The Kellett Autogiro Corporation XO/YO-60 Jump Takeoff Autogiro was a later development of Kellett’s KD-1 Direct Control Autogiro, which was first flown on Dec. 9, 1934 and received its approved type certificate ATC No. 712 on Jan. 1, 1935. The KD-1 had the distinction of being the first practical rotary-wing aircraft used by the United States Army and inaugurated the first scheduled air-mail service using a rotary-wing aircraft.

The XO-60 ‘jump takeoff’ Autogiro was developed during 1942-43 under the direction of Kellett Chief Engineer Richard Prewitt under a 1941 contract that called for eight airframes in total, with the initial aircraft intended for testing and evaluation.

The initial XO-60 utilized a 42 ft (12.8 m) diameter NACA 230 series rotor and a 225 hp (168 kW) Jacobs R-755 radial engine.


The first XO-60 was completed in Feb. 1943 (Kellett construction number 118 and registered with the US Army as 42-13510) followed by six YO-60s (listed as 42-13604 through -13609), the difference between the two being that the former had a long-stroke cantilever landing gear while the latter had conventional truss landing gear. In addition, the six YO-60 Autogiros utilized the 300 hp (220 kW) Jacob R-915-3 radial engine and featured a larger rotor diameter of 43.2 ft (13.2 m). The XO-60 was designed for United States Army Air Corps observation missions.

The Kellett O-60 series achieved jump-take capability by means of an innovative collective pitch control with a patented tension-torsion pack at the rotor blade roots, which differed significantly from the Cierva Autogiro Company’s single-alpha lead-lag hinge or the Pitcairn multi-threaded hydraulically controlled system, and was subsequently purchased by Pitcairn.

The Autogiro’s folding three-bladed rotor achieved inter-blade damping by means of a hydraulic mechanism on the XO-60 and by a less complex friction arrangement on the YO-60s.

With tandem seating for the crew of two, and an extra-large canopy, observational capabilities were further enhanced with large windows in the cockpit floor. Although seemingly well-adapted to observation missions, the aircraft was rejected by the Army after extensive testing because of initial high cost, greater maintenance demands (in comparison to light observation aircraft), and susceptibility to ground resonance (42-13605 had been destroyed while attempt-ting takeoff on June 27, 1943).


The XO-60 (42-13610) is preserved and on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Kellett Autogiro Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Kellett Autogiro Corporation

Parent type: Kellett KD-1

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Gyroplane

Compound type: N/A

Lift configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Rudder

Dedicated propulsion devices: 1

Crew required: 1

Crew seating: Tandem

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall height/length are with main rotor blades folded.

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height: 3.10 m 10.2 ft
Overall Length: 7.90 m 25.9 ft
Overall Width: 13.17 m 43.2 ft
Airframe Dimensions
Airframe Length:  
Airframe Width:  
Airframe Height:  
Landing Gear Dimensions
Landing Gear Base:  
Landing Gear Track:  
Cabin Dimensions
Cabin Internal Height:  
Cabin Internal Length:  
Cabin Internal Width:  

Weights and Performance

Data on aircraft weight and flight characteristics

Max Gross Weight (ground): 1,197 kg 2,640 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne):  
Max Take-off Weight: 1,197 kg 2,640 lb
Empty Weight: 889 kg 1,960 lb
Useful Load: 308 kg 680 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.742
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb:  
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE:  
Hover Ceiling OGE:  
Max Level Flight Speed: 204 km/h 110 kts
Never Exceed Speed: 196 km/h 106 kts
Service Ceiling:  
Range and Endurance
Max Range:  
Max Endurance:  

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

Provided powerplant data is for uninstalled, sea level, static operations.

Number of engines: 1
Designation: Jacobs R-915-3 reciprocating
Manufacturer: Jacobs Aircraft and Engine Company
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated: 246 kW 330 hp
OEI Ratings
OEI contingency:  
OEI continuous:  
OEI 30-second:  
OEI intermediate:  

Primary Lift Device

Data on primary lift devices such as main rotors

Main Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 13.17 m 43.21 ft
Direction of Rotation: Counterclockwise
Hub Type:  
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction:
Blade Chord:  
Blade Tip Geometry:
Blade Twist:  
Number of Blades: 3
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 136.22 m² 1466.4 ft²
Disc Loading: 8.79 kg/m² 1.800 lb/ft²
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade:  
Tip Speed:  

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Configuration: Unknown
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades:  
Blade Construction: N/A
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area:  
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

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Related Public Resources

Resources related to the XO-60 (YO-60), provided by public sources across the internet.