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Frequently Asked Questions

List of Questions  (click a question for the answer)

  1. Is the HRH a true helicopter?
  2. What makes the HRH special?
  3. Is the HRH easy to fly?
  4. Does the HRH require a license to fly?
  5. How safe is the HRH?
  6. What are the specs of the HRH?
  7. What are the actual costs involved for building the HRH?
  8. How long does it take to build the HRH?
  9. Are kits and parts available for the HRH?
  10. What engines can be used?
  11. Can the HRH be converted to a 2-seater?
  12. Can the HRH be converted for use on water?

Answers to Above FAQs

Is the HRH a true helicopter?

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.

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What makes the HRH special?

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).

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Is the HRH easy to fly?

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 Vortech Books website.

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Does the HRH require a license and/or registration to operate?

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 http://www.faa.gov/

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How safe is the HRH?

The 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 pilot.
    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.

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What are the specs of the HRH?

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 additional specs.

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What are the actual costs involved in building the HRH?

The HRH can be built for less than the 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 want to sell it.

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How long does it take to build the HRH?

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.

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Are kits and parts available for the HRH?

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.

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What engines can be used on the HRH?

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.

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Can the HRH be converted to a 2-seater?

The HRH 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 plans.

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Can the HRH be converted for use on water?

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.

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Copyright © 2003  by Vortech, Inc. All rights reserved.



The HRH has won such prestigious awards as Sun 'n Fun's "Outstanding New Design" (2002) and EAA's East Coast Regional  Fly in's "Best Rotorcraft" (2001)


Vortech offers a set of plans for building the HRH in 2 affordable formats: full-size and reduced-size.


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Copyright © 2003 by Vortech, Inc. All rights reserved

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