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Swisscopter Dragonfly DF1

Swisscopter Dragonfly DF1

Swisscopter Dragonfly DF1

Swisscopter Dragonfly DF1


The Dragonfly DF1 is a, wait for it... Rocket powered one-man helicopter! Although admittedly it doesn't look as good as it sounds.

Designed and built by Swisscopter, based out of Arizona, USA, the Dragonfly DF1 uses a pair of hydrogen peroxide fueled rockets attached to the tips of the rotors for power - instead of a more conventional gas turbine engine found in most contemporary helicopters. This isn't a new idea, the British and American armed forces experimented with similar rocket-powered helicopter technology back in the 1950s but it never took off. Please forgive the pun.

The Dragonfly DF1 is a very basic machine which is incredibly light. It tips the scales at a featherweight 106 kgs (234 lbs). Yet it can carry an amazing 227 kgs (500 lbs) of pilot, fuel and cargo. Top speed of the aircraft is 115 mph (185 km/h), cruise speed is around 40 mph (65 km/h), and the flight time is up to 50 minutes - although an optional extra fuel tank takes this up to 100 minutes.

Control of the Dragonfly DF1 also differs from a more 'normal' helicopter. Instead of a joystick for banking left and right and controlling forward and backward movement, a collective control for engine power, and a set of rudder pedals for yaw control, the Dragonfly DF1 gets a much simpler handlebar mechanism which hangs down from the rotor head and allows the pilot to control the angle of the blades. A throttle lever allows for power adjustment.

While it might seem at first that this is some sort of cobbled together widow-maker, it is in fact a fully certified and sanctified machine which is approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Sales are expected to begin sometime in 2010.








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