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Post Info TOPIC: The Chu « Hummingbird »: earliest Chinese/Taiwanese helicopter


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Date: Nov 15, 2011
The Chu « Hummingbird »: earliest Chinese/Taiwanese helicopter
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Found on the Taiwanese web, the single co-axial Hummingbird helicopter. I wrote the following using Google Translate and my own linguistics skills, keeping only the parts that made sense. I do NOT guarantee that it is 100% correct, but I did my best. If anyone can add to this or correct it, I will of course be very much obliged.

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After Zhu Jiaren successfully flew a 1/10th-scale model in 1944, he set out to build a full-scale prototype, which he completed in March 1948. On the first test flight, the rotor began high-speed rotation with the angle of the blades slowly increased to 8 degrees. The prototype took off the ground about a foot, then got its wheel train stuck in the muddy terrain. The Hummingbird A was offset and hit the ground, resulting in damage to the rotor and the blocking of some related components. Thanks to safety measures, however, the test pilot was not injured.

Far from been discouraged, Zhu Jiaren learned the lessons of this experience, and began testing of the Hummingbird B single-seat helicopter, completed in July 1948. Smaller in appearance and more streamlined, with an a closed ****pit, the Hummingbird B was a pleasant-looking helicopter whose performance could have met or even exceeded that of similar helicopters of the time.

The prototype was apparently only ground tested. In September it was transfered to the Air Force base in Taichung. Zhu Jiaren requested to be involved in the further testing of the Hummingbird B, but the Kuomintang Air Force authorities turned down his request. After the Air Force facilities were moved, the prototype eventually disappeared from sight.

At the time when the helicopter was still in the testing or trial stages in the United States, Germany and other developed countries, Chinese researchers had developed a cutting-edge coaxial helicopter. However, the domestic aviation industry didn't matter to the government. Zhu Jiaren was still committed to the design of the helicopter, but due to various reasons such as the failure to solve acceleration issues, he couldn't see his project through and retired with some regret late in 1962 after a career spanning over 34 years.


Hummingbird B helicopter design data :

  • engine power: 91.7 kilowatts
  • rotor diameter: 7.62 m
  • height: 2.63 m
  • total weight: 725.5 kg
  • maximum speed: 136 km/h
  • range: 219 km

 

Sources:

 

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-- Edited by Stargazer2006 on Wednesday 16th of November 2011 10:55:01 AM

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