Vortech Kestrel Jet

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Kestrel Jet
Role Helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Vortech
Introduction 1980s
Status Plans available
Number built 6 (2005)
Unit cost
US$20,000 (2001)

The Vortech Kestrel Jet is an American tip-jet helicopter that was designed in the 1980s. Kits for amateur construction were originally provided by Vortech and plans remain available.[1][2][3][4]

Design and development[edit]

The aircraft was designed to fit into the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules, including the category's maximum empty weight of 254 lb (115 kg). The aircraft has a standard empty weight of 175 lb (79 kg). It features a single main rotor, a single-seat open cockpit without a windshield and skid landing gear. Power is supplied by two G8-2-20 rotor tip jets that run on propane, consuming 12 U.S. gallons (45 L; 10.0 imp gal) per hour and producing 47 lb (21 kg) of thrust each.[1][2][4]

The aircraft fuselage is made from bolted-together aluminum tubing. Its main rotor is 24 ft (7.3 m) in diameter. Due to the lack of torque produced there is no tail rotor and instead the Kestrel mounts a circular-shaped rudder for directional control. Controls consist only of cyclic, rudder and throttle.[1][2]

Specifications (Kestrel Jet)[edit]

Data from Cliche, Vortech and KitPlanes[1][2][3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
  • Empty weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
  • Gross weight: 440 lb (200 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 10 U.S. gallons (38 L; 8.3 imp gal) of propane
  • Powerplant: 2 × G8-2-20 rotor tip-mounted jet engines, 47 lb (21 kg) of thrust
  • Main rotor diameter: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Main rotor area: 491 sq ft (45.6 m2)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 63 mph (101 km/h; 55 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 45 mph (72 km/h; 39 kn)
  • Range: 60 mi (52 nmi; 97 km)
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
  • Disk loading: 0.90 lb/sq ft (4.4 kg/m2)

Avionics

  • none

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Cliche, Andre: Ultralight Aircraft Shopper's Guide 8th Edition, page F-8. Cybair Limited Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-9680628-1-4
  2. ^ a b c d Vortech (n.d.). "Build the World's Tiniest Homebuilt Helicopter". Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Downey, Julia: 2005 Trikes 'Chutes and Rotorcraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 22, Number 2, February 2005, page 60. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  4. ^ a b Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, Fifth Edition, page 334. BAI Communications, 15 July 1998. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1

External links[edit]