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Dennis Fetters Mini 500

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Old June 21st 04, 09:36 PM
Dennis Fetters
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B2431 wrote:
Why? I'm not taking sides here, but you did duck the question I asked a few
days ago. Why did the mini 500 not have autorotation?

Dan, U.S. Air Force, retired

I'm sorry Dan, I didn't duck any question intentionally. If you asked
it, I don't recall you asking me directly or I would have answered.

The Mini-500 has excellent autorotation characteristics. Better than
most helicopters. In fact, we would demonstrate autorotations at the air
shows starting from hundreds of feet high or starting at ten's of feet
high, followed by an unusual slow decent of 45 mph and completing in a
zero slideon landings. In fact, the Mini-500 had such a good combination
of inertia, blade efficiency and low drag drive system that we
demonstrated hovering autorotations from as high as 15 feet at air shows.

Congratulations to Space ship one. The real door to space is open.


Dennis Fetters

In that case how could a sudden engine stop cause a crash? Last I heard
helicopter training includes autorotations.

Dan, U.S. Air Force, retired

That is correct Dan, all proper and full training includes
autorotations. If you are referring to the crash that involved the
university professor, I can only guess what happened. First, he modified
the horizontal stabilizer, which is very important for interring a
proper autorotation. But, I couldn't say if that was a factor or not. It
could be as simple as he didn't enter into a proper autorotation, or he
failed to enter into one at all. The only real known fact is the
helicopter did not enter an autorotation for one reason or another, but
the Mini-500 can perform autorotations if the pilot commands it to do
so, and if it dose not have any modifications that would affect it from
doing so.


Dennis Fetters


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