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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
OFFICE OF TECHNICAL SERVICES
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ROTARY WING AIRCRAFT
HANDBOOKS AND HISTORY
CONVERTIBLE AIRCRAFT
VOLUME 13
ONE OF A SERIES OF 18 VOLUMES EDITED BY
EUGENE K. LIBERATORE
PREWITT AIRCRAFT COMPANY
CLIFTON HEIGHTS, PENNSYLVANIA
. .' AND PREPARED FOR
. : . AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER
AIR RESEARCH-. AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND
.UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO
UNDER CONTRACT NO. W53-03g ac-2180U (20695)
DISTRIBUTED BY
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
BUSINESS AND DEFENSE SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
OFFICE OF TECHNICAL SERVICES
WASHINGTON 25, D. C.
195U
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CONTENTS
Page
I Introduction l
n Convertaplane Family 2-7
in .Convertible Aircraft of the Past and Present 8-79
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INTRODUCTION
A. Scope
Presented in Volume l3 is an account of the development of
convertible aircraft. An attempt has been made to classify the
work according to convertible aircraft family tree. Typical
sketches of the configurations are given and their relation to
actual types is shown. The data is given in alphabetical order
according to the name of the inventor or designer.
B. Acknowledgments
We are indebted to the following sources for their generous
contributions and assistance in preparing this volume:
l. Library of Congress, Mr. A. Renstrom
Mr. P. Beck
2. Capt. R. N. Liptrot, British European Airways
(Formerly with the British Ministry
of Supply)
C. Preparation
This volume was prepared and edited by E. K. Liberatore,
Prewitt Aircraft Company.
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MODEL
MM.
2 COK1VERTAPLANE FAMILY
TABLE ±
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MODEL . MF» .
CQNVERTAPLANE FAMILY
Fiq-Z. P^oP5 or TETS
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MODEL MFR.
CONVERTAPLAN1E FAMILY
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8
HI CONVERTIBLE AIRCRAFT
OF THE
PAST AND PRESENT
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MODEL *r*.
BELL
The Bell Aircraft Corporation is one of the largest aircraft companies
that has publicly disclosed an interest in the convertaplane. Two engineers
who were active in this project were Arthur Young and Robert Lichten. Young
has since left the company to devote his time to other research.
While at Bell, Young conducted model tests with a small convertible type
powered by an electric drill motor. The rotor had both cyclic and collective
pitch control means.
Bell Model Tests are described in their report No. 30-929-002 of l944.
A two blade, 30 inch diameter rotor was tested in combination with a rectang-
ular wing 36 x 6 inches. The power required to hover was greater than the
power required to fly in other altitudes or inclinations. At high forward speeds,
however, the power required became greater. A proposed prototype machine
was to feature the Young stabilizer and a gear shift transmission.
Lichten's work is covered in a paper "Some Aspects of Convertible Air-
craft Design" published in the I. A.S. Journal, October, l949.
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MODEL MF».
BERLINER 10
Having continued the rotary wing research of his father, Emile, Henry
Berliner developed several variants of a lateral rotor helicopter that today
would be classified as a convertible type.
The original version (Figure l) was built up from the fuselage of a French
Nieuport biplane. Rotors mounted laterally on outriggers replaced the wings.
The control vanes in the rotor slipstream, developed on the coaxial ships,
were retained. Lateral control was obtained as follows: When one set of
wings dropped, motion of the control stick toward the high set would close the
vanes on that side, presenting a flat surface to the rotor slipstream. This
produced the restoring moment. The vanes on the low side were not affected
by the stick motion. Longitudinal control was obtained by means of a lifting
propeller located at the tail.
To assure a safe power-off descent, fixed wings were later added to the
machine. This presented the appearance of a high aspect ratio triplane. For
added control, the axes of the rotors could be tilted. (Figure 2) (See U. S. patent
l, 570,12l)
The drive system (Figure 3) consisted of gears and shafting connecting
the three screws. No clutch was used. The engine was started by a hand
crank introduced into the control rotor drive.
A series of flights were made from January to March, l924, and showed the
machine was unable to fly out of the ground effect, and that the control system
was adequate except in the case of the lateral control. The best performance
was had on February 23, when a flight of l minute, 35 seconds was made at a
maximum height of l5 feet. The taxiing speed of the helicopter was high and
was estimated at 50 MPH.
This historical machine has been preserved, and is an exhibit of the National
Air Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Characteristics:
Powerplant: Bentley Model 2, rotary
200 HP @ l350 RPM
Rotor: Diameter - l5 Ft.
RPM - 560
Dimensions: Length Overall - 20.5 Ft.
Height - 8l In.
Span - 38 Ft. (upper)
34 Ft. (middle)
30 Ft. (lower)
Wing Chord - 22 In.
Total Wing Area - l35 Ft.
Control Vanes (2 x 5) Area - 20 Sq. Ft.
Size - 8 In. x 36 In.
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Performance: Duration - l Min., 35 Sec.
Max. Altitude - l5 Ft.
Estimated Min. Speed - 56 MPH
(Power Off)
Estimated Min. Altitude for Ft. - 800
Safe Power-Off Descent
Weights: Empty - l650 Lbs.
Fuel - 60 Lbs.
Oil - 8 Lbs.
Pilot - 200 Lbs.
Gross - l9l8 Lbs.
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MODEL
MFR .
BERLINER
12
In the summer of l925 another model was completed. (Figure 6) It was
intended as an improvement over Berliner's previous machine.
A 200 HP Bentley rotary drove the rotors through bevel gears and shaft-
ing. Longitudinal balance and turning was brought about as in the earlier model.
For lateral balance, the screws were fitted with ailerons. (Visible in Figure 6)
These were connected to the pilot's stick by means of controls running through
the hollow propeller shaft. A collective pitch variation of either rotor provided
lateral control.
The screws were 20 feet in diameter and turned 360 RPM. The ship was
30 feet long and had an overall width of 42 feet. The gross weight with l hour's
fuel was l850 pounds. This machine was flown.
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Generated on 2013-12-17 14:31 GMT / http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015018253602
Public Domain, Google-digitized / http://www.hathitrust.org/access_use#pd-google
MODEL
MFR .
BERTIN
14
BERTIN CONFIGURATION l6 l908
The Bertin helicoplane was built in France around l908 by Bertin, a
motorcyclist, and Boulline, a mechanic from Puteaux.
The machine consisted of a steel tube airframe to which was attached a
lifting and propelling screw and a set of biplane wings that had a variable angle
of incidence. The machine flew a few feet off the ground for a short period of
time, but it lacked stability.
Characteristics:
Powerplant:
Lifting Screw:
Tractor Screw:
Wings:
Weight:
Bertin Flat-8 aircooled
l50 HP @ 2500 RPM
Weight - 264 Lbs.
Diameter - 6. 55 Ft.
Thrust - 330 Lbs.
Driven through a disk clutch
Diameter - 7.22 Ft.
RPM - 2500
Area - 322 Sq. Ft. total
956 Lbs.
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MODEL.
2
M«.
BREGUET
15
BREGUET MODEL 2 l908 CONFIGURATION l0
After experimenting with a four rotor helicopter, Louis Breguet and Prof.
Richet produced a "gyroplane" consisting of fixed biplane wings and inclined
lifting-propelling screws. (Figures l, 2)
The rotors on Model 2, located laterally between the wings, were each
made up of four biplane blades similar to those used on Model No. l. The
wings were intended for a safe forced descent. The lower set served as
ailerons. Both wings and rotors were covered with aluminum foil and a special
type of paper. The landing gear was designed for a drop of 23 FPS. The first
flight trials revealed a longitudinal instability, and for this reason, no pro-
longed flights could be made.
On July 22, l908, piloted by the engineer, Volumard, the machine rose to
a maximum height of 33 feet; however, due to the instability, it made a hard
tail-down landing, smashing the undercarriage. The maximum distance flown
was about 65 feet.
Characteristics:
Power plant:
Rotors:
Wings:
Total Parachut-
al Area:
Weights:
Performance:
Antionette 40 HP max.
