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Author Topic: Bensen's Gyros  (Read 10630 times)

Offline Skyblazer

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Bensen's Gyros
« on: June 28, 2010, 05:37:11 am »
B-1    Bensen's first gyrokite design, done under G.E., made of mixed wood-metal construction using a "teetering rotor"
B-2    developed under General Electric, no details
B-3    found as the "Bensen-General Electric B-3", no data
B-4    SKY-SCOOTER project developed under General Electric, US Navy HEPARS (High Efficiency Propulsion And Rotor System) (1955)
B-5    GYRO-GLIDER, single-seat rotor-kite towed into the air at around 30km/h; obtained its lift by the flow of air over its autorotating rotor (1953)
B-6    GYRO-GLIDER, development of B-5
?    MID-JET, a miniature single-seater helicopter for use in the Navy, using the rotor of the R-6 (1954)
B-7    GYRO-GLIDER, further development of B-5 (1955)
B-7    HYDRO-GLIDER (first model); used wing tip floats from a Republic 'SEABEE'
B-7    HYDRO-GLIDER (production model); featured a round tube airframe and three homebuilt plywood floats which produced less spray
and drag on the water than the original V-bottom floats
B-7M    GYRO-COPTER, powered autogyro versions of the auto-kite
B-7MC    no details
B-8    GYRO-GLIDER, development of B-5/-6/-7 series; more sturdy construction; available as a factory-built machine or in kit form for amateur construction
B-8B    GYRO-BOAT, unpowered flying dinghy for towing by motorboat, boat-type hull, twin outrigged stabilising floats (1956)
B-8B   GYRO-BOAT, version replaced the overhead stick with a conventional rigged joystick
B-8   SUPER BUG, advanced version of standard B-8M with twin-engine installation to spin up rotor prior to take-off (1971)
B-8HD   GYRO-COPTER, based on SUPER BUG design, used hydraulic drive to feed about 4hp from engine to rotor (1979)
B-8M   GYRO-COPTER, motorized version available as a factory built machine or in a kit form for amateur construction (1957)
B-8MA   AGRI-COPTER, agricultural version fitted with a hopper
B-8MH   HOVER-GYRO, hovering gyro-copter; water-cooled outboard engine driving lower of 2 rotors; upper one autorotates (1976)
B-8MVN   no data
B-8V   GYRO-COPTER, version of B-8M with a 1600cc Volkswagen engine
B-8W   HYDRO-COPTER, twin-float version of the B-8M; also found as B-8MW
?   GYROCOPTER, X-25A (X-25 DDV) test vehicle based on B-8, part of USAF’s Discretionary Descent Vehicle (DDV) program (1968)
?   GYROCOPTER, X-25B (X-25 DDV) test vehicle, converted to power from a gyro-glider and was first to fly (1968)
B-9   LITTLE ZIPSTER, light-weight single-seat helicopter with a 60 or 70hp Mercury engine and twin 2-blade coaxial rotors (1958)
B-10   PROPCOPTER, VTOL tandem-rotor flying platform; boxy frame with 4-ft. props mounted vertically on front and back (1958)
B-11   GYROCOPTER, all-metal upgrade of B-8H with 72hp McCulloch was powered by six independent kart engines
B-11M   KOPTER-KART, apparently the same plane redesignated
B-12   MAGIC CARPET (SKY-MAT), manned flying platform for possible ag operations, made of aluminum framework, 10 engines (1961)
B-13   70hp Mercury outboard motor marketed kit version, first flew on March 4, 1963 (1963)
B-14   helicopter with a more efficient engine-propeller combination generating up to 420 lbs. of thrust
B-15   no data
B-16A   GYROCOPTER, two-seater was, in effect, two B-8M Gyrocopters bolted side by side; 24-foot four-blade rotor (1970)
B-16B      twin snowmobile engine, fitted on tri-skis, two 48-inch overlapping propellers, driven independently
B-17   no data
B-18   helicopter, no data
B-19   GYRO-GLIDER, latest kit version of the 'Gyro-Glider' series
B-20   GYRO-KOPTER, engined version of B-19, may be powered by as little as 45 hp (e.g. Rotax 503) or as much as 70 hp
?   FLYING TRACTOR, no information; perhaps another name for prototype B-12 agricultural flying platform

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Bensen's Gyros
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2010, 07:37:22 am »
Some pictures:
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 07:41:59 am by Stargazer2006 »

Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Bensen's Gyros
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 09:28:36 am »
While researching old issues of American Helicopter, I came across this, probably the earliest type ever called a "Gyroglider". It is from the January 1947 issue and is described as "the wingless G.-E. GYROGLIDER developed at General Electric's new Flight Test Center". Sorry for the poor quality of the image, which was found on the web, not scanned. Second pic of the same is from an unidentified 1946 magazine. More research indicates that this was the Bensen B-2, and that two aircraft were built, registered NX60054 and NX60055 (although there is no indication if the second one was also a B-2 or if it was the B-3).

Offline boxkite

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Re: Bensen's Gyros
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 12:46:13 pm »
A little bit off-topic: The woman sitting in the Mid-Jet is Betty Skelton (-> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Skelton_Erde ), the 'First Lady of Firsts'.

Offline Stingray

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Re: Bensen's Gyros
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2012, 03:16:06 pm »
B-16B      twin snowmobile engine, fitted on tri-skis, two 48-inch overlapping propellers, driven independently

Popular Mechanics also calls it the B-16S.

It's powered by two 45hp Kiekhaefer snowmobile engines. The closely-spaced side-by-side props overlap, but are offset just enough to provide safe clearance. Cruising speed is 70 to 85 mph.

Semi-enclosed nose cowling is a snowmobile hood that can tilt forward for easy access. Landing gear includes steerable nose wheel, can be replaced with floats or skis.

From Popular Mechanics, Dec. 1973:

Online Nico

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Re: Bensen's Gyros
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 12:10:02 am »
Hi all,
searching my old notebooks I found some indications about Bensen projects, unfortunately without any information about sources or other specifications:
For Mid-jet I have Model B
for Hydro-Glider I have B-7W
about the floataircraft models I found those designations:
B-8W Hydro-Glider
B-8MW Hydro-Copter
B-8MP became B-11 Gyro-Copter
The X-25 was described also as B-8M
For the B-8M I have also the name Super Bug, then I found a B-16S (Snow? Sky?) and a B-8MJ Gyro-Copter.


Nico