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Hiller NC-5 / UH-5

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Charles M Evans, e-mail, 12.01.2023reply

UH-5 was a one seater, not a two seater.Just one seat, which was filled with sandbags to simulate the weight of a pilot (read my notes above on how UH-5 was originally slated for a forced air NOTAR style torque compensation system). I lived with the one and only UH-5 for five years when I was curator of the Hiller Museum when it was in Redwood City and I worked directly for Hiller founder Stanley Hiller, Jr.

Also, while the Rotormatic stablization system worked well for hands off cyclic control, it was subject to problems related to mast bumping, that became a problem with the production UH-12 /360.

One more thing, Rotormatic control had a direct connection to the Bell 47. Arthur Young, the father of the Bell 47, made a visit to California while the UH-5 was under development, and you can read about that in Young's book, "Bell Notes." It is not a coincidence that today when the rotor control on radio control helicopters is called a "Bell-Hiller" mixing system. Ed Bennet developed and patented the Rotormatic system, and it was different enough from the Bell system to get a patent.

Liz Booker, e-mail, 14.10.2022reply

I would very much like to reach Mr. Evans regarding his upcoming book Helicopter Heroine. I've reached out to the publisher twice with no response. I would like to feature his book in the Aviatrix Book Club, which has 1800 members, and interview him in 2023. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. The email hyperlink does not work.

Charles Morgan Evans, e-mail, 10.03.2021reply

There was only one Hiller UH-5. Hiller originally intended to use an engine driven fan inside of a ducted tailboom to direct air out of a side exhaust in place of a tail rotor in order to facilitate yaw control. Stanley Hiller often said to me that it was the limited power of piston engines available at the time that kept this idea from actually working out. The ducted tailboom of the UH-5 "NOTAR" was modified with a more conventional tail rotor. The first "Rotormatic" paddles for stability control were patented by Ed Bennet, chief engineer of Hiller at the time. The rotor control system on the UH-5 and subsequent Hiller UH-12 /360 took quite a bit of inspiration from the yet to be introduced Bell 47, thanks to a visit from Arthur Young to the Hiller works in California during the time both the Hiller and Bell 47 were under development.

Liz Booker, e-mail, 14.10.2022 Charles Morgan Evans

Dear Mr. Evans,

I am the host of the Aviatrix Book Club with 1800 members, the Aviatrix Book Review website, YouTube channel, and podcast where I interview authors, and I promote books that feature women in aviation on social media as Literary Aviatrix. I'm also a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot. I am very interested in including your upcoming Helicopter Heroine book in our 2023 reading list and scheduling an interview with you sometime next year (month TBD). I've contacted Stackpole twice in the past month with requests for them to connect us without success. I would love to hear from you.


Liz Booker


E. Speike, e-mail, 16.10.2010reply

I see to my amazement the machine flying /hovering with the pilot being replaced (c.g.) by sandbags. To me that means an aircraft so stable that a normal pilot training would not be necessary. I a a fixed wing pilot but it looks to me that I could fly it right away!

mike1204, e-mail, 29.05.2012reply

The UH-5 was a 2-seat (count them) agricultural experimental helicopter, of which only two were built, with 1947 also claimed as the type's date of first flight. It does feature Hiller's 'Rotomatic Control', a servo-paddle method of cyclic control, push forward on the lever to go back, pull to forward, tilt left or right to bank the opposite way.. A video tour of this machine can be found on YouTube, but specs are hard to come by.

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