Experience with the L.55 led to construction of an improved model, designated the L.57, with a main rotor of increased diameter and a larger tail rotor built of reinforced plastic. Several technical improvements were developed on this model, including an auto-pilot, and its flight testing has proved so satisfactory that it forms the basis for the fully-developed L.59, with more powerful engine and metal rotor blades, which is scheduled for series production.
Two prototypes of the L.59 are being built in the Macchi factory at Varese and the first was expected to fly in the Summer of 1959. Work on an initial production series of 50 was scheduled to begin in September, 1959.
AER LUALDI L.59
TYPE: Four-seat light general-purpose helicopter.
ROTOR SYSTEM: One two-blade main rotor of metal construction, built by Parsons and of the type fitted to the Hiller UH-12C helicopter. Cyclic pitch control of Hiller "Rotor-Matic" type with Lualdi gyro-stabilizer. Two-blade reinforced plastic tail rotor.
FUSELAGE: All-metal structure. Monocoque tail-boom.
LANDING GEAR: Tubular skid type, with retractable wheels for ground handling. Skid track 2.40m.
POWER PLANT: One 260hp Continental 1O-470-D direct-injection six-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine. Fuel capacity 110kg.
ACCOMMODATION: Four seats in two pairs, with dual controls for front pair. Car-type door on each side. Provision for carrying two litters. Rescue and photography door. There is space for baggage and a hoist can be fitted.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 1959-60
The Air Lualdi & C. SpA was formed by Carlo Lualdi in 1953 and became established as the Italian agent for Hiller Helicopters. They designed their own light helicopter, the two-seat ES.53, which flew at Campoformido in September 1953, and used a Hiller-type rotor design with a controllable transverse secondary rotor. This was followed by the L-55, which was an all-metal machine with a skid undercarriage and a fully enclosed cabin, with the 180hp Lycoming O-360 engine mounted in the nose and driving a rotor pylon which was carried in a housing in the centre of the cabin. This prototype was followed by an improved L-57, with a larger-diameter main rotor and a modified flight control system. In turn, this led to the definitive four-seat L-59, which had more extensive cockpit transparencies and a 260hp Continental IO-470-D engine. One prototype was built for Lualdi by Aermacchi (I-GOGO - later MM576) for civil and military testing, and the commercial type certificate was issued in August 1961. Lualdi is believed to have closed down in 1963 without putting the L-59 into production.
R.Simpson "Airlife's Helicopter and Rotorcraft", 1998
Technical data for L-59
Main rotor diameter: 10.60m, tail rotor diameter: 1.70m, fuselage length: 9.08m, height: 2.95m, weight empty: 670kg, payload: 380kg, weight loaded: 1160kg, max speed: 160km/h, cruising speed: 139km/h, rate of climb at sea level: 250m/min, hovering ceiling OGE: 1700m, absolute ceiling OGE: 5900m, endurance: 3h