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The Beginning

Allen H. Meyers was born in Allenhurst, New Jersey on September 4, 1908. He was a graduate mechanical engineer. He apprenticed with pioneer aircraft builders such as Chance Vought, Glenn Martin and Stinson Aircraft. Al's first design was the OTW, then the 125-145, and finally the 200 series. Al Meyers designed the Meyers 200 at least 10 years after, but to compete with, the Beechcraft Bonanza. The Meyers 200, Meyers 200A, Meyers 200B, Meyers 200C and Meyers 200D have an excellent maintenance and safety record. While the exact Al Meyers production of 200 series is unknown, an October 1999 search of the FAA records reveals that there are registered: 1 200 built in 1953, 8 200A's built in 1959-1960, 13 200B's built in 1961-1963, 7 200C's built in 1963 and 4 200D's built in 1964-1965. North American Rockwell's Aero Commander Division purchased the design from Mr. Meyers in 1965 and, in 1966-1967, produced some 83 aircraft (SN 301-383) known as the Aero Commander 200D. This Aircraft established several long standing speed records and was widely regarded as one of the strongest airframes in general aviation.

Al Meyers beside a WACO-10, an early 1930's airplane in which he learned to fly.

Meyer's first design, the OTW (Out to Win) certified in 1939 and was the first of two aircraft approved for the Civilian Pilot Training Program prior to WWII.

Meyer's second design, the all-metal MAC-145. A 2-place, retractable main gear tail-dragger with a steerable tailwheel. About 22 of these were produced in the early 1950's in Tecumseh, Michigan. This aircraft formed the basis for his most famous design, the 200.

A fully restored Meyers 200A

The Meyers 200D - 4 place, fully enclosed retractable gear
Continental IO-520 engine

In 1974, Al was elected to the Pioneer Aviation Hall of Fame. The Meyers 200 series aircraft have never had a FAA mandated Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued against their airframe, something no other aircraft can claim. It was, and still is, regarded as perhaps the finest single engine production aircraft ever built. There are currently 102 Meyers 200 type aircraft registered in the U.S. today.

The Meyers 200D set many speed records during the 1960's. Peter Gluckman set a class around the world record with a Meyers 200D equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks.

Jerry Mock, a Columbus, Ohio, homemaker, set several records in Women's racing in the Meyers 200D. She piloted a 200D to a new world speed record for 500 kilometres in Class C-1b.  Her average speed of 203.858 mph broke the ten year old record of 178 mph set by a Czech racing plane. Bill Brodbeck set a National Aeronautic Association (NAA) speed record of 227.24 mph in Class C-1b over a 3 km course which stood for almost eighteen years. Bill also set a Federation Aeronautique Internacional (FAI) World record of 365.700 kmh. Then Don Washburn, flying a standard production 200D, claimed a record of 239.5 mph (208.26 kts!!) in class C-1c over a 3 km course.  The Meyers is the fastest, normally-aspirated (non-turbocharged) production piston single engine plane ever built. The Meyers 200D is faster than even the fabled Piper Comanche 400 which has 400 horsepower. Many magazine articles have been written about the Meyers 200D.  

Safety Record

The Meyers 200D has never had an in-flight structural failure and has never had a FAA mandated Airworthiness Directive (AD) issued against the airframe. The 4130 chrome-moly steel tubular roll cage and understructure act like a race car protective cage during a crash. Several Meyers aircraft have been forced down in the trees and off airport runways with documented instances of the occupants walking away with only minor injuries or a broken bone.


The North American Rockwell Corporation (now Rockwell International), through its Aero Commander Division, was attempting to build a large aviation conglomerate. Rockwell approached Al Meyers to purchase the Meyers 145 and Meyers 200D Type Certificates. They reached an agreement and consummated the transaction. The Meyers aircraft were basically hand built from the very beginning. The rudimentary jigs and fixtures that existed were actually hung from rafters in their small facility, consisting of maybe 10,000 square feet. When no aircraft was in production, the jigs were pulled up into the rafters and the workers were busy repairing aircraft. When Meyers received an order, the jigs were lowered and the plant went into production. A very small number of highly skilled craftsmen, many of whom had been with Al Meyers from the beginning, hand constructed each aircraft. Hard production tooling, the kind that allows semiskilled workers to build aircraft, simply did not exist. The only tooling that did exist were some wooden and cardboard templates hanging on the walls, the simple final positioning jigs and fixtures and the hand notebooks of the workers involved. These workers had built various parts of the aircraft for years; thus little tooling was really needed to turn out a completed aircraft.

photo of 200D production line in Albany, Georgia

Since no production tooling existed, Rockwell had to create all of the tooling that Meyers Aircraft now possesses, virtually from scratch. Paul Nichols, the production test pilot for Rockwell's Albany Division and who now works for Ayers Aircraft, who purchased the facility from Rockwell, has advised he has seen reports to Aero Commander's Corporate Headquarters indicating that it was taking over 10,000 man hours to build each Meyers 200D. Analyzing other industry reported averages, it is now known that the man hours should have been in the range of 2000 to 2500 hours.