37 HP @ l800 RPM
Normal Flight RPM l250 to l350
Two, four bladed, biplane blades
Diameter - 25.8 Ft.
RPM - l08 at l800 engine RPM, hovering
Thrust Developed - l050 total using 37 HP
Total Area - 537 Sq. Ft.
772 Sq. Ft. (wings 537 Sq. Ft, Rotors - 118 Sq. Ft.,
fuselage ll8)
Gross - l320 Lbs. (including pilot and l hrs. fuel)
Minimum speed - l5. 5 MPH (Estimated)
Maximum" -46.5 MPH
For normal flight at 33. 5 MPH, the screws
developed l43 Lbs. tracture force and 500 Lbs.
lift. Wings lift - 770 Lbs. HP required - l5.
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MODEL
MFR .
BREGUET
17
BREGUET MODEL 2 Bis. CONFIGURATION - l0
The model 2 Bis followed the Model 2. This version resembled the earlier
machine in general. (Figure 3) The rotors were located between the fore and
aft wings. Each rotor had four monoplane blades. The rotors were controllable
from the cockpit. The blades were hinged to the hub to permit their adjustment
to the varying resultant force. This principle was proposed by Col. Renard in
his paper "A New Method of Construction of Aerial Propellers" presented to
the Academy of Sciences, November 7, l904.
This version was built, but unfortunately it was demolished in its hangar
near Douai, France, when a strong wind knocked down the building. (See
French patents 375,606 and 387,l75)
Characteristics:
Powerplant:
Rotors:
Dimensions:
(Overall)
Weight:
Antionette 45HP
Two, four bladed
Diameter - l3.9 Ft.
Weight - 28.6 Lbs. including hub and gear
Span - 46 Ft.
Length - 39.5 Ft.
Height - ll Ft.
Empty - l2l0 Lbs.
In recent times, the Breguet Company again turned to convertible aircraft.
A craft was under development in l949, but details of design have not been
released.
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MODCL.
2 Bis
MFD.
BREGUET
18
**raplnoe Brefuet 1 ftfe vu dc front. AA\ alias da biplan aaterieur; AA, alias da blplaa poeUrietv; BH, bailees; b, pale
41bailee; jr. MMH ArintaMM de* Wees; f",V\ nw posterioures ft suspension uurtiaaaate; V", r", r^roaes
de protection en cu d« contact tu mI tous l« choc d sttnrlssag*.
T
—i .__
, * _ JESj .[
!-JC*il_
IS'oo
J_J I
/aeroplane Bre guet vu an plan (Tavant eM to bis da la figure). A'A', tile superlaiire du bi
a auspaasloo amortlssaate; HB, helices 1
ft 4 branches; p.p
biplan iiosterlaur (portion souple ft |*uehisseiBeat aitomatique
ttrieur; G, gouverasll posterieur vertical de direction.
. A'A', alia superleiire du biplan anlerieur; RR, roues porteuses
p, pales d'heiiee; E, reservoir d'eau; AA, sites tuperlr ures du
to); dd, portion medians Hie de I'aile superteure dn biplan pos-
Breyuet vu de eoU. AT (superieuri, alia suprrieure du biplan snterieur; A' (laferieur), plan suptrieur du blplsn
mobile antour d'un axe horitontal et servant de fouvernall da profondeur; r"' r". roue* aetessolres da contari
eventual su sol; r"' r, roues porteuses ft suspension amortissante i H, Mllee ft 4 breaches; a, eomroaaa d'eatratnetaeal de
rhellco; E, reservoir d'eatenee; Kk, si les superieure at laferieure du biplan posteriaur ; G, gouveroall vertical, nosierietr du
direction.
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MODEL
1321
BRUNE
In l924, C. M. Brune, an Englishman, entered a rotorcraft design in
forthcoming helicopter competition. The craft was a modified form of a
biplane having cylindroidal shaped wings partially surrounding oppositely
rotating screws.
Characteristics:
It was claimed that a prototype had been built and was ready for tests.
Powerplant:
2 A. B. C. Gnat engines
36 HP each
l2/l3 Ft.
27 Ft.
Height:
Span:
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MODEL MFR. B. OTHERS
BEILHARZ - CONFIGURATION l7 l909
The Beilharz machine was reported under construction in l909, however,
there is no record of its completion. It consisted of a front and rear screw
and a fixed wing. Each screw was tiltable about a universal joint. The for-
ward screw could be tilted in a vertical plane to provide lift and control while
the rear screw could be tilted in a horizontal plane to provide directional control.
BEACH MODEL l925
In l925, Stanley Y. Beach, an American, proposed a convertible type air-
craft for a forthcoming helicopter competition. Four two bladed lifting screws
were used, two being tiltable to produce forward motion. Packard 800 HP
engines were to power the craft.
BRATUKHIN MODEL l936
The configuration illustrated above was reported under development in
Russia about l936 by the engineer, Bratukhin. References show that a pro-
totype machine was built.
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MODEL MFK. CAMERON
21
CAMERON MODEL CONFIGURATION l5
The illustration (Figure l) is a proposed convertible type aircraft invented
by Peter Cameron of Scotland about l930. It represents the configuration
that employs a retractable rotor. U.S. patent 2,l63,482 describes the screw
thread mechanism used to retract the blades.
The scale model illustrated in Figures 2 and 3 shows a tiltable propeller-
wing system to augment the takeoff thrust. It is capable of a helicopter take-
off for forward flight. The rotors are partially retracted and operate in
autorotation. The diameter of the full scale rotor was to be 74 feet when fully
extended. This machine was never built.
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MODEL
CAPPONE
22
CAPPONE MODELS - CONFIGURATION
The Cappone machine was practically a lateral rotor helicopter incorporat-
ing extensive wing surfaces. For the latter reason, it is classified as a
convertible type. The machine was built in London by the Howard Wright
Aeroplane Company around l9l0.
It was intended that the flight path of this craft would be a series of curves
with the machine rising and falling as it advanced. It was believed that this
would reduce the power required to keep it aloft. It appears from the descrip-
tion of this craft that the rotors had a cyclic feathering feature. At least two
types were built, but neither was successful.
Characteristics: (Model 2 Bis)
Powerplant:
R.E.P;, 7 cylinder, blower cooled,
30 HP
Weight - l30 Lbs.
Two, 2 bladed
Diameter - 26 Ft.
RPM - 29 to l00
Weight - 40 Lbs. each
Blade Size - 6. 5 Ft. x 3 Ft.
It was estimated that the rotors lift
33 Lbs. per HP.
Span - 62 Ft.
Length - 28 Ft.
Empty - 600 Lbs.
Rotors:
Dimensions:
(Overall)
Weight:
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2 Bis Mr.. CAPPONE
23
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model nr.. CHAUVIERE
24
CHAUVIERE CONFIGURATION l9
Lucien Chauviere, the well known airscrew designer, took out a patent in
l9l7 for a rotating wing aircraft which he called a "Gyroptere".
In l927-28 he built an aircraft with a single rotating system, 44.5 feet in
diameter, driven through a shaft and gearing, by a Renault in-line air-cooled
engine rated at 230 HP. The rotor was 4-bladed, the blades being mounted on
flapping hinges and set at zero incidence. The engine also drove a tractor
airscrew at the nose, and could be progressively clutched in while the rotor
drive was being declutched when entering autorotation. To balance torque re-
action while the rotor was under power, there were control flaps mounted
vertically on the fuselage sides in the slipstream. The control flaps operated
automatically by the torque reaction on the gearbox casing, which was freely
mounted on the main drive shaft and not attached to the fuselage. The aircraft
weighed 3025 pounds.
Trials were cut short at a very early stage due to lack of finances.
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MODEL
Mr.. CORNU
5
CORNU MODEL CONFIGURATION l0
Paul Cornu of Lixieux, France, has been known primarily for his work in
the early l900's on a tandem rotor helicopter. His research, however, did
not stop there. After experiencing various mechanical difficulties with the
helicopter, he revised his line of thinking, and in l908 created what was to be-
come an early convertaplane configuration (see illustration).
