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Vertical Aviation Technologies Hummingbird

 

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The Hummingbird helicopter kit programme began in 1988. A 4 place helicopter based on a Sikorsky S-52. Of aluminium construction with carbon-graphite composite nose, powered by an aluminium 6.5 lt V8 of 260hp. Rotor mechanics remained the original.
 
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Hummingbird
 
By 1995, equipped with an electric cyclic trim system and hydraulic driven radiator fan. This helicopter was still available in fit form in 2004.

 

After a break in production of six years the company produced a new and improved Hummingbird in 1991, the 260L.
The Hummingbird 260L is a highly modified version of the four place Sikorsky S-52-3 with major changes to the nose, windshield, and powerplant installation turned into a kit. A modification has been the installation of a 260 h.p. Lycoming powerplant. The Hummingbird 260L is an FAA approved helicopter combined with an FAA approved powerplant. The Lycoming VO-435-A1F was designed to operate in an oblique position. One version can be turbo charged to 280 h.p. The Lycoming VO-435-A1F can be operated with automobile gasoline making it "fuel friendly", where Avgas availability is limited. This entire powerplant installation was designed to meet the requirements of FAR 27 regulation standards for all helicopters in the Western world.
Another change to the new Hummingbird is the composite cabin doors and vertical/ horizontal stabilisers. The tail stabilisers were designed to increase lateral and longitudinal stability, increase tail rotor effectiveness, and reduce weight on the tail of the helicopter. Most components have a time/life of 1200 hours. New blade design will most likely extend blade life to 2000 hrs. A set of three main rotor blades costs about a third of the price of those for a comparable four place piston engine helicopter, with the total aircraft price less than half. The Hummingbird has strength inherent in its basic design. With a payload of over 900lbs, it will take a good size sling load, and with a quick removal of the rear seats, the "utility" configuration means bulky cargo can be carried. Also long range fuel tanks have just been designed as an extra.
As a Kit, the helicopter fits into the Amateur Built/Experimental Category and most of the maintenance can be done by the owner/assembler.

The Hummingbird is a single engine, single three-bladed main rotor type helicopter, with a tail rotor. The fuselage is made of aluminum and composites. The Hummingbird is powered by a FAA approved Lycoming aircraft engine. The transmission system consists of a clutch/freewheel unit between the engine and main gearbox, a main driveshaft extending from the top of the main gearbox to the main rotorhead, and a take-off drive from the main gearbox which drives the tail rotor driveshaft, intermediate gearbox and tail rotor assembly. These parts are manufactured to FAA design standards.
The Hummingbird cabin sits four people. The cabin is 55 inches wide, 56 inches high from floor to ceiling, and 110 inches in length. Two baggage areas 15” L x 20” W x 13” H are located under the forward two seats. Fly two people, 375 miles, with 220 lbs. of camping gear.
The many prefabricated components of the Hummingbird 260L make the kit an easy project for the first time builder. The average build time is 800 hours. There is no welding or composite work, only minor fabrication, and all major components are pre-assembled. The rotor blades for example come to you painted, balanced, and ready for installation. These blades have 7 degrees of twist to enhance performance.
The Hummingbird helicopter kit is assembled in 14 easy to follow sections. The first section consists of building the lower cabin. In this section, you will learn about real aircraft sheet metal fabrication and aircraft assembly. In the next section you will receive the upper cabin assembled.
After fitting the upper and lower cabin together, the landing gear is next, and then the nose. Flight controls, electrical components, instrumentation and fuel systems are next for installation.
The tailcone section is supplied assembled to assure uniformity. The powerplant and gearboxes are assembled for installation when received.
The main rotor blades and tail rotor blades will then come to you completely ready to install in the fully articulated rotor head. They will have been painted and pre-balanced at our factory. After rigging all the flight controls and cables, and calculating the Hummingbird’s weight and balance, it’s ready to fly.
Because of its inherently long tail, forward flight is very stable but very agile. The flight control system incorporates electric trim with force gradient spring pressure. Stick forces are very light. An appealing characteristic is the landing gear that is able to taxi and not have to hover, with hydraulic brakes and shock absorbing struts. The three blade rotor system is very smooth and has a medium inertia rotor providing excellent autorotation characteristics. The clutch is automatic for engaging the rotor system and a rotorbrake is included to slow the rotor during shut down.

Hummingbird
Engine: Aluminium V-8, 260 hp
hp range 260-315
Empty wt: 1,800 lb
Max wt: 2,700 lb
Rotor span: 33ft
Length: 30’6”
Height: 8’2”
Width: 8’7”
Service Ceiling: 11,000 ft
Max speed: 110 mph
Cruise: 90-95 mph
Range: 450 sm
Seats: 4
ROC: 1200 fpm
Fuel cap: 57 USG

 

Hummingbird
Engine: V8 6.5 lt, 260 hp
Rotor span: 10.05 m
MAUW: 1223 kg
Empty weight: 815 kg
Fuel capacity: 215 lt
Max speed: 176 kph
Cruise speed: 150 kph
Minimum speed: 0 kph
Climb rate: 4.75 m/s
Seats: 4
Fuel consumption: 50 lt/hr
Kit price (1998): $140,500

 

Hummingbird 260L
Engine: Lycoming V0-435
Rotor Blades: 3-blade
Main rotor dimension 33' 0"
Tail rotor dimension 5' 9"
Fuselage length 30' 6"
Height 8' 7"
Width 5'
Empty Weight 1,800 lbs
Useful Load 900 lbs
Gross Weight 2,700 lbs
Fuel 57 USG
Min Speed Hover
Vne 132 mph
Cruise 90-95 mph
Top Speed 110 mph
Rate of climb 1250 fpm at 2300 lb
Rate of climb 950 fpm at 2700 lb
Service ceiling 14,000 ft
Range 375 Miles
Kit: $169,000 in 2009.
Seats: 4

 

 


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