The next type of sport helicopter to be registered in New Zealand was the Eagle Research & Development Helicycle, the first of which appeared here in November 2004.
The Helicycle was designed by B J Schramm the founder of Rotorway and after much development the first example with a turbine engine flew in September 1997. It was the first experimental single seat turbine powered helicopter to become available on the market and it used the Solar T62-32 engine that was and still is readily available. Schramm conceived the Helicycle to be as affordable as a SUV and to be the motorcycle of the sky. It comes as a kitset and is currently manufactured by Helicycle Ventures LLC of Mesilla in New Mexico.
The specifications of the Helicycle are: length 18 feet 6 inches (5.63 metres), rotor diameter 21 feet (6.4 metres). The empty weight is around 500 pounds (227 Kg) and MAUW in New Zealand is 850 Pounds (385 Kg). With the 150 HP Solar T62-32 engine the cruise speed is around 95 mph (83 knots).
We have had three Helicycles registered in New Zealand to date, as follows:3 (c/n 2-17) was built by Alan R Cameron of Drury and it was registered to him on 29/11/04. It is photo'd above at a flyin at Pikes Point on 29/10/05. I remember that after it had taken off the grass below its exhaust was burnt!
2 (c/n 6-15) which was built by John Hood of Washdyke and registered to him on 24/11/20. John says that it is really nice to fly.
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