Lots of hard-working, far-sighted folk believe that the development of small, low-cost helicopters or autogiros is an absolute must . . here is a glimpse of what’s happening among rotorcraft.
ARETICLE DATE: June/July 1964
Mechanical engineer Bill Piper props 72-hp McCulloch mill on Piper-Marriott autogiro as aeronautical engineer Ed Marriott prepares for hop. Rotor diameter 20-ft; length 9-ft 9-in; empty weight 225-lb, gross 450-lb; top speed 85-mph, cruise 60, landing 10-mph. Range 120 miles. Rotor blades have steel spar, plywood skin.
Harold Emigh Sr hovers at 10 feet in current deluxe version of the Commuter Jr. Emigh is teaching himself to fly rotary wings in phases (he has 15,000 hours as fixed-wing pilot). Enclosed cabin, 90-hp Continental powerplant (left); with dual 6-gal fuel tanks it grosses out at 950-lb. Drawings, basic rotor systems, and/or kits are no longer available.
As soon as Dick DeGraw earns his helicopter rating, he’ll be able to take friends up with him in his twin rotor, VW powered helicopter (2 seater helicopter 1984)
Lester Bannick calls small autogyro his “Model T of the Air.” Cost as homebuilt runs about $600; plans are $25. 65-hp Lycoming. Rotor dia 25-ft, length 7-ft 4-in; empty weight 350-lb, max gross 800-lb. Cruise speed 80-mph, takes off at 26-mph, lands at 7-mph. Range 100 miles. Only welding is in motor mount, only machining is in rotor head, remainder of construction is with hand tools. (Article-1964)
Tilt-engine autogyro has 72-hp McCulloch 0-100 which can be pivoted downward via cockpit controls to direct prop blast against 4-bladed stub rotor located above main rotor. Secondary rotor turns 270-rpm in still air with wheels locked. When brakes are released main 20-ft rotor turns up to flying speed. At 4-hour flight trial point specs were: top speed 75-mph, cruise 60-mph. Takeoff run 100-ft, lands at 15-mph. Empty weight 320-lb, gross 570lbs.
Del Mar is developing its Whirlymite helicopter in a variety of models: 1-place Manned, Packer Drone, Spotter Drone, Ground Trainer. Powered by 60-hp Mercury modified outboard or 65-hp Solar Titan gas turbine. Gross weight 550-lb. DH-1A shown fitted with drone equipment package above pilot’s head.
LEFT: Bensen B-8 gyrocopter with engine switched off and prop stopped (above). Rotor continues to spin in autorotation. Bensen designs are built and flown under the “Amateur-Built, Experimental” category. In ten years Bensen has sold more than 20,000 sets of construction plans and about 5,000 kits. Outfit has made and test-flown 400 ready-to-fly machines, most of which were sold to customers overseas. Both private individuals and government agencies have been the foreign buyers.
RIGHT: Floats of the Bensen Hydrocopter (right) are designed to plane at 10-mph. When not airborne, craft acts as a combined air-boat and catamaran, scooting across the water at 55-mph. To further interest in rotorcraft for personal flying, Bensen has sponsored the Popular Rotorcraft Association. First fly-in last year at North Carolina airport drew 275 members and 15 rotorcraft.
One-Man Rotary Wing Craft
Rotary Wing Craft have always been popular, especially a single seater to give you the freedom of anywhere flight. Whether a gyrocopter or helicopter, the experience is exciting and exhilarating.