One man Helicopter

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Jim Berquist
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One man Helicopter

Post by Jim Berquist » Tue May 27, 2008 3:31 pm

WHAT TO FRAP, IT WORKED![url=callto://james.a.berquist]Image[/url]

larry cottrill
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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by larry cottrill » Tue May 27, 2008 4:07 pm

Man, THAT is compact! Even the rotor span is impressively small.

Of course, there's no baggage compartment. But, why would you care?

Nice find, Jim!

L Cottrill

Jim Berquist
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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by Jim Berquist » Tue May 27, 2008 11:48 pm

Not much but you can see it fly a little! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd99ziWFF7Q
WHAT TO FRAP, IT WORKED![url=callto://james.a.berquist]Image[/url]

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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Wed May 28, 2008 7:31 am

It is not a successful project. Flies rarely and badly. It's been around for years. Mechanical overkill -- 4 separate engines each with its own clutch etc... Better efforts at a personal helicopter have been made. There's an old guy by the name of Schoffman in Germany (or Austria) who flies nicely with a single 125 cc engine. A marvel of economical engineering. You can see him fly on YouTube clips on occasion. Never very high because he's simply afraid of killing himself -- no autorotation capability and no way to fit a ballistic parachute, so he flies only as high as he is prepared to fall from. But, he has proven on a couple of occasions, for the sake of the record, that the machine flies nicely in a 'normal' mode.

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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by Jim Berquist » Wed May 28, 2008 2:29 pm

I would love to see that one Bruno! :D
WHAT TO FRAP, IT WORKED![url=callto://james.a.berquist]Image[/url]

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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by tufty » Wed May 28, 2008 4:09 pm

This, no, Bruno?

Bruno Ogorelec
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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Wed May 28, 2008 7:32 pm

tufty wrote:This, no, Bruno?
Yes, that's Mr. Schoeffman's little jewel.

The clip only shows him doing ground hops, but there's much more to the machine than that.

I have talked to a guy who has seen Schoeffmann do normal flights with it, in order to demonstrate that the thing actually works. The problem, however, is that the guy is over 70 (as far as I can remember) and does not relish spending the remainder of his life as a bedridden broken wreck.

There is no way to make that thingy safe in the case of failure, so Schoeffman has been keeping only as high as he is prepared to fall. Let’s face it, even a fall from six feet with that machine might get you injured quite seriously. Especially if you are 75 or so.

Apart from being inherently unsafe, because it has absolutely no failsafe mechanisms – no auto-rotation capability and no way to fit a ballistic recovery parachute -- It is a miracle of minimal engineering. Not a washer is there that absolutely must not be there. Not an ounce of excess material. Everything fulfills a function and is proportioned exactly to do it and designed in the simplest way possible.

I have seen a group of helicopter enthusiasts analyze this machine, part by part, to see if anything could be made better and not one was able to come up with a single improvement.

Schoeffman has religiously followed two of the most hallowed dicta in the history of engineering: ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ and ‘Add lightness and simplicate’.

[I don’t know who thought of the former, but the latter is variously attributed to Consolidated engineer Bill Stout, Lotus race car creator Colin Chapman and a few others but is really the expression of Laurence Pomeroy Sr. the designer of the ground-breaking Vauxhall Prince Henry cars before World War I. Pomeroy was one of the few engineers who could also write well, so that his wise thoughts on mechanical engineering received much wider currency than would otherwise have been the case.]

The Schoeffman helicopter has a single cylinder 125 cc water-cooled two-stroke engine driving two coaxial counter-rotating rotors. This eliminates the torque effect, so that his machine does not need the tail rotor that most other helicopters have to have.

The rotors are wooden, rigid, with fixed pitch. No swashplate, no collective cyclic pitch change, no lead-lag hinges – in effect just two propellers spinning in opposite directions. He does not need all those things, given the small size of the rotor and the small speeds at which the machine is likely to travel.

Yaw control is by a small rotating paddle in the rotor downwash. Climb and descent are controlled by throttle (rotor RPM). Forward-backward and left-right steering is done by pilot weight shift, as on a hang-glider. (Or by rotor tilt; depending on your point of view.)

It cost little or nothing; everything was built from secondhand parts Schoeffman more or less had lying around -- except for the rotors.

I am totally bowled over by this machine.

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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by Bruno Ogorelec » Wed May 28, 2008 7:35 pm

One more thing -- his engine probably develops between 15 and 20 HP. Cannot be more than that. Try flying a fixed-wing aircraft that can carry a man with suxh a small engine! And fixed-wing aircraft need rather less power to fly than helicopters do... An amazing feat of engineering.

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Re: One man Helicopter

Post by Mike Everman » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:53 am

I drag that video out once a month or so to keep the dream alive. It's a perfect piece of engineering.
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