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Boeing A160 Hummingbird—pointing to the future of VTOL UAVs

25 April 2018


Boeing A160 Hummingbird, four rigid unhinged rotor blades—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

This helicopter had the unique ability to change rotor speeds via a two speed transmission mated to either a Subaru 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine. The varying stiffness as well as cross-section of the unhinged rotor blades lowered fuel consumption rates which contributed to fantastic performance. Flight endurance was 30–40 hours and flight distance could be up to 2500 miles with a 1000 pound payload. A proposed diesel powered engine variant could have doubled the endurance. The UAV missions with numbers like these were limited only by imagination. Alas, the U.S. Army shelved the program for fixed wing UAVs.

Boeing A160 Hummingbird looking rather more like a shark—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Boeing A160 Hummingbird—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Boeing A160 Hummingbird’s retractable main landing gear—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

3 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    25 April 2018 13:29

    Quite startling performance figures!

  2. Ben permalink
    24 October 2018 12:59

    Where is this located?

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      24 October 2018 13:12

      The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola FL.

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