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Rotary wing proof-of-concepts

24 February 2019

Aviation experiments in the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.

Here is the Ryan Aeronautical Company’s testbed for VSTOL It used a single Avco Lycoming T53 turboshaft engine drive two propellers. Near vertical takeoffs could be had with the blown flaps which also captured the propeller slipstreams for hovering flight.

Ryan VZ-3RY Vert-plane—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Ryan VZ-3RY Vert-plane—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Ryan VZ-3RY Vert-plane—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Powered by a Pratt & Whitney J60-2 turbojet engine bit the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy engaged Lockheed to explore rigid rotor technology. The engine was mounted asymmetrically on the left wing with an overall wingspan of slightly greater than 16 feet. The technology led to Lockheed designing the AH-56 Cheyenne (sadly, which has not reappeared at the museum).

Lockheed XH-51 compound helicopter—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Lockheed XH-51 compound helicopter—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Though not proof-of-concept as the preceding two examples the sport looking Brantly YHO-3B was one of the Army’s last try outs of piston engine powered helicopters. The canopy bubbles and sleep capsule design could not compete against the evolutionary step of the prototype Huey and its turboshaft engine.

Brantly YHO-3B—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Brantly YHO-3B—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Brantly YHO-3B—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

Brantly YHO-3B—Joseph May/Travel for Aircraft

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