Thursday, September 01, 2016

the first helicopter built in Australia 1948

Details of the designer / builder are sketchy; his name was Eric Adney, he was an accountant/bookkeeper with no flying experience or engineering training.

It took around two years to build, which makes it a very early example of an Australian powered rotary wing flying machine.

The machine itself is a masterpiece of backyard engineering; it has a wooden spar as the main airframe member, with all the rest of the airframe made up of bolted aluminium tube, there is no welding what so ever. There is also no machining to be found, even the right angle gearbox housing is bolted / riveted together.

It appears that the whole machine has been made with just a drill and hacksaw and maybe a vice). The aluminium tube and sheet appears to be of aircraft quality, probably obtained from war surplus aircraft, which were wrecked in thousands after WWII.

Another feature demonstrating how advanced the design was the inclusion of a "one-way" clutch to disengage the engine from the rotor(s) in the event of an engine failure. It appears to have been made from automotive ignition distributor bob-weights!

1 comment:

  1. Although it would take a braver person than I to fly it, its a pretty cool little machine.
    I think it was because of the war effort, machinery we take for granted today was near impossible to get your hands on back then. Even acetylene was controlled.
    Some things got done on small scale because it was easier to sneak it in at work.