Back Rotor-Craft RH-1 "Pinwheel"

Rotorcraft RH-1 "Pinwheel"

The Rotorcraft RF-1 Pinwheel one-man helicopter was designed in 1954 to provide military personnel with a simple go-anywhere vehicle. Basically a strap-on device, it relied upon liquid propellants to power a tipjet at the end of each rotor blade, there thus being no rotor torque effect. However, a belt-driven rail rotor was incorporated in the simple and limited structure to provide steering capability. Designed and built under US Navy contract, the RF-1 was extensively tested, leading to development of a similar Sky Hook military version. The capability of the Pinwheel can be measured by a maximum speed of 161km/h and ceiling of 4570m.

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Rotorcraft RH-1 "Pinwheel"

The 1950s saw a rash of 'personal military helicopter' designs which were seen as giving mobility to the soldier in the field. Several companies were given development contracts by the U.S. Army, including the Rotor-Craft Corporation. Rotorcraft had acquired rights to the rigid rotor designs of the Landgraf Helicopter Company and built an experimental machine known as the XH-II Dragonfly which used the Landgraf rotor system mounted in tandem - but so closely positioned that they overlapped. This was eventually abandoned and Rotorcraft produced the RH-1 "Pinwheel" single-seat helicopter to meet the U.S. Army specification. The "Pinwheel" had a 'quadripod' frame layout, with the pilot sitting in the centre of the structure with a pair of liquid nitrogen tanks positioned behind him to feed Reaction Motors XLR-32RM rocket motors mounted at the rotor tips. The "Pinwheel", which flew in 1954, was eventually abandoned as being too complex for Army operations.

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

Technical data for RH-1 "Pinwheel"

Engine: 2 x Rotor Craft rockets, cruising speed: 96km/h, endurance: 9 min

GABRIEL, e-mail, 28.12.2012reply

bueno realmente ,hay un error en el texto pues no utilizaban hidrogeno liquido como dice el articulo, lo que utilizaron fue peroxido de hidrogeno al 90 % que es un combustible utilizado en coheteria el cual reacciona al pasar por una malla de platino que funciona como catalizador, realmente en mi concepto es un prototipo perfecto pues no utilizaba motor convenciona, ni sistemas de engranajes, ni electricos nada . solo se necesitaban 7 seg,desde que se daba paso a los monopropulsores y listo

Tsheten Dorji, e-mail, 22.05.2013reply

if this contraption is running on tip jet rotors,what's the need for the tail rotor? the tail rotor for yaw control?..

Shooter, e-mail, 29.06.2013reply

It ran on 90% hydrogen peroxide push over silver screen. There was another version with a small engine in the rear that turned a propeller that greatly increased its speed and range.

Randall Franklin, e-mail, 15.06.2014reply

I had worked on the Rotor Craft's Dragon Fly. I was drafted into the Army and received piloting instructions in the Bell 47, and the Sikorsky H-19. Leaving the Army, I worked for World Wide Helicopters in Papua and Assam. Inventor Gilbert Magill offered me the job of test flying the Pinwheel. I then met and married an Australian girl in Sydney. This delayed my return to the USA. Fortunately I didn't get to test the Pinwheel, as time was very important to the Pinwheel project. Saved again!

hélio, e-mail, 12.11.2009reply

this could really be better , nitrogen is to dangerous to have in a war machine , and it should have at least 2 person one to manage other o shoot .

Aaron Helwig, e-mail, 08.07.2008reply

This is a neat design for one person, but I was thinking about have more room in the back for a faster and more powerful engine, eventhough I don't know how much power it would need. At first the engine would run on some thing more typical, like gas or alcahol, until it would be advanced enough to run on something different, like compressed air or use solar panels.

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