The craft was basically a canard type parasol monoplane with air screws
mounted laterally on outriggers below the wing. The rotors turned in a plane
that was inclined relative to the horizontal. The blades had the cyclic feather-
ing feature, as illustrated in the hub sketches. The upper sketch shows the
wobble plate tilted for cyclic feathering. A prototype was built, but the inven-
tor lacked a good power plant.
Cornu advertised in the October, l908 issue of L'Aerophile for aid to
continue his project. He did not receive any financial support and was compel-
led to drop his development.
Characteristics:
Powerplant: 50 HP (80 HP engine intended as a
replacement)
Rotors: Two, 2 bladed
Diameter - l9.7 Ft.
RPM - 260
Wing: Span - 39.4 Ft.
Chord - 3.28 Ft.
Performance: The thrust developed, using a 50 HP engine,
was 880 Lbs. at 260 RPM. Cornu estimated
that the top speed would be 64 MPH using an
80 HP engine.
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model MF». C. OTHERS
CHAUDOIR MODEL l908 CONFIGURATION l2
Maurice Chaudoir of the Belgian Aero Club proposed a "Helicoplane"
around l908. The airplane was to include two lifting rotors on a vertical
axis at the C. G. of the ship. The gross weight was l450 pounds. The wing
surface covered 880 square feet. The overall dimensions were: length -
33 feet, and width l9.7 feet. Four bicycle wheels served as the landing gear.
CHILLINGWORTH MODEL l925
In l925, Rudolph Chillingworth of Germany entered a convertible type air-
craft in a forthcoming helicopter competition.
It consisted of a rectangular framework at the four corners of which were
mounted four horizontal airscrews adapted to revolve in a counterclockwise
direction. Immediately below these wings were a similar number of wings
driven by small auxiliary airscrews. For horizontal flight, the wings were
locked, and the auxiliary screws provided the propulsive force. The design
was 85. 5 feet long and 75 feet wide. Two engines of 450 HP were used. (See
U.S. patent l,605,327.)
COBIANCHI MODEL-l l909 CONFIGURATION l2
Mario Cobianchi, the pioneer Italian airplane builder, constructed a
"Helicoplane" in l909. The machine consisted of a conventional biplane with
a set of coaxial counterrotating lifting screws mounted vertically at the C. G.
A set of coaxial screws was used for propulsion, mounted on either side of
the fuselage. These screws operated pusher-tractor fashion. The engine was
a l00 HP Miller. The span of the upper wing was 36 feet.
The machine was flown as an airplane without the lifting screws, but there
is no record of it having been flown with the screws attached.
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MODEL
1912
rcoN
27
DECAZES-BESANCON MODEL l9l2 CONFIGURATION l2
Around l902, Viscount Decazes and G. Besancon conducted tests in Paris
on a lifting screw l9.7 feet in diameter. This rotor was intended for a machine
consisting of two screws for lift, in addition to fixed wings and a propeller.
The configuration was to permit takeoff and landing at low speeds and to
hover over a fixed point in a low wind. The rotor tested lifted l48 pounds at
60 RPM, absorbing around l0 HP. Due to the lack of a light weight power-
plant, construction of a machine was postponed for a number of years.
In l9l2, a prototype "Helicoplane" was built by Decazes alone, at the French
Loire et Olivier Aircraft plant. Early in l9l3, the machine was tested at
Villacoublay by Commandant Dorand. However, the trials were brought to an
abrupt end by a failure in the transmission.
Characteristics:
Rotors:
Wings:
Performance:
Powerplants:
Two Gnome Rotaries, driving rotors and
propeller separately. The engine driving
the rotors was mounted with its shaft
vertical. Normal HP - 50 each.
Two, four bladed, fixed pitch, coaxial
counterrotating
Diameter - l3.l Ft.
Two fixed wings in tandem
Area - 269 Sq. Ft. each
Min. Speed - ll.2 MPH estimated.
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modEL Mr„. DUFAUX
29
DUFAUX MODEL CONFIGURATION 7
A considerable amount of pioneering work with convertible type aircraft
was carried out by the Dufaux brothers, Henri and Armand, of Geneva, Switzer-
land. The basic principle of the machine is shown in Figures 4, 5 and 6.
The forward and aft wings pivot about a central compartment. (Figure 4)
In addition, the lateral screws are free to pivot about this compartment inde-
pendently of the wings. The forward wings are closer to the pivot point than
the rear surfaces so that in takeoff and climb (Figures 4 and 5) the wings will
"weathervane". In vertical flight, the rotors are actually part of a helicopter.
For forward flight, the rotors are tilted forward, and the wings incline at an
angle due to the aerodynamic forces acting on them (Figure 6). In event of
engine failure, the machine would descend as a glider.
Preliminary experiments with models were carried out in l900. (Figure l)
Following this, a larger machine was built powered by an engine of their own
make (Figures 2 and 3). In this version, l905, the helicopter unit was tested
independently of the wings.
Characteristics: (Helicopter Unit)
Power plant:
Rotors:
Weight:
Dimensions:
(Overall)
Dufaux l cylinder engine 3.l HP @ l500 RPM
Weight: 9.9 Lbs. complete.
Two sets of coaxial rotors located laterally.
Rotor RPM - 250 @ l500 engine RPM
Blades - 2 per rotor, made of parchment
stretched over wooden frames
Diameter - 6. 55 Ft.
Weight - 2 Lbs. each
Total - 37.4 Lbs.
Length - l6.4 Ft.
During demonstrations in an assembly hall in St. Cloud, France, the
helicopter hovered with a maximum useful load of l4.3 pounds. Success with
the small model encouraged the inventors to develop a full scale machine
powered by a l20 HP double acting gasoline engine of their own design.
This version used triplane wings in tandem in addition to the tiltable rotors.
The weight of the ship was l320 pounds. Construction was begun in l907 with the
intention of testing it on floats on Lake Geneva. The test results apparently
were unsatisfactory for the Dufaux brothers subsequently turned to the construc-
tion of a fixed wing airplane.
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MO„eL M«. D. OTHERS
32
DE LEFTWICH-DODGE MODEL l900 CONFIGURATION l2
The illustration shows a model of a helicopter-airplane proposed by
William DeLeftwich-Dodge in l900. The machine was powered by a steam engine,|
This model is a specimen of the National Air Museum, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington.
DE MONGE CONFIGURATION l
Louis DeMonge had been known in France for a number of years as the
inventor of a very successful airplane propeller. While in the United States,
since the late War, he has been a proponent of the convertible aircraft prin-
ciple.
The craft proposed by DeMonge was called a "Planicopter". The rotor
system used was the tilted, intermeshing type developed by Flettner and
Kellett. The rotor system tilted relative to the fuselage. Counterbalancing
this was the powerplant assembly. The transmission system was under design
at the Griswold Company in Wayne, Pennsylvania, during the War, but to date
a prototype machine has not been built.
DENNISELL AND GODEVILLE MODEL CONFIGURATION l2
This helicoplane was reported under construction in l909, but it was never
completed.
DOUHERET MODEL l920
The Frenchman, E. Douheret, had tested a coaxial rotor helicopter with
rotors of different diameters. In l920, he proposed to the Section Technique
Aeronautique a combined helicopter-airplane using the rotor system developed
on his helicopter. The rotors could be inclined relative to the wings for lift
and propulsion. However, the proposal was rejected due to the lack of success
with his earlier project.
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MODEL FL-l85
FLETTNER
34
FLETTNER MODEL FL-l85 CONFIGURATION l9
During l936-37, Anton Flettner produced and tested a convertible type that
was developed out of the FL-l84 gyroplane. The l85 had a single lifting rotor
and two propellers mounted laterally on outriggers. All three screws utilized
incidence control. In forward flight, the outboard screws absorbed full power,
and the lifting rotor operated in autorotation. A planetary gear system drove
the propellers. In this experimental machine, the front cockpit held the main
gearbox. The engine was
cooled by a 3 blade adjust-
able fan which absorbed
about l4 HP. The land-
ing gear was designed
for a vertical drop of
ll. 5 FPS.
Work on this model
was dropped because
the concurrent FL-265
helicopter project
showed more promise.
Characteristics:
Powerplant:
Siemens SH-l4A
@ l50 HP
Rotor:
One, three bLaded
Dia. - 39.4 Ft.
