Back Aerospace General "Mini-Copter"
1978

Mini-Copter

The "Mini-Copter" was intended originally for air- dropping to a pilot who had been forced down behind enemy lines or in terrain unsuited to conventional rescue. It is currently being evaluated by the US Army in an Individual Tactical Air Vehicle (ITAV) role in three configurations:

  • Configuration 1 is the basic version with no landing gear and the fuel tanks and control/rotor unit strapped to the pilot;

  • Configuration 2 consists of a welded steel tube structure carrying the control/ rotor unit and fuel tanks, and providing a seat for the pilot;

  • Configuration 3 is generally similar to the latter but has the addition of a 67kW McCulloch flat-four engine. This model takes off as a helicopter using its two 19kg Aerospace General rocket motors (one on the tip of each main rotor blade) but at 48kph forward speed the tip units are turned off and the aircraft flies as an autogyro using the McCulloch engine.

M.Taylor "Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation", 1989

Mini-Copter 1

Mini-Copter 1

Comments 
steve wallace, sewlaw23=yahoo.com, 25.07.2012

My father, Colonel Bruce E. Wallace was a friend of Mr. McGill and was an intermediary with a fellow from Switzerland. I believe his name was Louie Keller. Mr. Keller left my father a stock certificate. After my father passed, my mother threw it away. I don't know if Mr. Keller is still alive, but I would like to get in touch with him or someone who knows about his businesses. If you can help me with a contact, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,

Steve Wallace

shoes, mosan.kii=yahoo.uk, 14.06.2011

Maybe he has taken up the project.

Sedrick DeCoud, 3rdheadquarters=gmail.com, 22.11.2010

I have always wanted one of those one man mini copters. Please send any updated material you may have regarding your products. Thank you!

Albert Klettke, aklettke=shaw.ca, 17.11.2010

I was involved with mini-copters inc. in Saginaw Tx., where they also had this little ship. Glbert was stil alive in the beginning but died while working there. Jerry Alexander was the pilot there as well as in Louisiana and before in Odessa TX. Both Gilbert and Jerry died while working there. The original helicopter was damaged when a blade separated. There was a Swiss fellow involved in the beginning but left the company along the way. Maybe he has taken up the project.
I had the Hiller Xroe-1 there at the time.

hou, houxiaohui=yahoo.com, 08.06.2010

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Donny Hallmark, donnyhallmark=yahoo.com, 10.05.2010

My Grandpa was involved with this project. I would like any pictures or information that anyone has on it. Mr. Stacks I will buy a video from you if you will email me at donnyhallmark@yahoo.com.

Bob Parrish, suppliers=comcast.net, 28.02.2010

I was Gil McGill's CPA and the Aerospace General for many years while he was in Odessa, Texas. It was a 'fun' project. It would be fun to find some of the promotional literature, brochures, etc. If anyone has access to them please email me. I have now contacted the pilot participating in this blog. COOL!

Erik Bengtsson, erik=peroxidepropulsion.com, 16.11.2009

The Intora Firebird helicopter is flying again - in Switzerland!
They have re-named it Dragonfly.
See www.peroxidepropulsion.com/news/

Ronald R. Stacks, rrstacks=sbcglobal.net, 26.05.2009

I have a military video of this unit flying at Fort Brag, North Carolina and some video from the television station in Odessa, Texas that i will sell for $10.00 per DVD if interested. The Bragg video is professionally done and the local TV video is un-edited.

Ron Stacks

Ron Stacks, rrstacks=sbcglobal.net, 22.05.2009

Having been the last one to fly Mr. McGill's copter, the last I have been able to track the machine I had experience with was in Dallas, Texas. If anyone has a contact for the current owner, I would be interested in purchasing it for a flight museum in Dallas.

Last condition was wrecked. (I was driving) at the Baton Rouge airport in Louisiana.

Ron Stacks

Dennis, dwknittel=dmacc.edu, 04.05.2009

Are plans available for the MC-8? I am very interested in building one. Also do you have any idea how much one would cost to build?
Thank you
Dennis

Dave, 3ddaley=comcast.net, 21.08.2008

I've been searching for any current information on the Firebird, but have had no luck. I'm interested in building a personal helicopter of this design. Could you please send me information about the mini-copter and the different configures. Additionally, if you could send plans for the configuration 3 model, I would be very appreciative. Thanks. Dave

RON, ron=autogyro.flyer.co.uk, 02.06.2008

This project has meandered on since it's original birth and eventually found the project taken over by Intora Firebird at Southend airport in England. However, the hangar is now empty and the machine has appeared on the Swisscopter web site, though Intora Firebird still shows as a UK company with a private home address quoted on Google UK search.

I am currently compiling an article on the history of the Firebird from it's Pinwheel origins up to the present date for the US experimental helo magazine.

tootertz, tetretetretetretetretetre=yahoo.com, 16.04.2008

how fast can this damn thing go? and how long can it fly?

Jim Mc, mcmilj=pbfl.org, 27.09.2007

Can I get plans and more info on the 2nd configuration, marked MC-8. This is very cool little machine. Thanks.
Jim

Jim Mc, mcmilj=pbfl.org, 27.09.2007

Can I get plans and more info on the 2nd configuration, marked MC-8. This is very cool little machine. Thanks.
Jim

john potts, dianepotts=bigpond.com, 09.09.2007

I have been looking for this proto helicopter for you would
not beleve how long I saw it quite a lot of years ago in a magazine could you please send me information on this little choper if you can would be very much appreciated
regards John

danny price, dfp5964=yahoo.com, 26.01.2007

I would like construction plans please thank you

Do you have any comments concerning this aircraft ?

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