back to article DARPA's Heliplane retrocopter project in trouble

Efforts by Pentagon tech chiefs to revive a long-neglected rotary wing aircraft type appear to have stalled, as the main contractor announced financial problems and sweeping layoffs. Groen Brothers Aviation (GBA), the company undertaking the "Heliplane" programme, revealed the extent of its difficulties in a statement at the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I recall the Rotodyne was very noisy when the engines were ignited, but not much noisier than a regular helicopter once up and running. The design team were certainly in the process of making further silencing changes when the project was cancelled.

    Rotodyne, Blue Streak, VC10, TSR2, Emma Peel and Thunderbirds - just how cool was Britain in the 1960s?

  2. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Hut 42 Area 51 .......... HotXXXXSunSpot Read Red Zone.

    Looks and sounds like a First Class Private Business Flying Machine with Virtual Proxy Stealth Controls, which is bound to be AIdDARPA Business Interest.

    Perceptions Management Control Interests......with BeMusements Clarified Perfectly. Using Military Brains to Server and Protect Innovative Business Interests will Destroy the War Franchise .... Its very Own Cancer.

  3. /\/\j17

    re: Rotodyne

    Noise was the Rotodyne's biggest problem.

    All efforts go in to making aircraft as quiet as possible on and near the ground (it upsets the locals) but who cares how much noise you make at 35,000ft.

    Sadly the Rotodyne design makes more noise on/near the ground that at any other time. But then having 4 compressed air nozzels venting to atmosphear at the tip of each rotor is never going to be THAT quiet!

    If anyone is interested you can still see the rotodyne prototype at the International Helicopter Museum ( well, what's left of it...a fuselage loop about 4ft long.

  4. Ceilidhman
    Black Helicopters

    Available only in black

    Much better kit is already out there and working. The Carter Copter lands and takes off vertically, can do 450mph, achieves mu=1 and looks goddam cool as well. check out: they even have vids of it in action.

    Mine's the white one with the furry dice

  5. Andy Bright

    I don't understand

    I don't understand why they contracted this out. Surely the answer was to purloin some more alien technology. Just ask the CIA to shoot down another spaceship, only this time go for one with spinny things on the top.

  6. Steven Knox

    Talk about redundancies!

    "a reduction in force that reduces its employee work force"

    PS. Why can't the comment form remember that I don't want it to remember me on this computer? ; )

  7. Alexander Franceschi


    So isn't this more or less just another modern reinterpretation of the X-Wing (aka Sikorsky S-72)?

  8. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Gates Halo

    Colossal XXXXStream Memes.....AILive Show

    "I don't understand why they contracted this out. Surely the answer was to purloin some more alien technology. Just ask the CIA to shoot down another spaceship, only this time go for one with spinny things on the top." ..... By Andy Bright

    Posted Monday 2nd June 2008 19:17 GMT

    Sure can't fault the Logic in that Submission, Andy. And who would lay any such Claim to an Alien Fleet with Advanced Technologies Morphing into Methodologies?....auka Global Operating Devices [also universely known as]

    And the Bill God Icon because there's money aplenty to be Made and Shared for Spending on IT...... IPCurrent Energising Currency Flow/Markets Action.

  9. alan

    Thunderbirds are Go!

    Forget all these new-fangled designs - simply get some jump-cables on Thunderbird 2 and you're sorted.

    Mines the blue jacket with the gold sash....

  10. StopthePropaganda
    Thumb Up

    Not Dead yet!

    merely sleeping!

    The problem is that the majority of tech companies involved with DARPA, or any government "stimulus" (like all the so-called "green" tech and electric car companies of Algorean ilk) are *not* about making or researching a product or technology-their company exists for the sole purpose of *obtaining Government money*. No other reason. So when there's not enough windfall being stolen from taxpayers' pockets, the company decides it's not profitable to keep up the sham. It then "goes away" and the principals involved recreate another "company" to cash in on the next ill-advised porkbarrel project ("green energy", "security", recycling, whatever).

    However, if a technology actually has real promise, someone somewhere will create a company to sell it:

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