Hughes Model 385 / XV-9A "Hot Cycle"
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Bob Hartunian, e-mail, 21.03.2023 21:13

I worked for Hughes Tool Co-Aircraft Division as a flight test engineer at Culver city 1962-1963 and around August 1963, watched Mr Hughes fly a twin Beech to airport and park about 150' from me at Flight Test facility. A black Caddy limo pulled up to rear door of the plane and a tall man with fedora hat came out and drove away. 8 min later, he returned to take off and 5 min after that we received a call that the Director of Marketing and his blonde secretary were walked out of the company by Mr. Hughes for hanky panky. He did not tolerate any sort of mischief by employees.

Bob Meuse, e-mail, 26.03.2014 00:38

March 25, 2014
I began my career at Hughes Aircraft Company in 1954 and retired with Hughes after 38 years. I used to go into the big hangar (where they built the Spruce Goose) every noon to eat my lunch. The XV-9A "Hot Cycle" helicopter was being worked on. Also in the hangar was the huge HX-17 "Flying Crane" helicopter. I used to climb up into the cockpit and eat my lunch; play "helicopter pilot", and watch them build the smaller Hughes helicopters; I think the 500s. I never did see the HX-17 in operation but I understand that it met the lifting requirements although very unstable in flight. It was designed to lift and transport a 12 ton semi-trailer radar van. I'm told that it was frighteningly noisy and could be heard for miles. The rotor spun at 80 RPM.
Hughes also had plans for an even bigger helicopter, the HX-28. It was I'm sure, never built but I'm told that there was a mock-up of it and it was simply gigantic. I've seen photos of the mock-up and it is so surreal that it reminded me of some of those bizarre Russian aircraft like the Kalinin K7 monster that were obviously too large and could never fly.
"Did you ever meet Howard Hughes?" I hear you cry.
"No, and I never knew or met anyone who did".

melon, e-mail, 23.04.2011 10:39

i am joint the works

Zac Yates, e-mail, 03.11.2010 08:29

Long shot, does anyone know where I can obtain a DVD of a 1980s doco called "The Chopper"? I have no idea who produced it, exact year, or who the English-sounding narrator is. It includes interviews with Hanna Reitsch and Bart Kelley (coworker of Arthur Young at Bell), and other techs and pilots, as well as footage of the prototype NOTAR, Apache, Sikorsky ABC and the XV-15 as well as the XV-9A. And Vern - many thanks for your information :) a sad fate, but at least parts and the model remain.

Vern, e-mail, 10.10.2010 04:32

Re what happened to the Hughes XV-9A Hot Cycle Helicopter

During my USAF career, I received an invitation for the “dedication” of the Hughes XV-9A to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC on May 6, 1970. In the course of trying to ascertain where the A/C was, I searched the Smithsonian website and did not find it in their inventory. Subsequently I received a response from the Smithsonian Aeronautics Division regarding the history of the “dedication”.

The aircraft was scheduled for delivery to the Smithsonian collection in May 1967 but actually arrived in August. It was shipped via railcar from Ft. Eustis and arrived as a wreck, which was not the Smithsonian's understanding of the aircraft's condition. The cockpit had been picked clean and there were multiple holes in the fuselage. Smithsonian correspondence does not make clear how much of this was due to improper handling and security by the railroad and how much was due to inadequate storage by the Army.

As it turns out my invitation is not related to the actual full size aircraft airframe that was never publicly displayed, but rather to a fairly small scale model (which is now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center).

The net result was that at some point in the early seventies, the aircraft was deemed beyond reasonable restoration and scrapped. The Smithsonian did retain most of one of the hot cycle blades and it is still in storage at their facility in Suitland.

Dave Stern, e-mail, 07.04.2010 06:44

Hi and this is very nice site. I enjoyed the XV-9 data and gained comm helio license on 269A and briefly owned a Hughes 500, but never flew it. I'd trade photos for several shots of the XV-9. Can you assist me on this? Thank you.

David rs Greer, e-mail, 15.05.2009 14:39

hot-cycle propulsion I like it .No missiles or computers for 1960ts.A lot of that was put on afterwords But good director of Expermentel principally bachk then and can do attude . This Has A weight prolbem Im sure its made from metel but that old flying mechine thay had no carbon fiber
the new Heli - Plane can do 500km/h + stock standard streight from the factoy that you can take the wife and kids in .
We have to respect how many lives were lost in makeing our avation safer And to hughes Aspergers autistic spruice goose.Nx376 02

Zac Yates, e-mail, 22.02.2009 02:01

Does anyone know what became of the XV-9A? I would love to make a model of the type.

RICHARD GING, e-mail, 26.04.2008 19:32


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