View Full Version : Proposed Rotodyne service Gla - Edi

1st Jul 2015, 13:05
Would anyone have any information on a proposal by BEA to operate Rotodynes between Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1960?
Thank you

joy ride
1st Jul 2015, 13:19
Incredible machine, as a boy I remember reading about the Fairey Rotodyne and I made the Airfix model, - and made another rather better one a few years ago too!

In those days the Roodyne and the TSR2 were "The Future" and thus exciting almost beyond belief to a boy.

I remember various routes were discussed including one from central London to London Airport (LHR). Sorry I cannot remember any more details!

1st Jul 2015, 15:27
Remember it clattering around White Waltham

India Four Two
1st Jul 2015, 17:20

I remember it too. Staggeringly noisy and when at a distance, it sounded EXACTLY like a GWR Castle or King at high speed on the adjacent main line! :ok:

1st Jul 2015, 17:42
had not made that connection, although I was interested in steam locos, especially LMS (ISTR) through Hatch End (knew a young lady there)

2nd Jul 2015, 00:51
Ere I knew a young lady whose mother and brother still lived in Hatch End although she had moved to Weybridge when we first met.

2nd Jul 2015, 07:29
The original 'Type Y' Rotodyne was indeed very noisy when in helicopter mode with the tip jets lit. But when fitted with the 'Type 8c' tip jet silencers, noise was substantially reduced in this mode, such that the trials into Battersea heliport received not a single noise complaint. When cruising in gyroplane mode, the tip jets were not lit and the noise level was no worse than turboprop aircraft of the day.

By the time of cancellation, even greater progress had been made with noise reduction; one promising development for the production 'Type Z' version used 9 small jets embedded in the tip end of each blade. It was tested on the White Waltham rig with excellent results......but then the programme was cancelled.

BEA had originally specified a 40 passenger version; by the time of cancellation this had increased to 57 (or 70 in high density seating) for the 'Type Z', which would have had Rolls-Royce engines rather than the inadequate Napier Eland.

Another ground-breaking British aircraft which should have been a great success, but was never allowed to show its real potential.

2nd Jul 2015, 08:57
Another ground-breaking British aircraft which should have been a great success, but was never allowed to show its real potential.Well all we can say for sure is that we'll never know ...

Now where did I put my rose-tinted spectacles? :O

pax britanica
2nd Jul 2015, 10:00
I remember the amazingly noisy beast very well - completely different sound to all other aircraft and this was in the days when a turboprop could be followed by a jet and then a piston of two or four engines so very different to todays fairly generic noise.

Saw it departing from LHR 23R and landing on the recip runway. Seemed to be included in the takeoff and approach flow . Perhaps because there were not many city centre to city centre pairs as options back then and also you could probably get a cab from LHR to most parts of London with a journey time of well under an hour. That would mean there was not much incentive to buy a hugely complicated and rather weird looking machine when you could do the same job airport to airport with a Viscount much more cheaply.
A great idea but I guess as so many 'great British innovations' not to much market research done to determine the real potential

2nd Jul 2015, 10:06
It all came down to funding of course .
Westlands simply weren't prepared to risk their own development money for the Tyne "Z" Rotodyne for BEA ( they had already had 4 million development from t 'guv'ment). The beast was on growth cost spiral with no really firm support from potential customers, including the RAF.
The Yeovil originated Westminster ( with largely a Sikorsky S-56 rotor system ) would also have been a potential competitor and of course the Rotodyne was not a home grown product.

The Groen Brothers in Utah are great Rotodyne fans and point out that with modern materials and engines the concept still has relevance. They went so far as proposing a chopped C-130 with a rotor pylon as a concept.
As a P.S. I think that the enormous development effort poured in to the American tilt rotor programmes would also count against a Rotodyne concept resurgence politically. You will recall the tandem wing 4 rotor "C130 esque" concepts floated some years ago - on paper probably more attractive in the U.S.A. , although there are some very clever smaller gyroplane concepts around offloading and/or slowing rotors in fast forward flight - such as the Cartercopter project.