|RotorWay Exec 162F|
Initial RotorWay Company set up by В J Schramm in early 1960s; successively produced the Javelin, Scorpion I and Scorpion II before launching Exec in 1980. Company purchased and re-established on 1 June 1990 by the late John Netherwood; assets acquired in 1996 by company's employees, who are current owners. Original product was Exec 90, the former Exec with some 23 modifications, which was certified in UK in 1990 and in Poland in 1993. In August 1994, Exec 162F introduced and replaced the Exec 90; 162F improvements can be retrofitted to Exec 90.
RotorWay currently manufactures Exec 162F helicopter kits for final assembly by amateur builders and operators. The Exec is powered by the company's own engine, which has been in production for more than 20 years and has recently been upgraded to improve performance at altitude.
Some foreign distributors also sell helicopters; approximately 40 per cent of sales are outside the USA. RotorWay, which had 40 employees in mid-2003, offers flight orientation and maintenance training, and customer service programme; 3,440m2 facility near Phoenix, Arizona, incorporates all departments, including manufacturing, sales and flight school.
ROTORWAY EXEC 162F
TYPE: Two-seat helicopter kitbuilt.
PROGRAMME: Development of first RotorWay helicopter (Scorpion) began in 1967; followed by Scorpion Too in 1971 and Exec in 1980. Kits, which lack only avionics and paint, are currently marketed in USA and 50 other countries; 40% of production is shipped abroad.
French certification received in October 2001 following approval of modifications to meet DGAC requirements, including improved fire protection, repositioned instrumentation and foot controls.
CUSTOMERS: Over 250 Exec 90 and 700 Exec 162F kits sold and over 600 flying; 500th 162F delivered to Mexican Navy June 2000, 600th to Heli Diffusion of France in June 2002 and 700th to Australia in August 2003. International uses include police surveillance, forestry observation, powerline inspection, ranch work, crop-spraying, recreation and flight training.
COSTS: Kit: US$64,350 including engine (2003). ACIS US$4,250 extra. Also available in four batches of parts to spread cost.
DESIGN FEATURES: Asymmetrical RotorWay-designed aerofoil section two-blade main rotor. All-metal aluminium alloy blades attached to aluminium alloy teetering rotor hub by retention straps. Teetering tail rotor, with two blades each comprising steel spar and aluminium alloy skin. Elastomeric bearing rotor hub system with dual push/pull cable-controlled swashplate for cyclic pitch control. Quoted build time 450 hours. Company offers on-line diagnostic testing by modem.
STRUCTURE: Blades as detailed under Design Features. Basic 4130 steel tube airlrame structure, with wraparound glass fibre fuselage/cabin enclosure. Aluminium alloy monocoque tailhoom.
LANDING GEAR: Twin-skid type. Floats optional (from outside source).
POWER PLANT: One 113kW RotorWay International Rl 162F 2.66 litre liquid-cooled engine with FADEC. Optional Altitude Compensation Induction System (ACIS) supercharger supplies pressurised air to engine at altitude, obviating need for turbocharging and prolonging engine life. Standard fuel capacity 64.4 litres.
ACCOMMODATION: TWO persons side by side; optional external HeliPak baggage pod fits between skids, capacity 0.21m3.
AVIONICS; Extra navigational equipment optional on US mar-ket helicopters.
EQUIPMENT: Optional crop-spraying kit, including two 42 litre tanks.
Jane's All the World's Aircraft, 2004-2005
In 1994, the company took a hard look at the carbureted engine used in the Exec 90 and knew they could do better. A fuel injection system with electronic ignition and a computer control (FADEC) was developed. Along with numerous other improvements, the Exec 162F was born.
This latest model represents the culmination of over 30 years of research, development, testing, progress and proven performance. It is the number one choice in the kit helicopter marketplace, having earned that spot by providing a safe, reliable, enduring way to enjoy rotorcraft flight.
In 1996, Netherwood opted to retire and go home to England. Recognizing an opportunity, the employees of the company bought RotorWay International through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (or ESOP), making the company one of only a handful of kit manufacturers with any kind of employee ownership at all.
Improvements continue to take place, namely in the capabilities of the FADEC system (Fully Automated Digital Electronic Control) of the Exec 162F. Using the latest online technology, the customer is able to connect the FADEC system on his helicopter to a laptop and modem and then directly to the factory in Arizona. From Arizona, RotorWay technicians can diagnose, tune and adjust FADEC and engine functions for a customer located anywhere in the world. This is a technological development unheard of in the experimental category and practiced only among a few of the certified helicopter companies.
RotorWay International was also the first to provide a complete and detailed construction and maintenance video series for the amateur builder in order to assure the proper construction and maintenance of each customer's aircraft. These series have met with great reviews by aviation editors and customers alike.
One of the most recent developments also includes the ACIS. This Altitude Compensation Induction System is lightweight and efficient, allowing the RI 162F engine to maintain standard sea level performance up to higher density altitude than ever before. By not demanding any more power at altitude than is produced at sea level, the life of the engine is unaffected, while its performance at higher altitude is enhanced. Utilizing a belt-driven supercharger concept, cooler outside air is compressed to a set pressure. This method does away with the hotter intake air and lag associated with a turbocharger. The pressurized air from the ACIS is made available to the intake system through the throttle valve. Manifold pressure is limited only by the amount of compressed air available.
Unique to this system is the continued redundancy of the RI 162F engine. The ACIS uses an electro-mechanical inlet gate control and is connected to the FADEC which monitors and maintains proper limits. This follows RotorWay's goal to provide a failsafe system for the Exec 162F.
The ACIS system is the result of hundreds of hours of research and successful testing, meeting strict standards set by RotorWay International for all new products.
With "Scorpion Too" kits being successfully marketed, Rotorway moved on, in 1980, to a much more sophisticated two-seater - the "Exec". This was a streamlined machine based on the "Scorpion Too" with an all- metal monocoque and glassfibre fuselage shell and a 115kW Rotorway RW-152 water-cooled piston engine. It was subsequently upgraded to Exec 90 standard with a large number of detailed alterations. The design was further changed in 1995 to become the Exec 162F with a FADEC electronic control system. Over 200 Execs are flying.
R.Simpson "Airlife's Helicopter and Rotorcraft", 1998