In 1958, B.J. Schramm set up a company to market a single-seat amateur-built helicopter known as the Schramm Javelin. This machine had a tubular steel structure with a formed aluminium body shell and was powered by a 100hp Mercury powerboat engine. It first flew in August 1965. Schramm subsequently redesigned the Javelin as the "Scorpion", and he formed Rotorway Aircraft Inc. to market kits for this revised version, and claimed that 250 were flying by 1970.
R.Simpson "Airlife's Helicopter and Rotorcraft", 1998
The Schramm Javelin was an American single-seat light helicopter designed during the early 1960's by a man unable to fly. The Schramm Javelin was designed to be very easy to fly, use very few components and be quick and easy to disassemble for maintenance. It was powered by a Continental O-200 four-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine providing a top speed of 137km/h and an endurance of 2 hours 15 minutes flying time.
The RotorWay success story didn't happen overnight. It is the culmination of thirty-three years of perseverance, progress in design and engineering development, resolute determination against the odds, tireless dedication, and genuine, hard work by a group of people who believe in the company's mission: to provide the rotorcraft customer worldwide with a safe, affordable way to experience their dream of helioflight.
Now the world's oldest and largest kit helicopter company, RotorWay (employee owned since 1996), and it's helicopter had very humble beginnings.
Though relatively unknown even to this day, there was a prototype for a model that actually preceded the "Scorpion", with testing having begun as early as 1961 using a 40hp motorcycle engine for power. Named the "Javelin" (in several different forms), this first attempt by RotorWay Aircraft founder, designer and builder, B.J. Schramm, turned into a learning process that led to the eventual success of the "Scorpion", the company's first production helicopter, offered in 1967.