Test Rocket Motor Setup
Rosco is currently in Mexico visiting his friend Juan Manuel Lozano the founder of TAM (Tecnologia Aerospacial Mexicana), the world leader in hydrogen peroxide rocket engines for helicopters and related technologies.
Juan has been working with hydrogen peroxide propulsion systems since 1975, inventor of the penta-metallic catalyst pack to be used with organic hydrogen peroxide and inventor of the most popular machine in the world to produce your own hydrogen peroxide to be used as a rocket fuel.
Rosco is working with Juan to get our small 7,000 lbf test motor working, and then looking to scale this up to our 62,000 lbf engine (equivalent to about 200,000 hp), that will hopefully blast Aussie Invader 5R into the record books.
Work has been delayed, as there was a mix up with customs and the engine went via the USA, but long hours are being put in by Rosco and Juan to get this back on track.Juan measuring some of the rocket components to calculate if any changes need to be made.
Some of Juan Rocket belts lined up ready for use. We have all dreamed of flying in one of these.
Juan built the rockets for this rocket powered helicopter. Designed and built by Swisscopter, the Dragonfly DF1 uses a pair of hydrogen peroxide fueled rockets attached to the tips of the rotors for power - instead of a more conventional gas turbine engine found in most contemporary helicopters.
The idea of putting rockets in the tips of the rotors isn't a new idea, the British and American armed forces experimented with similar rocket-powered helicopter technology back in the 1950s but it never took off. Please forgive the pun.
The Dragonfly DF1 is a very basic machine which is incredibly light. It tips the scales at a featherweight 106 kgs (234 lbs). Yet it can carry an amazing 227 kgs (500 lbs) of pilot, fuel and cargo. Top speed of the aircraft is 115 mph (185 km/h), cruise speed is around 40 mph (65 km/h), and the flight time is up to 50 minutes - although an optional extra fuel tank takes this up to 100 minutes.
The comment of the pilot was... "This is the most stable and smoothest vibration free helicopter I have flown".