Herrick HV2A Convertoplane - (scan - 1997)

fter series of flights, disaster struck during first attempt to convert from biplane to autogiro. After releasing upper wing in flight, aircraft began to gyrate wildly, then plunged vertically into the ground, killing pilot. However, Herrick felt he had proved the principle and, after much frustration, built HV-2A by 1936. Was considerably refined over first aircraft. Upper wing/rotor smaller in relation to lower wing. Bungee cords, manually wound before takeoff, employed as drive mechanism instead of rope starter (source--Boyne--states electric drive motor used, but only bungee cords evident). Not unexpectedly, were problems. Gyroscopic forces of rotation tended to cause HV-2A to veer to one side, but this was controllable. More important was fact that drag was unaccountably high, even in biplane configuration. Since skill and dedication of first test pilot left something to be desired, new pilot was hired and testing proceeded much more sensibly.

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