In 1970, Vertical Aviation Technologies’ (VAT) corporate ancestor Orlando Helicopter Airways introduced the Sikorsky S-55-based Heli-Camper, fully carpeted and soundproofed, with a pull-out awning, hot and cold running water, refrigerator, stove, shower, toilet, air conditioning, tinted windows and a bar. It slept four, was FAA certified and marketed by Winnebago.
Now, Florida-based VAT, having developed its Sikorsky S-52-based Hummingbird kit-copter since 1991, is seeking a strategic partner to produce an updated, certified version of the smaller 1940s/50s-vintage S-52. VAT has manufactured an experimental kit version derived from that aircraft under the name Hummingbird since 1991 after acquiring the engineering and flight-test data, as well as drawings from Sikorsky in 1987. If VAT President Brad Clark can locate a suitable partner and capital, he plans to target the commercial market with the rotorcraft.
The new version “has been redesigned with modifications, new technology, new materials, and processes, notably in terms of safety and performance,” according to the company. According to the company website, “The engineers at Vertical Aviation Technologies continue to develop new and innovative products to offer its customers. VAT looks forward to the future and to all of the new products it will be introducing to the world.”
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