Developed in 1954 for the US Navy, the helicopter uses peroxide as fuel and is unique in that it is strapped onto the pilot.  Instead of an engine, the aircraft is powered by rockets on each end of the main rotor; pressurized Nitrogen would act as the catalyst for the Hydrogen Peroxide [Ref 316].  The purpose of its tail rotor is to provide addition steering control.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Design authority: Rotor-Craft Corporation

Primary manufacturer: Rotor-Craft Corporation

Parent type: No type defined

Aircraft status: No longer flying


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift configuration: Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: Tail rotor

Crew required: 1

Crew seating: Single seater

Landing gear: Other

Layout and Dimensions

Data on aircraft size

Overall Dimensions
Overall Height:  
Overall Length:  
Overall Width:  
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

Cruise Speed: 80 mph (128.748 km/h)

Max Gross Weight (ground): 227 kg 500 lb
Max Gross Weight (airborne):  
Max Take-off Weight: 227 kg 500 lb
Empty Weight: 75 kg 165 lb
Useful Load: 152 kg 335 lb
Empty Weight Fraction: 0.330
Climb Performance
Max Rate of Climb: 10 m/s 2,000 fpm
Hover Performance
Hover Ceiling IGE:  
Hover Ceiling OGE:  
Max Level Flight Speed: 161 km/h 87 kts
Never Exceed Speed:  
Service Ceiling: 4,572 m 15,000 ft
Range and Endurance
Max Range:  
Max Endurance: 0 hrs 0 hrs

Engine Details

Aircraft powerplant (lift and/or propulsion)

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

Number of engines: 2
Normal Ratings
Max continuous:  
Take-off / rated:  
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: 5.18 m 17.00 ft
RPM: 500.0 rpm 500.0 rpm
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Hub Type:
Main Rotor Blade Characteristics
Blade Construction:
Blade Chord:  
Blade Tip Geometry: Tip-jet
Blade Twist:  
Number of Blades: 2
Main Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 21.09 m² 227.0 ft²
Disc Loading: 10.76 kg/m² 2.203 lb/ft²
Main Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Blade area per blade:  
Tip Speed: 135.65 m/s 445.1 fps

Primary Control Device

Data on primary control devices such as tail rotors

Tail Rotor Characteristics
Diameter: 0.81 m 2.67 ft
Configuration: Tractor
Direction of Rotation: Unknown
Tail Rotor Blade Characteristics
Number of Blades: 1
Blade Construction:  
Blade Chord:  
Blade Twist:  
Tail Rotor Derived Characteristics
Disc Area: 0.52 m² 5.6 ft²
Tail Rotor Blade Derived Characteristics
Tip Speed:  
Blade Area (per blade):  

Related VFS Resources

Resources related to the RH-1 Pinwheel, provided by the Vertical Flight Society.
Forum Proceedings
Vertiflite articles
Enter a search term in the box above.
Web files from
Enter a search term in the box above.
Webpages from
Enter a search term in the box above.

Related Public Resources

Resources related to the RH-1 Pinwheel, provided by public sources across the internet.