The Beija-Flor is a two-seat helicopter, which was designed in 1956 and built to the initial design of Professor Heinrich Focke at the Centre Tecnico de Aeronautica at the military research and overhaul centre at Sao Jose dos Campos.
The forward-located 225hp Continental E225 engine drives the main and tail rotors through a centrifugal clutch and a David Brown lorry worm and wheel. The main rotor incorporates a mechanical-hydraulic automatic stabilising mechanism which reduces flapping to zero in the pitch direction. Roll control is provided by normal "swash-plate" movement. Pitch and yaw control is provided by the unique V-type intermeshing twin tail rotor which also serves to incline the main rotor plane for forward flight. An open structure tubular steel tail boom carried a pair of tail surfaces and a small tail rotor.
The material used in the construction of the helicopter is almost entirely of national origin and this has unavoidably led to an excessive weight.
The Beija-Flor is the first helicopter to be designed, built and flown in Brazil and was first flown on 1 January 1959 by Colonel Aldo Vieira da Rosa, a Brazilian Air Force officer and director of the Instituto de Pesquisas e Desenvolvimento da Aeronautica.
The first flights concentrated on a preliminary assessment of control and stability. It was damaged in an accident and it is thought that further work on the Beija Flor was then abandoned.
Main rotor diameter: 9.0m
Overall length: 8.43m
Height over rotor hub: 3.15m
Weight loaded: 950kg
Max speed at sea level: 150km/h
Cruise speed for max range: 130km/h
Cruise speed (75% power): 140km/h
Max rate of climb: 370m/min
Service ceiling: 3500m
Max ceiling: 3750m
Hover ceiling with ground effect: 2700m
Hover ceiling without ground effect: 1400m
Range at best cruise speed: 270km
Max endurance: 3h