Gyrodyne XRON-1 “Rotorcycle”

Gyrodyne XRON-1 “Rotorcycle” at the New England Air Museum


Type:   Personal helicopter
Crew:   1
Length:   11' 5”
Height:   8'”
Rotor Diameter:   17'
Empty Weight:   430 lbs.
Gross Weight:   670 lbs.
Cruise Speed:   62 mph
Maximum Speed:   68 mph
Range:   60 mi.
Service Ceiling:   6,500'
Powerplant:   Porsche YO-95-2
Year:   1960
Serial No.:   4005
Location:   Civil Hangar

Gyrodyne, under contract from the U.S. Navy, produced a simple ultra-light, one-man co-axial (counter-rotating) rotor portable helicopter known as the XRON-1 “Rotorcycle.” It was also selected by the U.S. Marine Corps for evaluation as a reconnaissance and one-man assault helicopter.

An unusual feature of the XRON was the use of small rotortip-mounted drag brakes as an approach to the directional control and stability of coaxial rotor helicopters. The brakes turned the fuselage by unbalancing the torques of the counter-rotating rotors. The XRON was also designed to be flown by personnel with a minimum amount of training and it was extremely maneuverable.

The Navy then awarded Gyrodyne a contract to pursue modifications necessary to drone the XRON. This led to the development of the QH-50 DASH drone, of which the Museum has an example.

The Museum's XRON-1 is one of only a handful of examples that are known to exist.

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36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT, 06096