Chappedelaine LeGyraptere


Fight for yor Right!
14 January 2007
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Hi all,

an early helicopter? project. (Source: Air Magazine 40)



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...and a drawing.


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Very interesting design and far ahead of similar ''inventions''.
Mr. de Chappedelaine also worked on a helicopter in the USA and what strikes me was the strong similarity in the fuselage lines. Reportedly this helicopter was built around 1946-1947 by or on behalf on American Die & Tool Company. It was a so called cold jet type with hollow rotor blades and engine driven compressor.
I never found out whether it was actually completed and/or flown and miss info on engine, dimensions etc.


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Interesting and unortodox concept!


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From Ailes 8/1947.


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HI everybody , i post my little contribution on Cheppedelaine La Puce


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It is difficult to find any serious information about this machine.

Starting with its name, it is often spelt "gyroptère", or very seldom "gyraptère" with a "A".
Gyraptère would be much more logical, since it is a flying machine without wings, hence "aptère" in French.
It would be interesting to find out which name Chappedelaine used.

Then, the machine itself: apparently Jean de Chapedelaine presented some sort of mockup or model at the salon de l'aéronautique de Paris in 1928 (Maveric's post #1 above). There is some unconvincing noise on the net about starting construction in 1933, but I haven't seen any serious reference of a completed machine, much less a photo.
According to Hesham's post #10 above, Chapedelaine received army subsidies in 1934 to research an "aérogyre using the Magnus effect". Without trace of any successful outcome.

Then, the next thing we find about Jean de Chapedelaine is that after WW2 he had emigrated to the USA and hooked up with American Die & Tool Company to produce in 1947 a demonstration model of a pure helicopter (not at all a gyraptère or Magnus effect machine), whose claimed innovation is the use of Venturi tube profiles within the thickness of the rotor blade (again Hesham's post #10).
This shows that he gave up on his original gyraptère idea, presumably because it did not work out in the 1930s. His Magnus idea too.
Further, we can infer that the Venturi-in-blade idea wasn't successful either.

It doesn't help that most of the references on the net are fakes or whatifs from modellers, wannabes and other manufacturers of false information. Makes that much more difficult to find any genuine facts.
A few lines if I may.

Jean de Chappedelaine or, to use his full name, Jean Marie Louis Olivier de Chappedelaine was born on 27 September 1893 at Le Mans. He served in the French artillery between August 1915 and September 1919.

De Chappedelaine began to think about a centrifugal force-based vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (VTOL) no later than 1921. His theory received a polite hearing at a June meeting of the Association française aérienne. As mentioned above, a model of his gyroptère, which he soon renamed gyraptère, with an A, as a result of some negative comments, was on display at the 1928 Salon d'aviation. The photo shows him with a working model of the lifting device he had developed.

As early as 1931, de Chappedelaine used the term turbavion to describe a project he was working on at the time. Whether or not the turbavion and the gyraptère were one and the same is uncertain but likely. Incidentally, de Chappedelaine was in Montréal, Québec, in 1931 and spoke to one or more journalists about his invention.

De Chappedelaine resurfaced in 1934 with an announcement that construction of a prototype of a Magnus force-based VTOL aircraft fitted with a rotor, known as the aérogyre, was under way in the shops of the Société anonyme des avions Caudron. Said prototype was developed in cooperation with a respected aeronautical engineer by the name of R.G. Desgrandschamps. De Chappedelaine's prototype actually got off the ground more than once (while tethered??) in the summer and early fall, if only briefly on each occasion. The aérogyre crashed in October 1934, killing its pilot, Roger Rigaud.

De Chappedelaine was in the United States in 1940 as part of a French mission when his country was invaded by Germany. In 1943, he began to work on a helicopter project whose rotor blades sucked in the boundary layer. Working in cooperation with Die and Tool, de Chappedelaine tested his idea using a scale model of his rotor. He went on to supervise the construction of a full scale proof of concept prototype. De Chappedelaine made a number of tethered flights on this machine. Sadly, the hub of the rotor failed during a test, throwing the blades against the walls of Die and Tool's factory. Lacking the resources to keep going on what it deemed to be a rather expensive project, Die and Tool decided to call it quits. Unable to keep going on his own, de Chappedelaine moved to Montréal, where he got a job at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

De Chappedelaine died on 23 February 1950, at age 56, in Cheboygan, Michigan. At the time, he may have called himself Count de Chappedelaine.

He was seemingly a cousin of Count Louis Marc Michel de Chappedelaine (1876-1939), a minister in various French governments between 1932 and 1939 (Merchant Marine (three times), Colonies and Navy).


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Fortrena, thank you very much for this very informative posts. It gives more anwers than I was hoping for. Really appreciated.
May I ask what your source is ?
This configuration reminds us of the United States Marine Corps' Small Tactical Air Mobility Program, an experimental VTOL aircraft based upon a Hughes 500 (aka. OH-6) cockpit and powered by Garrett engine. STAMP started with a contract in December 1972 and the prototype did its first tethered hover in December 1973. Garrett supplied the engine and up to a dozen engineers, who were directed from the USN Air Weapons Center at China Lake, California. The proof-of-concept prototype only did a few hover tests.
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This configuration reminds us of a US Military experimental VTOL aircraft based upon a Hughes 500 cockpit during the 1970s. It only did a few hover tests.
Hi Riggerrob:

Do you have any further information about such contraption?

Regards, Harry
This configuration reminds us of a US Military experimental VTOL aircraft based upon a Hughes 500 cockpit during the 1970s. It only did a few hover tests.
Wha t was it my dear Riggerrob ?.

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