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Platt-Le Page XR-1


In July 1940 the Platt-LePage Aircraft Co. won the competition to build a helicopter designated XR-1.

The first flight of the XR-1 took place in May 12 1941, a number of teething problems developed with the control system, causing delays in progress, along with test pilot Lou Leavitt refusing to fly the XR-1 in forward flight.

In June of 1943 Col. H.F. Gregory took the XR-1 up and proceeded to fly the XR-1 at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, and completed the first close course flight of the XR-1. By the summer of 1943 the XR-1 was flying with much better control, when on July 4, 1943 the XR-1 was damaged in a crack up due to the loss of a rotor blade, further slowing testing.


In October 1943 the second model XR-1A made its first flight, and was found to have better flying characteristics than the XR-1. Numerous flight tests were carried out and by June of 1944 the XR-1A was flown from Eddystone Pennsylvania, to Wright field in Dayton Ohio, passing through a dangerous mountain pass and flying through a long stretch of bad weather, during which the XR-1A encountered a grounded Sikorsky SR-4 along the way.

By August of 1944 rebuilt XR-1 was back in the air and slowly progress was made in solving the control problems, In March of 1945 just a few days after a new control system was installed that solved some the problems with longitudinal stability, the Air Corps cancelled all contracts with Platt-LePage, including seven additional YR-1A helicopters that were to be built.



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