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Kellet XR-8

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
Type Autogyro
National origin United States
Manufacturer Kellett Autogiro Company
Maiden flight 7 August 1944
Primary user United States Army Air Force
Number built 2

The Kellett XR-8 was an autogyro built by the Kellett Autogiro Company near the end of World War II.


In World War II the United States Army Air Forces were looking for a rotorcraft to use as a reconnaissance vehicle. The Kellett Aircraft Corporation had established itself as a leading developer of rotorcraft for the U.S. military. The company, founded by W. Wallace Kellett hoped to develop the autogyro concept for this role.

The helicopter that Kellett designed was designated the XR-8 by the AAF. It looked like a giant egg with two rotors perched on top. When the rotors turned, they 'meshed' with a whisking action that quickly produced the nickname 'egg-beater.'

The autogyro design had several vibration problems that were not solved in time. Unfortunately for the company, the Army went with Igor Sikorsky's VS-300 helicopter design instead.

The XR-8 flew for the first time on August 7, 1944 with Dave Driscoll, Kellett's chief pilot, at the controls. The AAF donated the XR-8 that is now preserved in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum. This XR-8, AAF serial number 43-44714, was the first of two constructed and flown. Although a technical failure, it showed military rotorcraft planners a direction not to follow in the development of bigger and better helicopters.[citation needed]


General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 28 ft 8 in (8.74 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 65 ft 0 in (19.81 m)
  • Height: ()
  • Empty weight: 3,012 kg (6,640 lb.) ()


See also

Comparable aircraft


External links

Template:USAF helicopters

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kellet XR-8".