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Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem!

(Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...


1996 - 2026


Kirt Blattenberger


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RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Gyrenes Pocket Copter

May 1957 American Modeler

May 1957 American Modeler

May 1957 American Modeler Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

This Hiller Helicopters XROE-1 "Rotor-cycle" looks a lot like the Bensen Gyrocopters that seemed to be in every magazine in the 1960s and 1970s (including this May 1957 American Modeler edition), either as a feature story or in the advertisements in the back. A couple James Bond movies even featured them as high-tech, futuristic flying machines. The U.S. military experimented for a while with the personal gyrocopter concept for surveillance and search and rescue operations, but it never really went anywhere. Remote-controlled drones do a lot of that work these days. Significant improvements have been made in airworthiness over the years and now there are many personal gyrocopters in use around the world - both homebuilt and commercially built.

Gyrenes Pocket Copter

Gyrenes Pocket Copter (fuselage), May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets

Photos and text by Howard Levy

U. S. Navy reveals the Hiller XROE-1 "Rotor-cycle" made its first flight. XROE-1 is small, lightweight 1-man helicopter that collapses into small package for ease of transportation or parachute drop, then can be reassembled by one man in less than 10 minutes.

Like Gyrodyne's XRON-1 which flew in November 1955, Hiller's "Rotorcycle" is powered by a Nelson 4-cylinder opposed, two-cycle, aircooled engine developing 40-hp. Empty weight of craft is less than 250-lbs. XROE-1 has single 18-ft diameter main rotor and small anti-torque tail rotor on tubular boom. Stabilizing horizontal airfoil section (probably ground-adjustable) is also mounted on boom. The pilot sits on bicycle type seat with engine at his back. "Landing gear" is a tubular tripod with pilot's foot pedals mounted on front leg.

Ex-modeler Hiller has apparently made some changes in his rotor system since it appears that the servo paddles are no longer attached directly to the rotor hub. Servo rotor is probably free to flap independently of the main hub and the relative motion causes cyclic pitch changes in the main rotor, which in turn causes hub tilt. "Rotorcycle" was developed under Navy Bureau of Aeronautics contract for Marines who will use craft for observation, liaison, and small unit tactical maneuvers.


Gyrenes Pocket Copter, May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets       Gyrenes Pocket Copter (in flight), May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets

Gyrenes Pocket Copter (transmission), May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets       Gyrenes Pocket Copter (rotor head), May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets

Gyrenes Pocket Copter (4-cylinder engine), May 1957 American Modeler Magazine - Airplanes and Rockets



Posted June 15, 2021
(updated from original post on 6/9/2013)

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