Vertical Challenge: The Hiller Aircraft Story

Overview

Vertical Challenge: The Hiller Aircraft Story focuses on a helicopter industry pioneer. The most innovative of the four companies that achieved volume helicopter production during the 1940s, it was the only one located outside the eastern U.S., in northern California. Not only did Hiller Aircraft build the longest-produced piston-engine helicopter; it was also the source of many innovative alternatives to conventional helicopters - flying platforms, ramjet helicopters, and cargo-carrying VTOL ...
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More About This Book

Overview

Vertical Challenge: The Hiller Aircraft Story focuses on a helicopter industry pioneer. The most innovative of the four companies that achieved volume helicopter production during the 1940s, it was the only one located outside the eastern U.S., in northern California. Not only did Hiller Aircraft build the longest-produced piston-engine helicopter; it was also the source of many innovative alternatives to conventional helicopters - flying platforms, ramjet helicopters, and cargo-carrying VTOL (vertical-takeoff-and-landing) planes. Jay P. Spenser provides a highly readable combination of corporate history, technical history, and biography, tracing Hiller Aircraft through war and peace, depression and economic expansion, and final corporate closure. The company's founder and director, Stanley Hiller, Jr., was only nineteen years old when he made history with his XH-44, the first successful helicopter to use all-metal rigid rotor blades. Hiller's design skills and his stamina as a test pilot were considerable, and his corporate vision was pivotal in shaping the character and direction of his company. He attracted a remarkable team of engineers, test pilots, and business associates, creating a company noted for the boldness of its design concepts. Hiller Aircraft's legacy of new technologies remains out of all proportion to the company's relatively small size. The highly competitive nature of helicopter development is vividly portrayed. Hiller's brief World War II association with Henry J. Kaiser is detailed, as is the company's stand-alone course after 1945, during a time when the future of helicopter technology, in contrast to that of fixed-wing aircraft, was still uncertain. The civilian helicopter had scarcely emerged and military procurement programs were never guaranteed, thereby forcing all competitors in the U.S. market to ride a financial roller coaster. Hiller Aircraft's loss of the military contract for the LOH (Light Observation Helicopter) was a crucia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759633995
  • Publisher: Authorhouse
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.51 (d)

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