Vertipedia is a product of the Vertical Flight Society. With data on 863 aircraft, 620 historical milestones, 499 people, and 395 organizations, Vertipedia is your "one-stop shop" for all things vertical lift.

1951 - First flight of a gas turbine powered helicopter (Sud-Ouest SO.1120 Ariel III)

Our latest featured aircraft for April is the Cierva W.11 Air Horse .

Attribution

The aircraft was designed to provide viable heavy load lifting capability for commercial operations. It employed 3 main rotors all rotating in the same direction. Torque offset was provided by thrust components from the 3 rotors through built-in shaft tilt. The aircraft had a semi-monoquoque structure, a single engine, and a long-stroke undercarriage (5ft) to cope with high rates of descent.  A description of the aircraft and its characteristics can be found in the following references,

Source: "The Cierva W-11 Air Horse", J. Gordon Leishman, VERTIFLITE Spring 2003, Page 52

Source: "Discussing the Helicopter", FLIGHT Staff, FLIGHT, December 2nd 1948, Pages 665-668

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