You Made a What?
The Dragonfy DF1 jet powered helicopter demonstrates that a helicopter can actually be made noisier. Swisscopter- Americas has developed a chopper which is sure to make dogs bark and howl for miles in any direction.
The video reminds me of one of those early aviation experiments destined to explode or vibrate into oblivion but incredibly it lifts off (eventually) and maneuvers pretty well. More suprising that people remained in close proximity during the test flight. Your average helicopter is driven by an engine that causes the rotor to turn in one direction while concurrently forcing the body of the aircraft in the opposite direction. A tail rotor is normally used to counteract this force. Instead, the Dragonfly has the rotor power itself using small hydrogen-peroxide jets on the blade tips, spinning them without counter rotating force. The tail rotor is still needed only to turn the aircraft. It has 50 endurance and I have no idea if it autorotates, which would be a good idea if there’s a problem. Not a bad rate of climb at 2,300 fpm and 115 mph top speed. Swisscopter is also working on a two seat version if you’re able to talk a family member into actually climbing in with you.
Tip-jet powered helicopters are not new. The British had an experimental helicopter in the 1950s that employed tip-jet powered rotors but was unable to get off the ground. The Hiller YH-32 Hornet built for the US Army and Navy also in the early 1950s had potential but noise and poor range doomed the effort.
I’m hoping the idea doesn’t take off. Not in my backyard anyway.