Bob Kinney's Hot Rod Helicopter (HRH) Image Gallery
|QUICK LINK TO OTHER IMAGE GALLERIES|
No flash player!
It looks like you don't have flash player installed. Click here to go to Macromedia download page.
Designer and builder Bob Kinney completed this helicopter in one year, one month, one week, and one day. He named it the "Kinney HRH" (Hot Rod Helicopter) because of the lack of doors and hood-no, Diane, I won't fall out, I promise! - and an air cleaner from a dual quad set-up; many of the parts came from the local auto parts store or were mail-ordered from speed-shop catalogues.
Here are some of its key features.
The design uses a four-strokes Subaru EJ22 engine with multiport fuel injection. (believed to have changed to the optional EJ25 later)
The tail rotor is shaft-driven (with commercially available right angle gearbox), and the open engine design makes pre-flight inspection easy.
The counterclockwise rotation of the Waitman blades makes it easy for those used to standard American helicopters to transition to the Kinney HRH.
True long range cross country performance in solid comfort.
The airframe is aircraft grade 4130 chromoly steel, and the pod is made of hand laid fiberglass.
The engine instruments are digital.
Bob Kinney had a number of objectives in mind when he designed the helicopter. He wanted to make a relatively inexpensive single-place helicopter. He wanted it to have reliable four-stroke power, and a tail-rotor driven by a shaft. He also wanted the helicopter to be economical to operate (it runs on unleaded auto gasoline) and to have low maintenance, with low-cost replacement parts. He wanted it to be durable and reliable, and "fun, fun, fun" to fly. He also wanted its dimensions to be such that it could be "stored" in his garage.
Well, Bob was able to meet most of these objectives, though not all. He was indeed able to get the helicopter into his garage, but to do so he has had to fit his car under the tail boom (thankfully it's a very, very low sports car), and he does have to take the blades off in order to get the doors closed. Also, although the objective had been to keep the weight to about 700 pounds, the helicopter ended up weighing a little over 1000 (Bob accepted a little more weight in order to increase safety).
Overall, Bob is quite happy with the way it all turned out, and this Summer he plans to take the helicopter to Homer Bells, Mentone, and to Oshkosh. To date, he has flown the helicopter in ground effect, and all seems very promising. The first flight was conducted on April 8th by Charlie Lavens, who has been flying helicopters since 1984. Charlie Lavens, who owns Cal Manufacturing in Illinois (where he does aviation and small-run production of all types, including aluminum castings, lathe and mill work, etc.) did all the castings and machining on the swash plate assembly and made the main rotor shaft.
Don Parham of RFI, in Indianola, OK, made some of the drive-line parts, the aluminum flywheel, and the thrust plate and pulleys. Most of the other machining was done at Park Hill Machine, inc., in Lancaster, PA. (Bob's hometown). Phil Toews worked very closely with Bob doing the project's machining over a number of months, making high-quality parts: the whole crew at Park Hill just did a great job! To these people, and to everybody else who helped along the way to getting the helicopter to its first flight, Bob expresses his most sincere appreciation!
Editors note: Bob has since put MANY flight hours on his original design HRH (Hot Rod Helicopter) and has since sold on the distribution rights for HRH plans to Vortech who now market and distribute on his behalf. A full flight demonstration video is available for sale along with different plans/blueprint options. While these plans give a great amount of information, they shouldn't be considered "complete" as there is some detail missing but it can be worked through with relative ease. Also while there are sources for commercial main rotor gearbox substitutes, the HRH uses a converted drive transmission (differential) from a vehicle that may not be avaiable in your reigon. The swash assembly is basically the Rotorway Exec as is the main rotorhead.