The Rotorway Exec helicopter was a development of earlier helicopters that were designed by B J Schramm from the early 1960s. The Rotorway Exec 90 was designed in the 1970s and first flew in 1980. It has a welded chrome moly frame around the two seat cabin and engine and a monocoque aluminium tailboom with a streamlined fibreglass body covering the frame. It was powered by an engine developed by Rotorway from a 4 cylinder Porsche engine but with water cooled heads. The engine was mounted vertically to drive the rotor shaft via a duplex chain and belts, and the tail rotors were belt driven. In the Exec 90 the engine was a RW 145 of 145 cubic inch capacity and it produced 145 HP at 4,500 rpm.
The Rotorway company has undergone various changes of ownership over the years, being purchased in the 1980s by Englishman and Rotorway helicopter owner John Netherwood who moved the company to Chandler, Arizona, and then in 1998 the company became employee owned, and most recently, in 2021, the company ceased business and was taken over by Rotor X Aircraft manufacturing who hired many of the former employees and have named Rotorway's last helicopter, the A 600 Talon as the Phoenix A 600.
The specifications for the Rotorway Exec (for the later 162F model) are: length 22 feet (6.71 metres), rotor diameter 25 feet (7.62 metres). The empty weight is around 975 pounds (442 kg) and the MAUW is 1,500 pounds (680 kg). The cruising speed is around 80 knots and the rate of climb is around 1,000 feet per minute at sea level.
We have had nine Rotorway Exec 90 helicopters registered in New Zealand as follows:
2 (c/n AACA/616) that was built by N J Clark of Christchurch and was registered to him on 13/3/87. I have not been able to find a photo of it as ZK-HPW2, but on 30/7/92 ownership transferred to Heli Hind Helicopters (Shaun Ryan) of Kowhitirangi and he re-registered the helicopter as ZK-HHK2. It went to the M & R Partnership of Alexandra on 26/10/00 and it is photo'd above at Alexandra on 16/12/03. Finally it went to P F Clark of Ashburton on 2/12/06. Its registration was cancelled on 4/8/08.
2 (c/n 6019) was registered to Sanders Rotary Ltd of Tauranga on 10/8/95 and was their demonstrator. It is photo'd above at the 1998 SAANZ flyin at Matamata. On 20/11/99 ownership transferred to A W Meyer of Taupo. It was next heard of when advertised for sale on Trade Me in May 2018 when it had a partly installed Solar T-62T-32-2 150 shaft HP gas turbine engine. However it was cancelled from the register as revoked on 28/6/21.
2 (c/n 6382) was built by T C Pike of Auckland and it was registered to him on 16/11/99. It was damaged on 24/6/00 near Waimauku but it is still registered to T C Pike of Waimauku. I photo'd it stored in Tim's large workshop at Waimauuku on 26/3/22.