This Day in Aviation History
November 6th, 1957
First flight of the Fairey Rotodyne.
The Fairey Rotodyne was a 1950s British compound gyroplane designed and built by Fairey Aviation and intended for commercial and military applications. A development of the earlier Gyrodyne, which had established a world helicopter speed record, the Rotodyne featured a tip-jet-powered rotor that burned a mixture of fuel and compressed air bled from two wing-mounted Napier Eland turboprops. The rotor was driven for vertical takeoffs, landings and hovering, as well as low-speed translational flight, and autorotated during cruise flight with all engine power applied to two propellers.
One prototype was built. Although the Rotodyne was promising in concept and successful in trials, the programme was eventually cancelled. The termination has been attributed to the type failing to attract any commercial orders; this was in part due to concerns over the high levels of rotor tip-jet noise generated inflight. Politics – the development was government funded – had also played a role in the lack of orders, which ultimately doomed the project…..
Wikipedia, Fairey Rotodyne: http://gstv.us/1NvIWvJ
YouTube, The Fairey Rotodyne “History Channel Documentary”: http://gstv.us/1NvIRbo
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Photo from: http://gstv.us/1NvIKNa
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