Back Gazda "Helicospeeder"

Gazda "Helicospeeder"

Shortly before the end of World War II, Antoine Gazda, of Gazda Engineering, a firm well known in the armaments industry, produced the "Helicospeeder", using a jet torque reaction (??).

In this helicopter, with its two-bladed (??) mechanically driven rotor, the conventional tail rotor was replaced by a jet exhaust system (??). Its piping had two extensions set horizontally and perpendicularly in respect of the fuselage, and they helped to reduce torque. In addition, the helicopter could be steered by varying the intensity of these lateral jets.

Gazda also considered rotary wing experiments on a DC-3 with a two-bladed rotor, which while autorotating would contribute to lift, and could also be retracted lengthwise into the fuselage. Gazda calculated that the additional weight in a B-36 from the 36.6m rotor required and the mechanism to lower it into the fuselage would be only 1550kg.

P.Lambermont "Helicopters and Autogyros of the World", 1958

While working for Sikorsky Aircraft in Bridgeport, Connecticut I often took the train to Providence, R.I. on weekends to visit my family and friends (gasoline was scarce except on the Black Market) and in July, 1943 I bumped into Mr. Antoine Gazda in the Providence train station. When he heard what I was doing he became most excited and asked me to design a helicopter for him.

Mr. Antoine Gazda was an Austrian count who had been previously a race car driver (his wife was his mechanic who could change a tire in 11 seconds by count!), a World War I ace (on the wrong side), and Chief of Sales for the Swiss Oerlikon Machine Tool Company. He sold their 22mm Oerlikon to the Germans, the Japanese, the Italians, the English, and the Americans. He helped setup production in the Pontiac Division of General Motors and the Oerlikon-Gazda Corporation in Rhode Island during World War II. I had engineered two fuel tank gliders for Mr. Gazda to be towed behind bombers to extend their range while a senior student at RISC. He had earlier witnessed the Pescara helicopter (Coastal-biplane blades) in its flight when in hovering it turned over striking the top of the mast first on the ground. Also he knew about the Asboth helicopter development from a European association with the Company.

Often discussions of my physical problem with Sikorsky Management, it was stated that the Rendering Plant shutdown date was "indefinite". So acceptance of the Gazda offer was accomplished; to be paid for the thing you most wanted to do was an ideal situation; so the Gazda "Helicospeeder" was designed and developed in 1943, 1944, and 1945. It was a single motor and torque aircraft with unique concepts which had the following features:

  • A swing tail for forward flight was designed to permit flight as a gyrodyne (V. Isaoco, J. Bennett) at higher than manual helicopter speeds wit the rotor axis vertical.
  • To control blade inplane motion to prevent ground resonance a rotor azimuthal blade positioning system was included.
  • A wheel/stick installation was used so that positioning of the aircraft was achieved by one appropriate motion of the pilot control.
  • An internal swash plate below the main rotor gearbox actuated push rods going up to the rotor head which controlled blade collective and cyclic pitch as a low drag solution.
  • Belt drives were used between its engine, the cooling fan, and the main rotor gearbox. A drive shaft from the gearbox to the swinging tail rotor was also included with a torseinal damper as part of this shaft.

Everything basic to design, develop, and test this aircraft was performed as follows:

  • Aerodynamics and Flight Loads
  • Stress Analysis of all Parts
  • Mechanical Functions and Mechanisms
  • Vibrations
  • Supervision of Manufacturing Efforts
  • Testing
  • Weights and Balance

Two assistants for detail designs were hired from previously known engineers who had attended RISC - Mr. S. Fitzpatrick in 1944 who was later replaced by Mr. H. Sadler in 1945. Mr. Gazda had many important friends at the time to whom I was introduced -- i.e. J. Howard McGrath, R.I. Governor, later Senator, and Attorney General; Theodore Francis Green, Senator and Otto of Hapsburg. An effort to restore the Austrian monarchy was underway at the time and the heir used to come to our offices to discuss this with Gazda. He was a most polite, agreeable man and we often exchanged viewpoints during his waiting time for his appointments to occur. His manner reminded me of that of Dr. Sikorsky.

Harold E. Lemont "My Association Mr. Antoine Gazda"

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Technical data for "Helicospeeder"

Number of seats: 7.62m, engine: 1 x Gazda rated 130hp, rotor diameter: 7.62m, length: 5.79m, height: 2.54m, gross weight: 544kg, cruising speed: 224km/h, крейсерская скорость: 153км/ч, дальность полета: 459км

Jason Gazda, e-mail, 01.02.2018reply

Is this still on display?

helena, e-mail, 30.04.2009reply

I like the name !! good question - where can we find it ...?

helena, e-mail, 30.04.2009reply

I like the name !! good question - where can we find it ...?

Ken, 02.11.2007reply

Jason Gazda It might be at Owls Head

JASON GAZDA, e-mail, 08.05.2007reply


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