The BUG Homebuilt Helicopter Design
Editors note : Further information on the homebuilt BUG helicopter range transition and evolution along with individual model detail including the mockup proof of concept Ring Rotor System. His base designs remain basic and true to the tradition helicopter layout, nothing fancy (besides his new rotor concept).
While there are many questions and opinions regarding his helicopter creations, one thing is for sure, Ben is indeed a homebuilt helicopter pioneer and pro-active builder. His work is of high quality with some neat looking designs. This is the type of mindset required to create your own helicopter design. The ability to take a concept from an idea to flying completion – without procrastination.
The little device propped on top of the BUG helicopter rotor is a 5 foot demonstration model of my patented ring rotor system. This rotor system provides very high inertia without the necessity for a huge rotor hub whilst at the same time it reduces tip losses to a minimum due to its blade ring tiplets. The Bug 3 helicopter is currently being tested and ground tethered to prove as much as possible any weaknesses in the critical components.
Once this testing program is complete, a full sized ring rotor which is currently under construction, will be fitted and commence the necessary testing to verify that the fluid dynamic analysis that has been carried out on the ring rotor, works as the test results would suggest. I may then be somewhere near the goal of producing a VLH (Very Light Helicopter) machine that is reasonably safe to further test the idea.
In the photos above it shows the MK 3 helicopter BUG helicopter which has a ring rotor device mounted above its normal pair of blades. This was done just to expose the ring rotor concept to interested parties at an airshow. The actual ring rotor will be fifteen feet diameter. The Ringrotor is something i have been working on to provide great inertia with a minimum weight penalty. The MK 4 has been designed so as to be able to retro fit the ring rotor when airframe once the drive systems are proven. This is why the tail-boom length is adjustable. The current engine is a Yamaha FZR motorcycle.
PHOTO CREDITS : All photos courtesy Ben Cope unless otherwise specified.