Friday, May 4, 2018

Japan - Haji USAF Gyrodyne XRON-1 Rotorcycle

This odd looking aircraft was built by the Gyrodyne Corporation of America under contract by the Navy with the intention of being deployed on destroyers. They were meant to carry one small torpedo or be used as unmanned drones. Utilizing coaxial rotors and an open framework it first flew in 1955. It was also being developed for the Marines who eventually decided it was too heavy and too difficult to fly and canceled the project. The Navy on the other hand liked its small size and load carrying capacity and continued development. The Navy went on to designate it as the QH-50 but changes mandated by the service essentially killed the program and by 1961 all testing had stopped.

Courtesy Wikipedia

In typical toy company fashion, the Haji Gyrodyne sports incorrect markings. Gyrodyne's were never flown by the Air Force, but for whatever reason they chose to have this thing piloted by a U.S. Air Force pilot vs. a Navy pilot. The toy is decent enough representation of the real thing that a helicopter enthusiast would recognize its lineage having the contra-rotating props, rotorless tail, and open framework of the original XRON-1. Unfortunately my example's pilot is missing his right arm on which the control stick was attached.  The two propellers do turn in opposite directions but my sample seems to work better when the friction motor is being pushed backwards! From tip of rotor to the the tail it measures 9 1/4" (23.49cm) L. The 'fuselage' is 5 1/2" (13.97cm) L x 2 1/8" (5.39cm) W and the overall height is 7" (17.78cm). Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Posed here on my new shelf display with other Air Force toys - might as well stick with the Air Force theme the toy company chose

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