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Takekoputa
October 25, 2005 1:18 AM   Subscribe

Gen H-4 The world smallest co-axial helicopter (Japanese site) with video here [wmv]. {via}
posted by tellurian (29 comments total)

 
I want one!
posted by adzm at 1:36 AM on October 25, 2005


Go go gadget copter!
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:54 AM on October 25, 2005


Whoa, I so want one of those.

People would build cities around those things...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:03 AM on October 25, 2005


Considering the driving skills, stupidity, and respect that 90% of motorists display everyday, I can only shudder at the prospect of experiencing this in 3 dimensions one day...
posted by uncle harold at 3:04 AM on October 25, 2005


Just one question: If the sucker flames out, can you autorotate it safely?
posted by alumshubby at 3:28 AM on October 25, 2005


Finally! The future has arrived.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:12 AM on October 25, 2005


Finally! The future has arrived.

It has? Where's my flying car then?
posted by bap98189 at 4:25 AM on October 25, 2005


Cool. I was going to buy a motorcycle, then I saw this...

Any japanese-reading person willing to give us a few facts?

What's the top speed on this thing? Service ceiling? Range?
posted by spazzm at 4:42 AM on October 25, 2005


Okay, the {via} link says the top speed is 90 km/h, sorry.

My other questions (and alumshubby's) are still valid.
posted by spazzm at 4:51 AM on October 25, 2005


Screw transport vehicles - why clog the air /ground when we should be developing Star Trek's device?
posted by yoga at 5:24 AM on October 25, 2005


I would think it would be able to land safely if things went wrong. That's a feature of almost all helicopters and autogyros. But I'm just guessing/hoping.

Another question is - given how small it is, and the limited amount of fuel it carry, how long can it stay up?

Also, add me to the list of people who want one. Perfect stocking stuffer.
posted by Devils Slide at 5:51 AM on October 25, 2005


What a great idea! What could possibly go wrong?

I would think it would be able to land safely if things went wrong.

I would laugh uncontrollably, but I'm at work.
posted by odinsdream at 6:22 AM on October 25, 2005


People would build cities around those things...

Just like the Segway!!
posted by goatfish at 6:30 AM on October 25, 2005


Even assuming it could autorotate to a survivable landing, do you expect that you'll always be over a nice open empty field? Show me some video of somebody plunging through power lines or into traffic, or grazing a pole, tree or building such that the blades impact it (there goes your autorotation). And how fast would your descent be even under ideal conditions? At, say, a very generous 20mph you wouldn't touch down lightly on your feet, you'd hit hard and this rig would keep going; what would it be like to tumble on the ground with this thing still whirling away? Or, as is most likely given our land use distribution, tumble through a parking lot?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:35 AM on October 25, 2005


chopchopchopchopchopchop
posted by uncle harold at 6:45 AM on October 25, 2005


I've seen smaller:


posted by delmoi at 7:26 AM on October 25, 2005


Frog, meet helicopter.

posted by soiled cowboy at 7:41 AM on October 25, 2005


Tubes, people...TUBES! Get to work on the tube technology!
posted by NationalKato at 8:05 AM on October 25, 2005


Okay, the {via} link says the top speed is 90 km/h, sorry.

yeah, but that's 90km with no stoplights, traffic, or people to deal with. And if someone annoys you, you can hock a loogey on them and fly away.
posted by mecran01 at 8:07 AM on October 25, 2005


alumshubby : "If the sucker flames out, can you autorotate it safely?"

I have no idea what the question means, and hence no idea what the answer means, but I have years of experience translating things I don't understand, so here you go:
The unit cannot be autorotated.
The GEN H-4's blades are semifixed.
In order to maintain balance, the unit uses a redrag hinge, but it is not designed to change pitch. As such, even if autorotation is initiated, the final flare cannot be performed, preventing safe landing.
However, autorotation landings in other helicopters is also considered extremely difficult. In an emergency situation, instead of using autorotation, we are planning for a projection parachute to be used for emergency landings.
Devils Slide : "how long can it stay up?"
This varies greatly based on the weight of the pilot. It also varies based on temperature, air pressure, and altititude. Our tests in Nagano have been of 10 minute flights. The unit can fly continuously for 30 minutes.
spazzm : "Service ceiling? Range?"
I couldn't find anything about the service ceiling. Still looking.
Regarding range, based on the quote above (max flight time of 30 minutes), and the top speed quoted earlier, range would be ≦45 km.
posted by Bugbread at 8:38 AM on October 25, 2005


I'm now pretty sure there is no info on the site about the service ceiling.
posted by Bugbread at 9:40 AM on October 25, 2005


I'm with uncle harold. Most people cannot navigate safely in two dimensions; God help us if we release them into three.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:54 AM on October 25, 2005


Thanks bugbread.

The range is enough for a a commute, at least.
The autorotation issue is a bit worrying, but as they say, a projection parachute would solve that.
Still, I'd take the risk.
posted by spazzm at 2:31 PM on October 25, 2005


Yeah, thanks bugbread.

what would it be like to tumble on the ground with this thing still whirling away?

Then it would double as a lawn mower.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:33 PM on October 25, 2005


What is autorotate? Are you suggesting a helicopter doesn't fall to the ground like a rock if its engine fails?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:42 PM on October 25, 2005


Wow. That is what you're suggesting. I had no idea that was possible.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:49 PM on October 25, 2005


I've got an english site now.
Q : What if an engine quits?
A : The stopped engine simply falls out of sequence and flight continues. Each engine is independent with its own ignition, starter, and clutch making simultaneous loss of all four engines very unlikely.

Oh! and it's $30,000.
posted by tellurian at 11:59 PM on October 25, 2005


year 2000, eh. When will they actually produce some?
posted by polyglot at 12:23 AM on October 26, 2005


$30,000? Holy moly.

I guess quadruple independent engines with chrome cylinders and magnesium cranks aren't cheap.

And I guess that they figure that if every tom, dick and harry has one the airspace will be clogged.

But stil...

*starts saving*
posted by spazzm at 3:11 PM on October 26, 2005


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