I'm not sure you would want the "bad guys" knowing you were approaching for about 10 miles with the volume of those tip jets...not to mention I really question the manuverability of the rotodyne in forward flight.
Nice to see the interest in this...but please note Rotodyne had no R in the middle! Anyway,three follow up points 1) When the Helicopter Museum collected a test blade from Aston Down airfield many moons ago they also collected a number of tipjet silencer units,which had been trialled on the blade(attached to a whirl tower). The story goes that these noise tests were actually connected to Rolls Royce work silencing the noise levels of the Viper engines on the HS125 corporate jet but previously had demonstrated significant noise reduction in the Rotodyne application. Certainly the evidence is that by the time of the cancellation the noise issue was much less of a show stopper. 2) Physically moving the blade was and still is a major challenge.It is so heavy as to require about 8 -10 strong men to lift it.....even moving one of the blade arms is a six man job.....so weight was a big issue. Today with modern composites it would be so much more viable. 3) There was another factor in the early 1960s that led to cancellation and that was that when Westland took over Fairey and the Bristol helicopter division,they had three" heavy lift" helicopters on their books but only one had any orders,the Belvedere. As they couldn't afford to develop all three ,the Rotodyne and the Westminster were abandoned. Big mistake in retrospect as the Belvedere never amounted to much( another story of poor government investment when you look at the Chinook story ) and the Westminster also could have been very successful ......perhaps subjects for new threads at some other time?
Sasless.....actually the Westminster used a dynamic system based on the experimental Sikorsky S-60, which itself was developed from the earlier S-56 Mojave with big outrigger radial piston engines. Westland installed two Eland turbines and built up the airframe as a testbed.Later the principle went back across the Atlantic to emerge as the S-64 Skycrane. Two Westminsters were built and both were scrapped ,ending up as tie rods under a concrete platform at an industrial site in a village near Yeovil!
I see the Rotodyne in the background of the picture.......
Interesting stuff, considering it was a 1950's experimental design. This video certainly demonstrates the capability and also the post war attitudes toward flying: gear activation in the hover being just one instance!
The tip jet noise was horrendous but was being sorted: silencers were under development to reduce tip jet noise to below that generated by the blades themselves, but politics involving the UK aircraft industry in the 1959-60 era consigned many a promising company and project to the scrap heap. Rotodyne was just one of them which (if fully developed) had the potential to change the course of rotorcraft operations.
Flight magazine had a 1957 article which is also worth reading: remember, this was 56 years ago in answer to a Fairey proposal in 1946 followed by a BEA specification issued in 1951. What amazing foresight and vision, if only we had the like of that in these risk averse times
The History channel had a programme on the Rotodyne: in the fourth of these clips it's interesting that on one of two flights into Battersea, the noise measuring down in the street couldn't detect the tipjets above the surrounding traffic noise!
Out of interest, a modern American company tried to redo the concept quite recently and even had DARPA involved. Unfortunately they ran out of money and also DARPA have gone with a more complex compound aircraft design that has extending blades. They have instead had a recent injection of cash from the Chinese and have come up with a couple of rather nice autogyro designs instead. Home - Groen Brothers Aviation Global, Inc.
The Groen Bros machine was much more akin to the CarterCopter demonstrator rather then the tip-jetted Rotodyne. Plus, Jay Carter's machine has been built and is actually flying, even having broken the Mu = 1 boundary a few years back.
The problem with Groen products is that the company has no money [subject to this supposed Chinese interest] so everything they present is 'What if...?'
It has been like that for a long time and they are therefore just one of dozens of companies across the world producing paper aeroplanes for the ephemera market.... and the autogyro industry has more than its fair share.
The favourite ploy is to design something really smart and stick POLICE signs on it..... as if that makes them work much better!
Sans, Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I understood the Groen (DARPA) machine to be a "tip jet" aircraft. The Carter copter family use a heavily weighted tip to produce extra inertia when spun up, so the aircraft can't hover but it does do impressive jump takeoffs. One of the proposed uses for the DARPA aircraft was long range SAR which would have required a hover capability, possible only with a fully driven main rotor. I have seen the videos of the new prototype Carter machine and it is a real cracker though.
Sans, No probs. My current favourite contender for most innovative compound aircraft is this beauty. http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviatio.../0/2160079.jpg I really hope they develop this into a production aircraft. Its not as simple as a tip jet type or plain gyro, but it looks awesome; and it shifts. One wonders if they are using some of the Carter technology under licence, like the slowed rotor.
Last edited by oldgrubber; 19th Aug 2013 at 22:08.