American Helicopter Museum Begins Heli Rides and Introduces J-2 Gyroplane

J-2 GyroplaneImage via ERCC Marketing

WEST CHESTER, PA — The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (AHMEC) will celebrate this year’s annual World Helicopter Day on Sunday, August 15, from noon until 4:30 p.m. Two main events will make the day extra special: AHMEC’s first public helicopter rides since 2019 and the premier rollout of the newly restored McCulloch J-2 Gyroplane.

“We are excited to present helicopter rides to the public this year, as well as honor the hard work of our volunteer restoration crew with our fantastic McCullough J-2,” said Paul Kahan, AHMEC’s Executive Director. “We’re even happier that we can do this in a way that celebrates rotary wing aviation, which is what World Helicopter Day is all about.”

World Helicopter Day was founded in 2015 by Australian Mick Cullen “to raise awareness of the contributions that helicopters make to our society and celebrate the diverse range of people that design, fly and support them,” Cullen stated.

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Additionally, AHMEC plans to highlight completion of its McCulloch J-2 Gyroplane, a two-seat gyroplane built by the McCulloch Aircraft Corporation in 1971. Volunteer Derek Hart, who directed the aircraft’s 4-year restoration project, is proud of the accomplishment.

“The McCulloch J-2, the only one of this type in the museum, arrived at AHMEC several years ago, having been donated by Light Horse Legacy and Marvin Wessel,” explained Hart. “The donation included major parts of the fuselage and many components in boxes. Major components necessary to complete the restoration had to be acquired from contributors like the Pennsylvania College of Technology-Williamsport, PA, Piasecki Aircraft; and Olympic Tool & Folsom Tool In Aston, PA. Others were fabricated by the talented museum volunteers.”

“We hope you will join us as we take to the skies on August 15!” Kahan added.

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Helicopter rides cost $65.00 per person on a first-come, first-served basis. They can be purchased in advance via the website at or phone at 610-436-9600 or in the museum store.

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