THE TIP-DRIVE SYSTEM

A good view of both the Rotodyne’s beaver-tail, with clamshell doors, and the tip-jet installations. AEROPLANE

The Rotodyne’s tip-drive system owed its existence to Austrian helicopter pioneer Friedrich von Doblhoff, who directed a research programme instituted in 1942. On his WNF 342 machine, a conventional piston engine was used to drive a compressor to supply air mixed with fuel up through the rotor hub and out through three hollow rotor blades, to be burned in tip-mounted combustion chambers. The result was that enough thrust was generated to turn the blades and provide lift.

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