Herrick HV2A Convertoplane, 1936 - (scan - 1984)

This odd aircraft had a symmetrical top wing that could rotate. The idea was to have the STOL characteristics of the autogiro with the advantages of a fixed wing (speed and less drag) while cruising.

Gerald Herrick conceived idea of convertible aircraft based on rotor that could be fixed in flight or selectively released to allow "conversion" from conventional biplane into autogiro. After much wind tunnel experimentation, designed symmetrical airfoil (rotor) mounted as upper wing of a biplane on a strong central rotor pylon--permitted airfiol to be adjusted for aerodynamic control. In essence, upper wing was rigid 2- bladed rotor that converted into single cantilever wing. Could be tilted as it spun, thus, with symmetrical airfoil, presenting same shape to relative wind throughout rotation. Earlier Herrick aircraft, Vertoplane, flew initially Nov 31. Was a frail-looking aircraft powered by a tiny 3-cylinder Poyer engine of 48 hp. First flown as conventional biplane with long upper rotor fixed in position. Later flown as autogiro. When ready for take-off, rotor shaft would have a long rope wrapped about it, a group of men ran with the rope thus spinning the rotor much as a lawn mower is started. With rotor spinning, aircraft would accelerate and lift off as an autogiro.

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