RPM - l80
Weight:
Gross - l980 Lbs.
Empty - l700 Lbs.
Test Results:
The ship was
flown. Stick shake
was appreciable.
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0CL XGEH-l Mr». GENERAL ELECTRIC
35
During the late War, the General Electric Company became interested
in the development of a convertible type aircraft. Various configurations
were studied in conjunction with the York Research Corporation of New
York City. The type that received most attention is shown in figures l and
2. The approximate design characteristics were as follows:
Powerplant: P W Wasp Jr.
450 HP @ 2300 RPM
Rotor: Diameter - 42 Ft.
RPM - 200
HP to Rotor - 260 @ 2l00 engine RPM
Antitorque Rotors: Two
Diameter - 4 Ft.
HP to Each - 20 @ l800 RPM
Weights: Gross - 4000 Lbs.
Performance: Minimum Speed - 75 MPH
It was originally planned that two machines be produced in conjunction
with Kellett Aircraft Corporation (qv). The craft, however, were never
completed.
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MODEL
m«. G. OTHERS
36
GAZDA MODEL CONFIGURATION 6
The aircraft proposed by Antoine Gazda of Providence, Rhode Island, is
modern example of the type in which an auxiliary rotor is used for the em-
ergency descent of an airplane.
The illustrations show the rotor as installed in a model of the B-36. The
two bladed rotor is retracted into the fuselage and then covered by a door.
When this door is opened, the rotor is extended and provides lift through auto-
rotation. A rotor designed for the B-36 was estimated to be l20 feet in diame-
ter and would add 3400 pounds to the weight of the plane.
Gazda planned on installing an experimental rotor on a DC-3; however, to
date, this has not been carried out.
GENERAL AIRCRAFT CONFIGURATION
A convertaplane proposal was submitted to Wright Field by General Air-
craft Company of Long Island, New York, but the craft was never built.
MOot, l925 MFR. HAWORTH
In l925, an Englishman named E. D. Haworth entered a convertible type
aircraft in a forthcoming helicopter competition.
The configuration included three lifting screws and fixed wings. A 60 HP
engine was used to drive the craft. The wings were 6 feet long. The overall
size of the machine was 22 x 6 feet. A turbine wheel was to be incorporated in
the drive system.
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CONFIGURATION 12
In 1921, the Hall Air-
plane Company of Los Angeles
was engaged in the construction
of a prototype airplane-helicopter
combination. The machine was being
built for the Mexico Lands and Engineering
Company to be used in in-accessible regions
The machine was called the "Vertical Lift"
airplane.
The configuration was the invention of Charles
S. Hall and Chris Matthews and is described in
U.S. patent 1, 307, 826. The machine was designed
to climb 18, 000 feet in 10 minutes.
Climb 18,000 Ft
10 Minutes
Although it was given some publicity around
1921, the fate of the prototype is unknown.
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MODEL
MFR .
HAYS
38
HAYS MODELS CONFIGURATION 5
For a number of years, Russell Hays of Lawrence, Kansas, has conducted
private experiments on all forms of rotary wing flight. The bulk of his work
was carried out using reduced models (Figure l).
During the past War, a "Midget Helicopter" was designed utilizing the
convertible feature (Figure 2). This design, however, was not produced.
The general subject of convertaplanes was covered by Hays in an article
in the American Helicopter Magazine of September, l947.
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MODEL
HERRICK
39
HERRICK MODEL VERTAPLANE - CONFIGURATION 3
Gerard P. Herrick is well-known for his work with convertible type air-
craft. The configuration he chose for development was a conventional air-
plane combined with an autorotating rotor capable of being stopped to form a
fixed wing. See U. S. patent l, 792, 0l4 for details.
The rotor had two rigidly connected blades linked to the hub by a single
flapping hinge. This could be varied to produce a delta hinge effect for equal-
izing lateral moments. Control of the rotor was through either delta hinge,
feathering or tilting. Because the rotor was to be fixable in flight, the blade
with its trailing edge advancing in translatory flight had to be of a good aero-
dynamic form.
Work on this project began in l927 when wind tunnel tests were made at
New York University under Dr. A. Klemin to find the optimum airfoil shape.
The one finally accepted had an elliptical section.
On November 6, l93l, the first Herrick convertaplane, the Model HV-l,
was ready for flight tests at Niles, Michigan. After taxiing tests, the machine
was flown in short hops to check the control system. Finally, flights up to
400 feet altitude were made as a fixed wing biplane. The best data obtained was
a takeoff run of l00 feet in six seconds and a maximum speed of l00 MPH.
Subsequent trials were made with the rotor in operation. Using the mechani-
cal rotor starter, the machine took off and climbed to about 30 feet before a
poweroff autorotational landing was made. The last test was carried out at
4,000 feet where it was attempted to release the rotor in flight. The machine
went out of control, executed a few loops, and crashed.
A second machine, the HV-2, was built and flown in l937. On July 30 of
that year, the first successful conversion from a fixed to a rotating wing was
accomplished.
Characteristics: (HV-2A illustrated) Civil Registration No. l35l5
Powerplant:
Rotor:
Kinner B-5, l25 HP
Diameter - 24 Ft.
Disk Area - 452.4 Sq. Ft.
Blade Area - 70 Sq. Ft. (total)
Span - 28 Ft.
Area - l00 Sq. Ft.
Gross - l700 Lbs.
Max. Speed - l00 MPH (approx.)
Landing Speed - 30 MPH (approx.)
Fixed Wing:
(Lower)
Weight:
Performance:
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MODEL
HERRICK
40
Characteristics: (HV-l) Civil Registration No. X-ll384
Powerplant:
Poyer, 3 cylinder
48 HP @ 2600 RPM
Dimensions:
Span - 30 Ft.
Length - l7 Ft.
Height - 8 Ft.
Weight:
Gross - 850 Lbs.
Following the two previous convertible aircraft, Herrick designed the HV-3
This machine employed two rotors that counterrotated and featured cyclic pitch
control. In this craft, helicopter flight as well as airplane and gyroplane flight
was possible.
The HV-3 was a 2 place design weighing 3000 pounds and powered by a 400
HP engine. Its maximum speed was estimated to be 225-250 MPH, and, as an
autogiro, it landed at 23 MPH. As an airplane , the landing speed was 55-60
MPH.
The latest Herrick project is the HC-6D convertible. This design has a
single lifting rotor with cyclic pitch control means.
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l929 M„. JOHNSON
42
JOHNSON MODEL l929 CONFIGURATION l2
The Johnson helicopter-airplane was an American development by Jesse C.
Johnson of Palm Beach, Florida. The configuration was a simple one; fixed
pitch rotors were added to a conventional airplane (Figure l). The rotors were
driven through a conventional right angle gear system by means of a worm gear
(l3) (Figure 2). This second figure is from Johnson's U.S. patent l,485,269.
The airplane used was a then popular Hamilton Metal Monoplane built by
the Milwaukee firm. The propeller-type rotors were l9 feet in diameter.
Tests were carried out in l929 at Milwaukee with Victor Allison at the controls.
It was reported that the machine took to the air after a run of only 75 feet.
Flying as a conventional airplane, the power to the tractor propeller was
reduced to one-half, and the lateral screws were started up. The machine
climbed at a steep angle. J. C. Johnson called the tests 90% perfect.
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MODEL
1909
JEAN
53~1
JEAN MODEL l909 CONFIGURATION
The Jean machine was an American development of l909. The craft
consisted of a rectangular framed wing containing lifting screws. The pro-
posed power plant was a 2 cylinder engine.
A company was formed in l909 to exploit the design, but the craft never
materialized.
KELLETT - GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY - CONFIGURATION
During the late War, General Electric Company and the Kellett Aircraft
Corporation collaborated in the development of a convertible type aircraft.
A flying test stand was built representing one of the many configurations
studied (See sketch).
KELLETT TEST
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MODEL
MFR .