It seems clear the Rockwell plant personnel were including the hours necessary to create all of the non-existent tooling in the hours they were reporting for each aircraft. Rockwell Corporate decided that it could never make a profit with an aircraft that took 10,000 hours to build so it decided to turn its design team loose on a single engine project that it hoped would be easy to produce. Thus was born the Commander 112. The Commander 112 turned into the 114B which remains in limited production in Norman, Oklahoma.

Management has spent considerable time and effort reconstructing the events that lead up to this decision by Rockwell to cease production of the Meyers 200D. The 112 was a far inferior aircraft and very slow compared to the Meyers 200D. It has also had numerous severe Airworthiness Directives (ADs) issued against key structural components that have even grounded the entire fleet. Paul Whetstone has compared the manufacturing time against industry reported times and the DAPCA IV Development Cost and Production Model. The high end is around 3,000 hours and through production familiarization, goes down to below 2,000 hours. It is now quite evident that the 10,000 hours reported to Rockwell Corporate were mis-categorized, causing it to make one of the great misguided decisions in light aircraft production history. Because of Rockwell's mistake, Meyers Aircraft now has the opportunity to produce and market the " Airplane Ever Built...", sell it for more than $100,000 below the competition, and yet maintain an industry standard profit.

Interceptor Corporation

During the time that Rockwell was deciding to stop production of the Aero Commander (Meyers) 200D, they were approached by Lymon Lyon of Detroit. Lyon had dual degrees, one in mechanical engineering and the other in law. Lyon had flown behind turboprop power in the military and decided that he wanted a personal turboprop. He researched the market and decided that the Aero Commander (Meyers) 200D had the strongest airframe in production and approached Aero Commander to build one for him with a turboprop engine. Aero Commander told him that it was in the process of ceasing production of the Aero Commander (Meyers) 200D and suggested that he purchase the Type Certificate (TC) and do it for himself.

Interceptor 400 as certified in 1971

Lyon then formed the Interceptor Corporation with a group of physician investors from the Detroit area. They chose Don Long, a senior project engineer with Aero Commander to head up the Company. Long had been responsible for the certification of the Jet Commander. He estimated that it would take six months and $600,000 to certify the turbine engine single.

In reality, it took almost three years and several million dollars. Nevertheless, the Interceptor 400 was certified in 1971 and added to the TC as the Model 400.

As the "hot" new aircraft of the early seventies, the Interceptor 400 was involved in a 20+ year "great debate" in the aviation industry over which is safer, a single engine aircraft or a light twin engine aircraft. Dozens of articles have been written on this subject. Most of the major manufacturers were pushing for twins because they made more money on a twin than on a single. The Interceptor 400, as the first turbine single to be certified in the U.S., was a major factor in the "single" camp. 

History has shown that timing is everything when it comes to the introduction of a revolutionary product. Hindsight shows that it is just as fatal to be too early as too late. At that time, the pilot community was not ready to accept turbine engine singles. The argument has now been largely resolved in favour of the turbine single-engine aircraft. In the last few years, several turbine singles have appeared and have been publicly accepted. Cessna, through its single-engine Caravan used by FedEx, was the major factor in changing the industry conception. Then came the Socata TBM-700 and the Pilatus PC-12.  Piper announced the development of the Malibu Meridian.  Just this year, the FAA has stated that it will remove the prohibition on single turbine-engine Part 135 Air Taxi flights. 

The decision makers have really been the insurance companies who charge more to insure a $100,000 hull value twin than a $100,000 hull value single. A 1993 quotation from AVEMCO showed that the same hull value Saratoga single would cost $1978 whereas the Seneca twin would cost $2576. When safety is coupled with the vastly greater reliability of the prop-jet engine, the Interceptor 400 is one of the safest aircraft in the sky, as is the piston powered Meyers 200D.

An attempt to continue production was made by the Seminole Native Americans under the name of Micco. MICCO Aircraft Company did finish the certification of the 200hp SP20 and the 260hp SP26 and then took the SP26 through aerobatic certification. 

The enterprise was marred by a series of lawsuits and internal politics and what appears to be very bitter and aggressive people.

The company delivered 16 aircraft, eight SP20's and eight SP26's and had 26 orders on hand when the political trouble started and the company was sold.