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RCP0110_0_Hangar Talk 2/15/10 5:01 PM Page 15
due to his outstanding piloting ability it
was a success. After the demonstration
To that point helicopters had little utility and were
concluded a Civil Aviation Authority rep-
resentative presented Frank Piasecki with
barely able to lift their own weight and that of the
his helicopter license, the first ever issued
pilot. It was here that Frank Piasecki would leave his
to someone without a fixed wing license.
The demonstration at National Airport
greatest mark on the history of the helicopter. There
put the PV Engineering Forum on the
were many disbelievers who thought that a helicopter
map. In 1944, the forum received a Navy
contract on behalf of the Coast Guard to
could not possibly be built that would be large enough
construct a transport helicopter. Success-
or powerful enough to be used for transport purposes.
fully completing this task would be as dif-
ficult as building their first helicopter. To
that point helicopters had little utility and decades but that success would propel it XHRP-X was capable of carrying three
were barely able to lift their own weight forward an equal amount. He chose a tan- times the payload of any other helicopter,
and that of the pilot. It was here that dem rotor configuration knowing that two could carry 10 men excluding pilots and
Frank Piasecki would leave his greatest main rotors could cancel out each other’s reached speeds of up to 110 mph. The
mark on the history of the helicopter. torque effect and greatly increase lifting tandem rotor design also eliminated some
There were many disbelievers who ability by eliminating the power require- significant center of gravity problems
thought that a helicopter could not possi- ment of a tail rotor. Thirteen months later, prevalent in the single main rotor heli-
bly be built that would be large enough or in March of 1945, with Frank Piasecki at copters of the day. As World War II
powerful enough to be used for transport the controls, the XHRP-X Dogship be- ended so did much of the U.S. Navy fund-
purposes. Frank Piasecki accepted this came the first successful tandem rotor he- ing that was being put into helicopter de-
challenge knowing full well that failure licopter (Frank N. Piasecki, n.d.). Frank velopment. In order to bring in private
would set the helicopter back years if not Piasecki and his team had succeeded. The Continued on page 16
www.ROTORCRAFTPRO.com • February 2010 15
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