Flying machine

Published: Monday 15 September 1997

An open-cockpit, single-seater helicopter has been developed jointly by Rhyme Co of Tokyo and Engineering System Co of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The helicopter is priced at US $20,000. No licence is required for flying the helicopter because it is not classified as an aircraft. With a pilot weighing 60 kg, the machine can cruise up to 12 hours. The 40 kg helicopter has four engines which has been fitted with a super light 2.8 kg, 125-cc engine. According to company sources, a pilot can make an emergency landing even if the two engines fail at the same time. The pilot sits on a chair slung below the rotating blades -- an arrangement known as strap on -- and changes the direction by manipulating two control sticks, fitted on either sides of the pilot. The machine's position can be adjusted by rotating the two blades in opposite directions. While flying the helicopter, pilots touch the ground with their feet during takeoff and landing.

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