McDonnell XH-20 Little Henry
|XH-20 Little Henry|
|Role||Experimental ramjet-rotor powered helicopter|
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||29 August 1947|
|Primary user||United States Air Force|
The McDonnell Model 38 was a lightweight experimental helicopter sponsored by the United States Army Air Force to test the concept of using small ramjets at the tips of the rotor blades. As a functional helicopter it was of simple open-frame steel-tube construction. Allocated the military designation XH-20 the first of two first flew on the 29 August 1947.
Although the XH-20 flew successfully the ramjets were noisy and burnt a large amount of fuel and plans to build a larger two-seat XH-29 were abandoned.
- McDonnell Model 38 experimental lightweight helicopter, two built.
- McDonnell Model 79 a proposed two-seat development, cancelled.
Aircraft on display
- 46-689 the first XH-20 is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
Data from 
- Crew: 1
- Length: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
- Height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
- Empty weight: 290 lb (132 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × McDonnell Ramjets
- Main rotor diameter: 20 ft (6.1 m)
- Maximum speed: 50 mph (80 km/h; 43 kn)
Media related to McDonnell XH-20 at Wikimedia Commons