Southend-based Intora-Firebird launched a new mini-helicopter design this week using high-grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) fuel to propel small jets located at the rotor tips.
The Essex-based firm has developed three versions of the tiny helicopter: a single or two seater and an unmanned air vehicle (UAV).
Intora-Firebird said it can be configured for civil and military use. The UAV version would be controlled from a ground station by microwave, video or data links.
The company said the Intora-Firebird demands minimal training. Intora-Firebird claims the chopper can be flown ‘after only 30 minutes’ instruction’.
It takes just a couple of seconds for the H2O2 to be pumped from fuel tanks into the jets where a catalyst converts it into super-heated steam and oxygen. The thrust is equivalent to that of a 220lb (100kg), 100hp aircraft engine. The Firebird has a speed of 160kph, can climb at 650m per minute and cruise for 30 minutes.
The rotor is controlled by a torque-free system called Monotrol, in which an arm is moved in the direction the pilot or ground operator wants to fly.
When in UAV mode, the Monotrol is actuated by electronic cylinders.