In September 2017, Harold Smith sold Air Command International to Joe Covelli (photo insert, left to right). The company specializes in manufacturing gyroplane rotorcraft kits that owners build-to-fly.
With over 2,500 of its rotorcraft flying worldwide, the company is one of the oldest gyroplane kit manufacturers in operation today with their first flight in 1984. Air Command was founded by Dennis Fetters in 1979.
Harold, an aeronautical engineer, and his son Doug, successfully operated Air Command from the airport in Caddo Mills, Texas for nearly 25 years.
As part of the transaction, the company’s headquarters, to include operations and manufacturing, were moved to River Falls, Wisconsin (near Minneapolis, Minnesota).
According to Joe, “We look forward to continuing the great tradition of Air Command in manufacturing production gyroplane kits, parts and accessories to customers worldwide”. He continued, “Doug is an expert in making aviation grade fiberglass parts. It’s important to us to continue to source our fiberglass parts from him and have his involvement in the company”.
In 2011, Joe first learned about Air Command from a friend who owned one of their aircraft designs. The summer of that year he traveled to meet Harold and Doug, learn more about Air Command, and see their operation and product line firsthand. This visit sparked his interest in their products and gyroplane flying. He commented, “Air Command customers have a strong commitment to this brand and gyroplane flying that offers a bird’s-eye view. It will be great to see where we go from here to expand the company’s reach in the US and worldwide”.
Joe brings to the company 30-years of business experience in sales, marketing, operations and management. He earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls. His interest in flight came through managing an emergency medical helicopter operation near Minneapolis, Minnesota.