Pawnee Aviation – Scout Helicopter – Chief Helicopter

Pawnee Aviation Chief HelicopterThe two (2) seat auto engine powered Chief Helicopter by Pawnee Aviation. This was the latest version produced, earlier prototypes differed dramatically.

Pawnee Aviation Experimental Helicopters

Pawnee Chief – US light helicopter designed in 2005, the aircraft manufacturer – Pawnee Aviation

Pawnee Aviation introduced their latest revelation, The Scout. It is a single-seat helicopter with a Porsche-based custom-designed engine producing 140 hp. Seen for the first time, the Scout was sitting on the grass in Choppertown at Sun ‘n Fun ’98.

VIDEO: Chief helicopter in flight

The larger helicopter model Pawnee Chief began to develop the American aircraft manufacturer Pawnee Aviation at the beginning of 2000’s. The aircraft was designed on the basis of single seat helicopter model, the Pawnee Warrior. The helicopter design has undergone a number of significant changes, including physical and mechanical changes.

Prototype Chief Helicopter

The VW powered Chief Helicopter prototype

The Pawnee Chief helicopter made its first flight in December 2005 and passed all flight tests successful, this model is planned to go into production. The original release of aircraft Pawnee Chief model was implemented as a ready-made helicopter, but later, in order to minimize the cost of construction was destined for self-assembly kits.

It has an egg-shaped enclosure made of ABS plastic. The windshield and removable doors are Lexan, as are the side windows. The frame has a bright yellow powder coat applied by Taint Paint in Colorado Springs, CO. The cockpit matches the frame exactly giving the helicopter an appearance of a drop of sunshine.

Thomas Mijac, the National Sales and Distribution Director for Pawnee, told of the evolution of the Scout and of the development that has been going on at Pawnee’s factory in Longmont. Colorado. “We set out to improve our design and create an aircraft that can fly at the altitude of our home field (5100 MSL) with full fuel and a full load.”

Included as an improvement is the engine for the Scout, which was boosted to 140 HP, up from 65 HP on Pawnee’s original aircraft, the Warrior. Mijac also stated that Pawnee’s two-seat helicopter, The Chief, entered flight testing in May and should be available for sale soon.

Chief Helicopter Airframe

Chief HelicopterAirframe

“The Chief is an extension of The Scout. The same technology used to develop our single-place helicopter is going into our dual seat.” Aside from helping to design helicopters, Mijac has also been developing Pawnee’s Dealership Network. “We have dealers throughout the U.S. and the world.

Our dealers are Pawnee’s local representatives and have direct contact with our customers. This is because the dealers are their neighbors and friends.” These two new aircraft will offer a broader choice for pilots looking for a kit helicopter.

Chief Helicopter chain driven main rotor

Chief Helicopter chain driven main rotor

Chief Helicopter tail rotor gearbox

Chief Helicopter tail rotor gearbox

Mijac believes that due to the price, the ease of construction and the performance of his aircraft, Pawnee has an excellent opportunity for growth within the market. There are only three kits available for this type of aircraft; a single-seat and two dual-seat helicopters.

Scout single seat experimental helicopter

Scout single seat experimental helicopter

We feel that this industry (the helicopter side of kit aviation) is still in its infancy and the public deserves aircraft with high performance at low prices.” Mijac went on to state that his dealers work directly with the factory and are literally part of the company and not separate entities.

Chief Helicopter mountain flying

Chief Helicopter mountain flying

The Chief Helicopter rotor head

The Chief Helicopter rotor head

Volkswagen Chief Helicopter AW95 Drive

The Volkswagon powered Chief Helicopter prototype mounted vertically. The drive layout is very similar to the AW95 helicopter.

When I contacted the company some years ago, I recall them saying a thrust bearing on the main crank shaft was the major change required to the Volkswagen enabling it to run in the vertical configuration.

Obviously there were other changers to oiling, lubrication and intake manifolds, not much different to the very similar Rotorway Exec helicopter engine.

Early Chief Helicopter swashplate

Early Chief Helicopter swashplate

Chief Helicopter tail rotor hub

Chief Helicopter tail rotor hub

Chief Helicopter V8 auto engine

Chief Helicopter V8 auto engine as fitted on the latest prototype

Chief Helicopter cockpit

The Chief helicopter cockpit or cabin with motorsports style seats.

VIDEO: Chief helicopter test flight

Chief Helicopter main rotor drive gearbox

Using a professionally modified auto rear end/differential for the main rotor gearbox, the Chief helicopter is solid and sturdy.

Chief Helicopters instrument panel

Close up of the Chief Helicopters instrument panel

Tail rotor pitch control detail Chief helicopter

Tail rotor pitch control detail for the Chief helicopter

The original helicopter model – the Pawnee Warrior was equipped with a four-cylinder piston Volkswagen engine. The larger Pawnee Chief helicopter uses a Chevrolet V-8, having a capacity of 305 hp. With a relatively light structure of the aircraft, and powerful power plant, the Pawnee Chief helicopter can accelerate to cruising flight speed in 140 km\h., and a range of up to 400 kilometers.

Chief Helicopter tail boom

Tail boom and tail rotor drive shaft on the Chief helicopter

Chief Helicopter tail rotor assembly

Chief helicopter tail rotor assembly and tail rotor blades.

Chief helicopter rotorblade balancing

Chief helicopter rotorblade balancing

January 2008: Ron Willocks is experiencing the same things that all helicopter developers find. Now that you have the thing flying a bunch of little polish up details show up; little ways to make it better. These usually never stop, and tend continue showing up for the entire life of the model.

Scout single seat Helicopter by Pawnee Aviation

The Scout single seat Helicopter by Pawnee Aviation

Scout Helicopter Specifications
Engine 150 HP 4 CYL 4 Stroke
Minimum Speed Hover
Cruise Speed 80 MPH
Top Speed 115 MPH
Empty Weight 850 lbs
Useful Load 450 lbs
Gross Weight 1250 lbs
Height 7 ft 3 inches
Length 23 ft
Main Rotor Diameter 21 ft
Single seat Scout helicopter

Main rotor blades and tail rotor blades made of extruded aluminum material. Frame of 6061-T6 aluminum I-beam, channel and tubing. Bolt together method of construction. One inch drive shaft with direct drive tail rotor and vertical mounted Volkswagen engine.

As of 2013, the production of the Pawnee Chief helicopter was officially been terminated.

All photos courtesy Pawnee Aviation, U.S.A.

PLEASE NOTE: Pawnee Aviation is no longer in existence and the Chief and Scout kit helicopters are no longer produced. We have no other information available on Pawnee Aviation or their helicopters other than here on our website. All property is copyright protected.

Pawnee Aviation Scout Helicopter

Pawnee Aviation - Scout Helicopter - Chief Helicopter
Article Name
Pawnee Aviation - Scout Helicopter - Chief Helicopter
Pawnee Aviation - An American based experimental helicopter builder, primarily the Scout Helicopter as a lead-in for the and Chief Helicopter
Publisher Name
Redback Aviation
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2 Comments on "Pawnee Aviation – Scout Helicopter – Chief Helicopter"

  1. geoffrey Sullivan | November 22, 2019 at 1:10 am | Reply

    Please email cost of scout helicopter.

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