Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the HRH a true helicopter?
- What makes the HRH special?
- Is the HRH easy to fly?
- Does the HRH require a license to fly?
- How safe is the HRH?
- What are the specs of the HRH?
- What are the actual costs involved for building the HRH?
- How long does it take to build the HRH?
- Are kits and parts available for the HRH?
- What engines can be used?
- Can the HRH be converted to a 2-seater?
- Can the HRH be converted for use on water?
Yes! The HRH is a true helicopter in every
sense and flies exactly like its larger cousins, with vertical take-off and landing, hovering,
plus forward, backward and
sideward flight. Also, its sophisticated control system is exactly the same as any
other helicopter, with full collective and cyclic control and a
foot-pedal-operated antitorque tail rotor for turns.
The HRH is well beyond the design, performance and
reliability parameters of virtually any other helicopter of its kind. The reasons are extensive:
The use of a powerful (165 hp) 4-cycle, 4-cylinder engine rather than the small
2-cycle, 2-cylinder engine of other designs. A shaft-driven tail rotor—not belt
driven. Long-life, state-of-the-art composite main rotor blades. A large (18
gallon) fuel tank for extended range. Full electrical system, permitting
addition of lighting, avionics, heaters, etc. Plus much much more (see list of
features on the Home Page).
As with any aircraft, learning the control system of the HRH
requires training. Once learned, the functions are intuitive: lift the collective lever
to ascend, lower it to descend; push the joystick forward to fly forward,
backward to fly backward, sideward to fly sideward; press the right pedal to
turn right, the left to turn left. This is of course a simplification and, as
with any vehicle, mastery requires practice. Helicopter flight training is a
must, although ultimate mastery of the control system will come with time and
practice. We also recommend studying various
books on the subject, such as those at the
Yes. It is classified under
Federal Aviation Regualtion (FAR) 20-27E, which pertains to the registration of
Experimental Aircraft. The pilot would obtain a Recreational Pilot
Certificate—the basic license for the flight of an Experimental Aircraft. Such a
license is not difficult to acquire and the student can begin flying with an
instructor and a Student Pilot License. For further details, obtain a copy of FAR Part 61.
You can obtain copies of the various FARs from the FAA (Federal
Aviation Administration), which is listed in the blue pages of most
phonebooks under U.S. Government, Transportation Department; or go to
HRH has been extensively tested and fine-tuned. In the event of
engine failure, the HRH is capable of autorotating to a safe landing.
Thus, while the helicopter itself has been designed to be as reliabile and safe
as possible, the ultimate issue of safety lies in the hands of the builder and
FAA statistics indicate that the overwhelming number of
accidents occur due to pilot error, which is often a failure of common sense:
not taking the time to master the control system before attempting free flights;
not performing pre-flight checks; flying too close to trees, buildings or powerlines; not properly maintaining and servicing all components; attempting unsafe
flight maneuvers, etc. As long as you take time to learn the control system of
the HRH, always perform preflight checks of the entire craft and use
common sense in choosing where to fly and what flight maneuvers to perform, you
will maximize your safety and minimize any dangers.
Detailed specs are provided on the
Home Page. To
quickly summarize, the craft measures 7' 3" high, 20' long and 5' 6" wide.
The rotor diameter is 25' and the chord is 8". Empty weight is about 1000
lbs., max. payload 350 lbs and max. gross
weight 1,350 lbs. The HRH will cruise at up to 90 mph and reach a speed
of 103 mph (115 VNE). Please refer to the Home Page for
The HRH can be built for less
price of a good
sports car. The final cost to build the
HRH depends on your sources of supply and the extent to which you do your
own fabrication. A typical cost estimate, including engine, is around $25,000.
The cost would be higher if you pay
to have parts made or purchase pre-fabricated parts and components. When
considering cost, bear in mind that the award-winning HRH, unlike most
homebuilt helicopters, is a world-class, cross-country design using a reliable
4-stroke engine. Also, a
well-constructed HRH would have a high re-sale value—if you would ever
to sell it.
This is an individual matter. Once all the materials are
gathered together, two people could fully construct the HRH in as little
as 4 months or so. A single individual might require 6 months or longer if spending a
few hours after work during the week plus several hours a day on weekends.
Many of the parts are now available
for the HRH, including such major components as the control head, the rotor
blades and engine. Also, Vortech hopes to offer kits and components
in the foreseeable future. Purchase of a kit or parts would, of course save considerable
time in the construction of the HRH as compared to the fabrication of
parts and components from raw materials. A list of parts suppliers is included
in the construction plans, and information on kits/components through Vortech will be
posted at this website when available.
The engine of choice for the HRH is a Subaru
EJ-25. This engine, which produces 165 hp, is available at a relatively low
cost and has proven, in hundreds of hours of flight, to be extremely reliable.
Other features of the Subaru include: all-aluminum
construction; water-cooling, with tight tolerances; horizontally opposed
configuration; fuel-injection; crank-and-cam-fired ignition; highest
power-to-weight ratio of virtually any other engine on the market. Vortech does not recommend use of any other engine. Although turbine engines
have recently become popular, their short life, high fuel consumption and high cost of replacement make
them undesirable for practical use.
has been specifically designed as a single-seater and attempting to convert this
to a two-seater is neither practical nor safe. A
two-seat helicopter is more than just a single-seater with another seat. There are
rather complex issues to consider, such as disk and power loading, center of
gravity, balance, stresses, and so on, all of which are beyond the scope of the
Theoretically, with the use of pontoons the HRH
can be adapted to take-off from and land on water. However, since the craft has
never been equipped or tested for this use, no additional information is
available through Vortech.
Copyright © 2003 by Vortech, Inc. All rights reserved.