KOTANI
44
KOTANI MODEL CONFIGURATION 6
During the late War, the Japanese gave some serious thought to a convertible
type aircraft (Figure l). Research was undertaken by Kannoryo Kotani and
Masao Dceda. The results of their work were presented in a paper entitled
"The Study of Airplanes with Folding Rotary Wings at High Speed".
Tests were carried out using a model with a 2.6 foot rotor diameter.
Figure 2 shows a power curve for a high speed range design. The discontin-
uity due to conversion is shown in the Power Reqd. curve.
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MODEL MF«.
KQWN 45
KOWN MODEL CONFIGURATION l7
The aircraft built by Young Ho Kown at Roosevelt Field, New York, was
given some publicity around l94l (Figure l and caption).
The powerplant was tiltable vertically for a vertical takeoff. The gas
chambers located laterally were intended to supply a certain amount of stabil-
ity to the craft when the screw was in transition between lifting and propelling.
(See Kown's U.S. patent l,828, 607)
The inventor lost his life testing this machine.
Young HO KOWn, known to Roosevelt Field
habitue* as "Charlie," goes Mr. Doi one better
with a craft that is not only airplane and dirig-
ible, bat helicopter as well. Charlie has spent
some 16,000, his entire savings as a cook in
New York City, and over five years of his spare
time in constructing this machine fitted with
helium tanks and a helicopter windmill. Char-
lie is up to the minute, aerodynamically, em-
ploys the latest type tricycle landing gear and
a few other devices which such backward engi-
neers as Severaky and Northrop have not yet
developed. Charlie has no flying license but
C A A officials haven't bothered him yet; they're
quite certain that the jreird contraption will
never get off the ground. If it does, they fear
hell never get it back down again and Charlie
will just disappear from sight. At a prevue for
the press Charlie couldn't get the engine start-
ed, but said he would keep tinkering until he
got it going.
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MOOCL MrR.
K. OTHERS 1 4fT
KAY MODELS l925
B. L. V. Kay of England entered two convertible designs in a l925 helicopter
competition. The first model included 9 lifting and 3 propelling screws. Ten,
l0 HP Douglass engines powered the craft. It was 40 feet long, 24 feet wide and
l6 feet high.
The second model was to use eleven, l00 HP Anzani engines. Its overaU
dimensions were 60 feet long, 46 feet wide and 30 feet high. Neither design
was built.
KEEFER MODEL l923 CONFIGURATION 12
In l924, C. H. Keefer, an American, entered a convertible type aircraft in
a current helicopter competition.
The craft used separate lifting and propelling screws and biplane wings.
The length was 20 feet, and the span 25 feet. The powerplant was a 100 HP
engine. References indicate the ship was not built.
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u»nr. l939 Mni. LEONARD
47
LEONARD MODEL l939 CONFIGURATION 5
Lloyd Leonard has been one of America's convertible aircraft exponents.
His work dates back to the mid-l930's. An early proposal, configuration 5,
incorporated two coaxial rotors, details of which are given below:
Characteristics:
Powerplant:
Rotors:
Weights:
Wing:
Performance:
P & W l000 HP
Two, two bladed
Diameter - 40 Ft.
Solidity - . 0278 (including both rotors)
Gross - 5000 Lbs.
Power Loading - 5 Lbs./HP
Disk Loading - 3.98 PSF
Span - 20 Ft.
Area - 25 Sq. Ft.
Aspect Ratio - l6
Estimated Transition Time from Vertical
to Hovering Flight - 3.27 Sec.
Maximum Speed - 450 MPH
Maximum Climb - 4500 FPM
A more recent proposal is similar to configuration 8. Here, the rotor
is jet driven and the blades feather to form a fixed wing.
To date, Leonard's work has consisted primarily of research and reduced
model testing. Leonard's U.S. patents of interest are 2,387, 762; 2,444, 78l
and 2,479,l25.
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MODEL MFR. LePAGE
48
LePAGE MODEL CONFIGURATION l
One of the foremost exponents of the tiltable lateral rotor convertible type
is W. Lawrence LePage, the designer of the XH-l helicopter.
The proposed design consisted of a conventional airplane fuselage and
wings with a rotor mounted at each wing tip. Overrunning clutches were pro-
vided to permit both rotors to operate off one engine. The craft would take
off vertically, and by means of cyclic pitch control, proceed in forward flight.
As the machine accelerated, the rotors would be tilted to operate as propellers.
A design in the DC-4 category would have the following characteristics:
Gross Weight: 53,000 Lbs.
Rotor Diameter: 92 Ft. each
T. O. HP: 6000
Overall Span: 200 Ft.
(l02 Ft. with rotors folded)
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MODEL
LEWIS
49
LEWIS MODEL CONFIGURATION l0
An unusual machine was produced in the mid l930's in Denver, Colorado.
The craft was based on the patents of P. M. Lewis and Fred Landgraf. The
prototype was built by the Lewis-American Airways, Inc. of Denver.
Figure l shows the machine as it originally appeared. Two large pusher
rotors were mounted at the rear of the parasol wing. Their rotation was such
as to counteract the circulation about the tips of the fixed wing. The thrust
axis was inclined l5° down at the rear. By a feathering mechanism, the pilot
could depress the effective thrust line an additional 45 degrees. The principle
of the rotor operation is described in U.S. patents 2,0l8, 730 and 2,058,l6l.
It was estimated that the rotors contributed 30% of the lift at takeoff speed.
Only a few flights were made with the machine. Because of a very high
thrust line, the difference in trim, with variations in power, made the aircraft
extremely tricky to handle. In fact, the first takeoff was made quite accidental-
ly because of this. While taxiing with the tail up, the pilot suddenly closed the
throttle, the tail immediately dropped, and the machine rose about six feet into
the air, much to the surprise of the pilot.
On subsequent tests, the longest flight took place January, l936. This
consisted of a normal airplane type takeoff, a circuit around the flight pattern,
and a normal landing.
The vibrations set up by the two bladed rotors operating in the close proxim-
ity to the trailing edge of the fixed wing were so severe, and the handling charac-
teristics were so unsatisfactory, that no further flights were attempted.
Figure 2 shows the machine with additional fin and rudder area and narrow
chord rotors. Figure 3 represents the last configuration with a triple tail and
ailerons on the wing. The vertical installation of the Lycoming engine is shown
in Figure 4.
Characteristics:
Weights:
Wing:
Rotors:
Powerplant:
Lycoming R-680 Radial 2l0 HP @ 2000 RPM
Drive was through a disk clutch and a system
of bevel gears and shafts.
Two, two bladed
Tubular spar, wood ribs and fabric cover
Diameter - l5. 5 Ft.
Blade Area - 53.6 Sq. Ft. (four blades)
Span - 25 Ft.
Area - l2 Sq. Ft.
Gross - 2090 Lbs. as flown
Empty - l562 Lbs.
Blades - 93 (four blades)
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MODEL MFR. _ L. OTHERS
51
LACOUR MODEL l9ll CONFIGURATION l2
A helicopter-biplane was reported under construction in Massachusetts
by C. F. Lacour around l9ll. It was fitted with lifting screws instead of an
elevator.
LOUTSKY MODEL l909 CONFIGURATION l2
A biplane-helicopter was built in l909 by Boris Loutsky, a Russian living
in Berlin. It was designed to take off vertically and carry 50% extra load than
the conventional biplane.
Characteristics:
Power plants:
Wing Span:
Two, 50 HP each
46 Ft.
2200 Lbs.
46 Ft.
Gross Weight:
Max. Breadth:
The machined "failed to come up to expectations"
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model _l222_ Mm. MARGOULIS
52
MARGOULIS MODEL l922 CONFIGURATION l
In l922, W. Margoulis, one-time director of the French Eiffel Laboratory,
released a publication on rotary wing aircraft titled "Les Helicopters". One
of the features of this interesting book is the proposal for a convertible type
aircraft. (See the three view drawing) It represents an early version of the
convertaplane using lateral rotors that are tiltable through 90 degrees.
The characteristics of this design are as follows:
Powerplants: Two A. B. C. Dragonfly, 320 HP each @ l650 RPM
The engines were mounted between the wings with
shafts pointing outboard.
Rotors: Two, two bladed, variable pitch
Diameter - l3.l Ft.
