb (1,816 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Garrett TPE331-1-101 turboprop, 400 hp (298 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 287 mph (463 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 281 mph (452 km/h)
- Stall speed: 69 mph (111 km/h)
- Range: 1,000 miles (1,609 km)
- Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,315 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,000+ ft/min (10.2 m/s)
- Air Progress: 19. December 1971.
- Taylor 1971, p. 324.
- flaps and gear down
- Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1971–72. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1971. ISBN 0-354-00094-2.
- Meyers Aircraft Home Page
- Meyers owner enthusiast site
- Aviation Journalist Bud Davisson's review of the Interceptor 400
- Meyers Aircraft Owners Home Page
- Interceptor 400 rc helicopter.