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Rocket Powered Helicopter Is Crazier Than It Sounds

By Evan Ackerman

Rather than being powered by a conventional engine, someone decided that it would be a good idea to install itty bitty rocket engines on the tips of the blades of this helicopter to power it. And the really scary part is that it works. Very well, in fact. The hydrogen peroxide rockets (the same things that power most jetpacks) produce no pollution and are supposed to be significantly more stable than their conventional counterparts due to the lack of, um, an engine. In fact, there’s really nothing to the helicopter at all apart from a seat and some big fuel tanks. Called the Dragonfly, it can stay aloft for 50 minutes and has a maximum speed of 40 mph. The Dragonfly has completed a successful series of flight tests and obtained its airworthiness certificate last November, so it’s currently on track to be for sale sometime this year.

This is actually not the craziest thing you can do with a rocket propelled airfoil. The craziest thing is to use model rocket engines, one blade, and then just forget the rest of the helicopter. Check that out along with an article on monocopter UAVs over on BotJunkie.

[ Dragonfly DF1 ] VIA [ DVICE ]


6 responses to “Rocket Powered Helicopter Is Crazier Than It Sounds”

  1. perfectfire says:

    So what is the benefit of a rocket powered copter over a conventional turbine powered one?

  2. denondt says:

    Speaking of helicopters, I just stumbled upon this video showing a guy that controls a real helictopter with a Nokia N900 smartphone!! WTF ?

  3. That looks fun!!! And air-worthy indeed! I just don't know about it being eco-friendly… That's a lot of smoke at the beginning of the video.

  4. Jessicat says:

    Where will test drives be held?

  5. Jessicat says:

    Where will test drives be held?

  6. Shabadoo says:

    Excellent. It took some balls to take off in that thing.