RPM - 850
Weights: Wings 990 Lbs.
Powerplants ll90
Rotors and trans-
mission 485
Pilot 220
Fuel for l hours
flight 330
Gross 3,2l5 Lbs.
Dimensions: Max. Width - 52. 5 Ft.
Max. Length - 23.8 Ft.
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MODEL MF«. MEES
MEES MODEL CONFIGURATION l2
The rotorcraft proposed by Gustave Mees of Charlottenburg, Germany,
was basically a fixed wing airplane to which two tilted stabilizing rotors were
added. (See U.S. patent l,096, 045 for details) The illustrations show a
machine designed in l9l0 and described in Flugsport Magazine.
The aircraft was powered by a l00 HP engine. The stabilizing rotors were
7.65 feet in diameter while the wing span was 52. 5 feet. The useful load
was 880 pounds, and the ship was designed to fly at 5l MPH.
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MODEL Mr«.
MERCIER
54
MERCIER CONFIGURATION l8
The "Helicon" was designed by a Frenchman, Germain Mercier, during
the early l930's. It resembled a canard airplane except that the forward wing
was replaced by a rotor. The forwardly located rotor was controllable in
pitch by the pilot, allowing a wide CG variation and good aircraft control. The
rotor was mounted on a cardan hub.
Characteristics:
Powerplant: 40-45 HP Train or
50 HP Salmson
Dimensions: Span - 32.8 Ft.
Weights: Empty - 660 Lbs.
Gross - l300 Lbs.
Performance: Max. Speed - ll0 MPH
Min. Speed - 34.2 MPH
This machine was never built.
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MODEL
l909
MFR .
MICCIOLLO
55
MICCIOLLO MODEL l909 CONFIGURATION l2
In l909, Alfred Micciollo, in his book "The Airplanes and Helicopters of
the Future", described a large airplane-helicopter machine of his own design.
It consisted of four lifting and four propelling screws,
built, but the data on it is interesting.
The machine was never
Characteristics:
Power plants:
Weights:
Rotors:
Wing:
Performance:
Two HP - 300 each
Power Loading - 83.4 Lbs.
Lifting screws (4)
Propellers (4)
Parachute (for airplane)
Fuselage
Wings
Engines (2)
Six passengers @ l65 Lbs.
Fuel and oil for l2 Hrs.
Total
Design Gross Weight
(Max. thrust)
Misc.
Two sets of coaxial rotors
Design thrust from each rotor - l2, 500 Lbs.
Area - l820 Sq. Ft.
Ceiling - l0,800 Ft.
Operational Speed - 222 MPH
per HP.
l4,100 Lbs.
7,920
3,390
2,640
2,200
l, 320
990
4,400
36,960 Lbs.
50,000
l3,040 Lbs.
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MODEL.
MF« .
MYERS
56
MYERS CONFIGURATION l9
The Myers convertible was under development by the rotary wing pioneer,
George F. Myers, in l940. The rotor was intended to be power driven only
at takeoff. In the prototype, a Wright Whirlwind engine was used for forward
propulsion. The test results are not available.
MEYERS MODELS l924
In l924, G. F. Myers of Long Island entered a convertible type in a
contemporary helicopter competition. It consisted of a lifting and propelling
screw, both of variable pitch, and a fixed wing (Configuration l2). The wing
featured flapper valves that opened for easy vertical ascent. This machine was
driven by a ll0 HP engine. It was 27 feet long, 23 feet wide and 8 feet high.
A second machine with three tandem lifting screws was also entered. It
was stated that up to that time two million dollars had been spent on the develop-
ment. Neither craft materialized; although Myers undertook considerable rotary
wing development with other configurations.
OOC MVERS CREW «^Ao
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Model
MM .
M. OTHERS
57
MARMONIER MODEL CONFIGURATION 4c
The convertible airplane proposed by Louis Marmonier of Lyon, France,
during the early thirties received considerable public attention. The machine
was never built.
Below is a patent abridgment explaining his invention.
2,023,334. AEROPLAHB. Issued Dm. 3, 1936.
LOUIS HARMONISR, Lyon, Franoe. Applioation Maroh Sv
1932, Serial No. 596.322. In Franoe Maroh 10, 1931. 6
Claims. (Cl. 244-14).
AUXILIARY LIFT HELICOPTER AIRPLANE, TILTAfiLE PROPBU
LERS.- A haliooptar airplane la oomprleed of tandem-mounted
airfolla interoonneoted by body portions batman whloh la
formed a propulsion spaoa wherein tiro motor - propeller sets
24 and 26 ara tiltably mounted on the transverse pivots 30
auoh that the motor 31 and propeller of aaoh aat counterbal-
ance aaoh other about the aids of the transverse shaft SO.
The motor propeller sats rotate In opposite direction* as in-
dicated by the arrows 26 and 27 and are tlltable about the
transrerae shaft axes suoh that their lines of thrust always
lie In the vertical plane passing through the oenterof grav-
ity 0 and the longitudinal axis of the ore.ft without disturb-
ing the center of gravity-or balanoe thereof and neutralise
the gyroaooplo action of the propulsion units by being joint-
ly moved through the pedal and link meohanlsm 32, 33, 34 and
36, returned to and normally held in the alined position by
the tension spring 36. The elevating surfaces 38 and 39 are
operated by a oontrol lever 37 and an automatio parachute la
provided at the rear and of the airplane oookpit.
MAWBEY MODEL l925
A convertible type was proposed in England in l925 by A. J. Mawbey.
This machine used four lifting screws of l5 foot diameter and two l6 foot
screws for propulsion. The length was 66 feet, width 46 feet and the height
22 feet. Ten, ll0 HP LeRhone rotary engines were to be used. References
indicate the craft was not built.
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MODEL
N. OTHERS
58
NEWBAUER MODELS l924-27 CONFIGURATIONS l2 and 2l
In l924, Valentine Newbauer of Los Angeles entered a convertible type air-
craft in a forthcoming helicopter competition. The craft was a biplane with a
44 foot span (Configuration l2) and driven by a l50 HP Curtiss engine.
This entry, however, did not materialize. By l927, Newbauer was working
on a coaxial rotor type with a tractor screw used for propulsion (Configuration
2l). The illustration shows a reduced model of the latter configuration. This
model had a l. 5 HP engine and was supposed to lift 60 pounds. The full scale
version was to use a 600 HP engine. The tractor screw was reversible. This
was the result of l0 years work to obtain a hovering aircraft.
(For details see U.S. patents l,446, 7l8; l, 569, 669 and l, 743, 378)
Valentine Newbauer with a model of his strange helicopter plane. Reversible movement of
routing wings and propeller, he claims, enables the machine to fly forward, backward, up or down
NOEGGERATH MODEL l925 CONFIGURATION 7
Jacob Noeggerath of Berlin, Germany, entered a convertible type aircraft
in a l925 helicopter competition. This ship was a fixed wing monoplane with
tractor screws mounted on the wings. Vertical flight was brought about by
tilting the wing about its span axis. (See U. S. patent l, 786, 545)
It appears that this type was never built.
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MODEL
1931
MFR .
ODIER-BESSIERE
59
The "Clinogyre" was built in France around l93l. It was -basically a
caudron C-193 low wing monoplane, with the addition of a small rotor. The
rotor blades were the most unconventional part of the craft. The inboard sec-
tions of the blade were set at a negative (autorotative) angle, while the outboard
sections had a positive setting (See Figure 3). Thus the inboard end acted to
drive the outboard end which produced the greater thrust.
The Polar (Figure 2) shows the results of tests with a full scale machine.
At about 25 degrees rotor angle of attack, the Lift/Drag ratio (P/T) is about
2.4. For the airplane at l6. 5 degrees wing angle of attack, it is approximately
ll. Around 9° wing angle of attack, the wings and rotor equally sustain half
the weight. At 3° wing angle of attack, the rotor supports about one-fourth the
weight of the machine.
Details of the "Clinogyre'
and 698,l26.
are given in French patents: 694, 6l9; 694,704;
Characteristics:
Powerplant:
Rotor:
Wing:
Weights:
Performance:
One, four blades
Diameter - l9.7 Ft.
