Buzzard Helicopter – Plans Built Helicopter Design

Buzzard helicopter design

Redback Aviation’s Buzzard Homebuilt Helicopter

NOTE: The Buzzard Helicopter Project currently on indefinite hold!

The single seat Buzzard helicopter incorporates the simplicity of a basic aluminium airframe with easily maintainable design features. Originally based on the Lonestar kit helicopter of the mid 90’s, Redback Aviation found ways to improve a number of areas to increase safety and reduce maintenance of the helicopter.

The redesigning LoneStar one has been thorough though the new Buzzard personal helicopter still bears much resemblance to the craft that originally inspired its creation. We have stuck to the basic airframe layout but made mechanical improvements to some of the drive system and main rotor head. It has been re-engined now though still retains the short tail boom with cog belt driven tail rotor.

Engine MZ 202 or Hirth 3202
Engine rpm 3200
Engine horsepower 55hp
Main rotor blades Aluminium – composite optional
Main rotor diameter 20 feet/6.096m
Main rotor rpm 525-530
Tail rotor diameter 3 feet 6 inches/1.067m
Tail rotor rpm 3106
Fuel capacity approx 10 gallons/37.8 litres
Fuel consumption approx 5gph/19.5lph
Empty weight 254lbs/115kgs
Gross weight 660lbs/299gs
Rate of climb 1000fpm/5.08mps
Cruise speed 90mph/145kmph/78kts
Maximum speed 105mph/169kmph/91kts
VNE 115mph/185kmph/100kts
HIGE 6000ft/1830m
HOGE 5000ft/1525m
Service ceiling 9500ft/2895m
Height feet inches
Length feet inches
Width 5 feet/1.524m


Typical helicopter layout though utilizing cog belt drive:

The Buzzards drive system has been kept simple yet strong and reliable. Primary drive is by standard commercial helicopter style clutchable multi v-belts followed by an industrial quality cog belt to the tail rotor. The belt can be tensioned from the rear of the tail boom and checked mid span for deflection as per manufacturers requirements.


Standard two blade teetering layout with loaded thrust bearings:

A typical swash plate mounter on the main rotor shaft controls the rotor blades. The main rotor blades are mounted on thrust loaded ball bearings on a modern design rotor head similar to the Mini 500 offering strength and reliability.


Vertically mounted air cooled two stroke aircraft engine:

We chose to use the more widely accepted Hirth or Compact Radial Engine two stroke power-plants known for their lower rpm range and reliability. As the Buzzard exhibits such light weight, there is little need for excessively expensive, higher horsepower engines.

Running the two stroke engines within their limits for sustained or continuous horsepower ratings will result in adequate power and predictable reliability. Remembering that this helicopter IS NOT intended as a “cross-country” chopper, but rather an introductory sports helicopter – or “field-hopper”.


Airframe and drive-line components for the basic helicopter layout:

As with any aircraft there is some machining involved in building the Buzzard although this has been kept to a minimum to reduce costs while still retaining a high level of safety.

It is recommended that all critical components be professionally engineered to assure accuracy. Parts count has been kept to a minimum to make the Buzzard helicopter an economical homebuilt helicopter project.

Due to there being quite a few new kit helicopters that are filling this niche very economically, we chose to concentrate on one design being the Spider helicopter. We may revisit this design in the future so watch this space! The Buzzard was originally designed to suit the needs of the many, while the Spider is a design of personal preference – a passion of building my own vision of a personal helicopter.

PLEASE NOTE: We have no other information on this design at the current time. If we return to this project, it will be publically announced.

DO NOT USE GMAIL OR YAHOO ACCOUNTS TO ORDER THESE PLANS! – 1. Gmail and Yahoo blocks our server, why? we do not know. 2. Gmail and Yahoo limits the size of the download, so we cannot send it manually! 3. Gmail and Yahoo blocks our email address or places it in your spam folder – so we have NO WAY of communicating with you or responding to your emails.

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1 Comment on "Buzzard Helicopter – Plans Built Helicopter Design"

  1. Hi Adam from Jim in Oregon. Sure hope this gets to you. I’ve written several other times with no luck. I’m enjoying the newly redone web page. Do you know of anyone flying a Lonestar on the west coast here in the states. Or even anybody who has experience with one. Tks

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