Back Goodyear GA-400R "Gizmo"

Goodyear GA-400R

The Goodyear Aircraft Corporation is a subsidiary of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, well known as manufacturers of tyres and lighter-than-air balloons such as Explorer I, with a capacity of 28,500 cubic metres, which exploded at a height of 18,100m, and was followed by the helium-inflated Explorer II, which reached an altitude of about 36,750m. In 1925 Goodyear also produced non-rigid airships.

In 1954 the company produced a single-seater helicopter intended for the tactical requirements of transporting one man only.

This single-seater ultra-light helicopter, designed by Paul Ziegler, is powered by a water-cooled, two-cycle engine driving the rotors through a belt and pulley arrangement. The main rotor consists of two laminated blades balanced about the feather axes and mounted in a steel hub underslung from a teetering hinge. The airframe is constructed from welded tubing, and the landing gear is formed of parallel aluminium skids.

When used for training purposes the helicopter can be stabilized by the use of two persons, one supporting each side, until the trainee has acquired a thorough knowledge of the rotorcraft.

The first flight took place in 1954.

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

Well known for its airships, the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation developed a small open-frame single seat helicopter which made its first flight on 9 May 1954. This prototype (N62N) was designated GA-400R Gizmo and followed classic lines with the pilot seat on the forward frame, a narrow tailboom with a tail rotor and the 32hp Mercury 55 engine mounted amidships and driving a two-blade main rotor. It was followed by the GA-400R-2 and GA-400R-3 (N69N and N53A) which were powered by a 38hp Johnson two-stroke engine. Like many contemporary ultra-light helicopters the GA-400R did not progress beyond prototype stage.

R.Simpson "Airlife's Helicopter and Rotorcraft", 1998

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Technical data for GA-400R

Engine (outboard): Marine and MFG Big Twin, 31hp, main rotor diameter: 5.49m, length: 4.83m, length with rotor: 6.77m, height: 2.29m, empty weight: 106kg, take-off weight: 197kg, max ceiling: 3660m, cruising speed: 74km/h, endurance: 45 min

Ken Olinger, e-mail, 18.04.2022reply

I have some pictures of this helicopter in the back yard of a house located in Munroe Falls, Ohio. My dad ,Ken Olinger Sr., a mechanic in flight operations, was called upon to fix a problem they had while it was in their back yard.

Karen Meyers, e-mail, 10.02.2012reply

My father was the pilot in this photo.

Ken Olinger Jr., e-mail, 18.04.2022 Karen Meyers

Hi Karen,
My father and your father knew each other from their close association in Goodyear flight operations.
If you get a chance, go to MAPS (air museum in Green) a take a look at Goodyear's Amphibian. It is the last surviving amphibian that Goodyear built ! I had the pleasure of restoring it at MAPS along with Wayne Knoll.
Two years ago, it was damaged in a wind storm at MAPS and I and John Harris restored the crushed hull, right landing gear, and the right wing tip! It still looks pretty darn good for 70 year old bird!


Robert E. Keller, e-mail, 05.05.2010reply

Are there any 3 view drawings available and also pictures of various positions of this helicopter

Do you have any comments ?

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