Disk Area - 305 Sq. Ft.
RPM - 400
Blade Construction - solid spruce and walnut
Blade Angle - Inboard minus 3 degrees,
Outboard plus 2 degrees
Span - 37.8 Ft.
Area - l49 Sq. Ft.
Gross - l760 Lbs.
Rotor - l32 Lbs.
Max. Speed - ll0 MPH (Airplane minus rotor)
Min. Speed - 24.8 MPH (With rotor)
Average Landing Run - 82 Ft.
Angle of Descent - 45 degrees
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MODEL
l922
MFR .
PESCARA
PESCARA MODEL l922 CONFIGURATION 3
In June, l922, the well-known helicopter pioneer, R. P. Pescara, proposed
a convertible type aircraft in which the rotors became fixable forming a
cantilever biplane. (See U.S. patent l, 527, 70l) For propulsion, a pusher-
propeller was fitted.
The illustration shows a scale model of the invention. A full scale machine
was never built.
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MODEL MFR.
PROLL I 6T
PROLL CONFIGURATION
Around l944, A. Proll, in Germany, investigated the possibility of taking
off fixed wing aircraft by means of a helicopter, chiefly to shorten the take-
off run. The sample aircraft used was a Focke-Wulf Condor with a gross
weight of 38, 500 pounds, having 3380 HP available for takeoff.
As a result of his studies, he concluded that the takeoff speed was reduced
only when helicopters with high surplus power were used. (The thrust equal to
about l/2 the gross weight of the airplane)
The following performance was estimated using a 74.2 foot rotor absorbing
l600 HP.
Normal Assisted
Takeoff Run l040 Ft. 630 Ft.
Takeoff Speed l00 MPH 73.5 MPH
Altitude Reached 65.5 Ft. 95 Ft.
Although this form of takeoff was possible, the use of rocket assisted
takeoff was considered much simpler.
l908 M,„. ROBYNS
ROBYNS MODEL l908 CONFIGURATION l2
The Robyns helicoplane was under development in the Netherlands in l908.
The machine consisted of one lifting and one tractor screw.
It was constructed of aluminum and weighed 220 pounds empty. The length
was 4.9 feet.
l909 Mf.. SAGERT
SAGERT MODEL l909 CONFIGURATION l2
The Sagert helicopter-biplane was built by M. Sagert of Magdeburg, Germany
in l909. There are no records of any flights.
Characteristics:
Powerplant: 60 HP
Rotors: Two
Diameter - 9.75 Ft.
Weight: ll00 Lbs.
Wings: Area - 376 Sq. Ft.
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MODEL.
MFR .
STAROvorrov
64
STAROVOITOV MODEL CONFIGURATION l2
The convertible type was a proposal of the early Nineteen Hundreds by
F. S. Starovoitov, a worker in the blast furnace department of the Taganrog
(Russia) Metallurgical Plant.
The illustrations show a reduced model of his machine. It consisted
chiefly of two lifting rotors and a tractor screw. A full scale version was
not built.
0. C. Cmapoeoumoe co ceoiiM annapamoM
Puc. 209. ModeJib annapama <P. C. Cmapotoumosa
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MODEL
2 l909
TATARINOV
65
TATARINOV MODEL 2 l909 CONFIGURATION l2
During l909, the Russian, Waldimir Tatarinov (Tatarinoff), was engaged
in the development of a helicopter-airplane which he called the "Aeromobile".
It consisted of a tractor screw and a fixed wing in which were submerged four
lifting screws.
Under the sponsorship of the Ministry of War, construction of a prototype
was begun. By August, l909, the framework had been completed (Figure l),
but the Ministry considered his progress very slow. Tatarinov estimated he
needed another 8 months to complete the job. However, on the 22nd of that
month, the Minister of War, Sukhomlinov, and other officials inspected it; and
as a result, the contract was canceled. The work was continued privately with
the aid of the engineer, Korsak, but the necessary funds were still lacking.
One day in November, l9l0, Tatarinov, in desperation, set fire to his labora-
tory and almost perished with it.
Characteristics:
Powerplant:
Kott gasoline engine, 2 cylinder, water
cooled. Horsepower - 20
Included a flywheel, friction clutch and
a gear drive.
Area - 344 Sq. Ft.
Variable angle of incidence.
Empty - l300 Lbs.
Four rotors, quadrilaterally disposed.
Transmission:
Wing:
Weight:
Rotors:
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MODEL
TOUSSAINT
67
TOUSSAINT MODEL CONFIGURATION l2
Albert Toussaint, a resident of France, produced a helicopter airplane
during the early l920's. Believing that the power off descent of contemporary
helicopters was unsatisfactory, he decided to combine the features of the
helicopter with the airplane.
His invention (Figure l) was described in French patent 508,234. It con-
sisted of four lifting screws located at the corners of the basic structure, plus
a pusher propeller. To sustain the machine in event of engine failure, he
used 3 sets of extremely high aspect ratio multiplane wings. (A2, b, and c
of Figure l) Control about any axis was had by braking one or two of the lifting
screws.
In l92l, a prototype was built at the Sanchez-Besa Plant near Pari,,.
Characteristics:
Wings:
Propeller:
Powerplant:
Rotors:
Transmission:
One, LeRhone Rotary 60 HP
Four, two bladed, fixed pitch
Diameter - 8.85 Ft.
Thrust per Screw - l54 Lbs.
One, two bladed, fixed pitch
Diameter - 4.93 Ft.
The lifting screws were driven by
differential gears.
Number Used - l0
Span - l9. 6 Ft.
Area - l93 Sq. Ft. total
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modcl Mm. T. others
69
TRANSCENDENTAL AIRCRAFT CORPORATION
The tilting rotor con-
vertiplane under develop-
ment by the Transcendental
Aircraft Corporation is the
invention of Commander
Mario A. Guerrieri, who
founded the company in l945.
This type of convertiplane
is provided with contra-
rotating lifting rotors which
also function as propellers
in forward flight.
The rotors are pivoted
through an angle of 82° to
accomplish the conversion
from the lifting position to their propelling position. The pilot's controls
are arranged so that the ailerons, elevators and rudder are active in all
phases of flight. The helicopter controls, namely cyclic pitch, differ-
ential cyclic pitch, and differential collective pitch are trimmed neut-
ral during airplane flight.
The aircraft flies as a helicopter up to speeds of 80 mph. The
pilot then operates a control which pivots the rotors forward and trims
the aircraft so that the wing assumes the whole lift. Conversion requir-
es no unorthodox maneuver but is executed in steady level flight. In
the airplane configuration performance is comparable to that of convent-
ional propeller driven aircraft.
The features of this tilting-type multi-rotor convertiplane are heavy
load carrying capacity, range and high cruising speed, making it par-
ticularly adaptable for air evacuation and troop carrier operation.
TROUFFION MODEL l928
The French journal, Independence, for August 8, l928, announced
the beginning of construction of a helicoplane designed by L. E.Trouffion
at the Neuilly Shipyard.
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MODEL
MFR .
U. OTHERS
70
UNITED (HILLER) CONFIGURATION 20
United Helicopters, Incorporated of Palo Alto have recently shown interest
in the convertible type aircraft. Tests have been undertaken using a coaxial
rotor model. The rotor assembly was tiltable relative to the wings and fuselage
(Figure l). This configuration, however, was apparently an early step to an
all-jet convertible aircraft (Figure 2) that eliminated rotors entirely.
U.S.S.R.
A modern Soviet convertaplane was reported under design in l949. The
account stated the craft was a helicopter that could fly 500 MPH. Presumably,
this is a convertible type.
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ORNB-l Mr>. VILLARD
7T
VILLARD MODEL ORNIS-l CONFIGURATION l0
The helicopter-airplane constructed by the Frenchman, Henry Villard,
consisted of a single screw directly driven by an engine mounted with its crank-
shaft vertical. In addition, fixed wings were provided. The pilot's seat was
on rollers to permit variation in trim for forward flight.
The first machine (Figures l and 2) was built in l9l3, near Bruxelles, Bel-
gium, and was tested in the balloon hangar on the drill grounds of Etterbeek.
The Model l was of all wood construction. The two blade propeller, l8. 5
feet in diameter, was driven by a l00 HP ten cylinder Anzani engine.
After a number of trials and changes, the Ornis, as it was called, loaded
with ballast equal to the pilot's weight, made an actual takeoff. Later, flights
were made with the pilot on board, but the machine was longitudinally unstable.
At the start of l9l4, the Ornis Model 2 (Figure 3) was built at Etterbeek.
The trials were carried out of the airfield of Berchem St. Agathe near Bruxelles.
A weight saving was realized in the second model by using a steel tube airframe.
The Anzani engine was mounted at the top of a central tripod structure. The
wings were attached to the upper portion of the tripod. Two motorcycle wheels
were attached at the base of this frame. The forward end of this structure ex-
tended into a Nacelle equipped with two small wheels. Substitution of floats
for the main wheels and use of the Nacelle as a third float made water testing
possible. The pilot's controls consisted of a stick and throttle. The stick
was to serve as an altitude control but its action was very poor. The movement
of the seat was more efficient as it permitted C. G. shifting. Aft location of the
pilot's seat allowed a vertical takeoff while the forward position resulted in a
level run up to a speed of 3l MPH.
No lateral control was provided for because a rope attached to each wing tip
and held by assistants was to provide sufficient control for a vertical takeoff.
A climb to about 6 feet was fairly easy, but because of the rotor torque, a small
tail rotor about 2 feet in diameter was incorporated. The weight empty of the
Model 2 was 770 pounds.
The King, Albert l, was very interested in Villard's work, both as a
spectator and subsidizer. During the summer of l9l4, the King was at his
summer residence in Ostend and invited Villard and his associates to transfer
their project to that town so he could follow the trials more closely.
Construction of a third machine was decided upon, using a new l0 cylinder
Anzani engine developing l20 HP. The Ornis Model 3 project came to an
abrupt end with the start of the First World War and destruction of the machine
by the German Army.
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Characteristics: (Ornis Model l)
Powerplant: Anzani Radial l00 HP @ l350 RPM
Rotor: One, two bladed fixed pitch
Diameter - 8.5 Ft.
Ave. Chord - .92 Ft.
Weight: (Minus wings and pilot) - 900 Lbs.
Characteristics: (Ornis Model 2)
Powerplant: Anzani Radial l00 HP @ l350 RPM
Rotor: One, two bladed, fixed pitch
Diameter - 8.5 Ft.
Tail Rotor: Diameter - l.97 Ft.
Characteristics: (Ornis Model 3)
Powerplant: Anzani Radial - l20 HP
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modii l925 M„. VERNON- VENABLES
7f
In l925, J. R. Vernon-Venables, an Englishman, entered a convertible
type in a forthcoming helicopter competition. It consisted of four biplane
wings arranged in the form of a cross, rotated by airscrews at the trailing
edges. The angle of incidence was adjustable by gearing from the cabin. A
torque compensating surface acted in the slipstream of the main rotor.
Horizontal flight was obtained by means of a propeller mounted on a vertical
shaft which was an extension of the axis of the rotor. An auxiliary engine was
used to drive the propellers. Control was brought about partly by change in
blade pitch, and partly by means of movable surfaces.
The actual extent of this development is not known.
VOUGHT CONFIGURATION l0
The most advanced development of convertible type aircraft was sponsored
by the U.S. Navy and produced by Chance-Vought Aircraft. The configuration
dates back to the work in the early Thirties of Charles H. Zimmerman when
he conducted tests with reduced models powered by rubber bands, and later by
electric motors.
The first craft built was the Vought V-l73. It consisted of a wing with a
nearly circular planform to which were attached extended propeller shafts and
tail surfaces. Two, l00 HP engines powered the ship. The propellers were
mounted at either wing tip and rotated in a manner to increase the circulation
about the wing. This version was flown and served as a flying test model for
a larger Navy fighter.
A second machine was built, designated XF5U-l, having a similar configura-
tion. This craft was powered by two Pratt and Whitney engines, each driving
one of the propellers. However, this project was discontinued, and the craft
was never flown.
The N. A. C. A. conducted wind tunnel tests of a l/3 scale model of this
type of convertible aircraft, and the results are published in Research Memoran-
dum RM-L9C29 dated June 7, l949. One of the conclusions of this report
was that a machine of l6,750 pounds gross weight would have a minimum forward
flight speed of 90 MPH at sea level under full power operation. (l200 BHP at
l085 RPM) This is based on a maximum lift coefficient of l.9.
The results did not indicate any limit to the minimum speed, provided the
necessary changes in power and weight could be made.
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MODEL
WATTEYNE
WATTEYNE CONFIGURATION 5 or 20
A modern European convertible aircraft proposal is that of A. Watteyne
of Brussels, Belgium. The craft is capable of a vertical takeoff, hovering
flight and autorotational descent. Two coaxial rotors are used which turn
about the longitudinal axis of the fuselage. The down moving blade produces
lift and thrust.
The pilot's compartment tilts relative to the remainder of the aircraft.
A two place design has the following characteristics:
Rotor Diameter - 24.6 Ft.
Rotor RPM - l20
Blade Loading - l0.3 PS F
Max. Speed - l50 MPH
The only fixed surface used is a canard wing located at the forward end of
the fuselage. A scale model of the craft has been flown since l946, and to date,
a prototype has not been built. The illustrations show proposed two place and
l6 place convertible.
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MOOEL MFR. WILFORD
7E~
WILFORD MODELS
One of the present day proponents of convertible-type aircraft is E. B.
Wilford. His work on the development of feathering control for rotorcraft is
well known. His thoughts on the convertaplane are summarized in the following
statement: "Convertible type aircraft will be important in the future. Assisted
takeoffs and landings inevitably will be required as the number and size of
commercial transport aircraft continue to increase; for we will never be able
to have Idlewilds by the score, let alone the myriad of similar fields the ultimate
military basing of such aircraft would require. Jato can serve for the moment,
but it is an imperfect answer. Some type of direct-lift device for landings and
takeoffs must be built into the aircraft in order that smaller fields once more
may be resorted to".
Promotion of the convertible type is not a new idea with him for his interest
in this type of aircraft dates back to the early work of Herrick and McClarren
with their convertaplane.
An interesting sidelight to a "near conversion" took place on the Wilford
XOZ-l gyroplane. This machine had small fixed wings in addition to the rotor.
The rotor normally turned at 220 RPM in flight, and the pilot brought it down
to about 90. Although he was tempted to brake it, stopping it completely, his
better judgment prevented him from doing so.
The following novel convertible types have been proposed by Wilford to show
the adaptation of a lifting rotor to conventional airplanes. It may be pointed out
that Wilford is a firm believer in rigid non-articulated rotor blades.
WILFORD MODEL 403 CONFIGURATION 2
Figure l is a fighter type of convertaplane. The jet driven rotor is one
bladed and fixable for and aft in flight. The trailing blade tip then serves as
an auxiliary propelling jet (Figure 2) The airplane is based on the Bell Aira-
cobra.
Characteristics: (design data)
Powerplant:
Rotor:
Weights:
Loadings:
Allison liquid cooled, ll50 HP plus l250 Lbs.
static thrust turbojet blade
One blade
Radius - 23 Ft.
Solidity - . 05 at . 70 radius
Blade Area - l00 Sq. Ft.
Gross - 9700 Lbs.
Empty - 6500 Lbs.
Disk - 5.8 PSF
Wing - 92 PSF
Power -8.5 PHP (engine only), with auxiliary
jet at 400 MPH (2400 H) the power loading is
4.l PHP.
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WILFQRD
77
WILFORD MODEL CONFIGURATION l3
A flying wing transport combined with a single blade rotor is shown in
Figure 4. In this design there is just sufficient wing area to carry the load
at the maximum L/D.
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»Y»llgV825 3602
MODEL.
MFR .
WILFORD
78
U/fl
WILFORD MODEL CONFIGURATION 3
Figure 3 shows a convertible type, designed in conjunction with G. P.
Herrick. The upper rotor is fixable in flight to form the second wing of a
biplane.
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