Winner of Hampshire Libraries Special Collections Awards 2010
The Fairey Rotodyne was a large British compound helicopter designed and built by the Fairey Aviation Company and intended for commercial and military applications. It was considered to be one of the iconic aviation projects of the 1950/60s and a bright future was planned for the aircraft. Widely accepted to be a revolutionary design, it was economically viable, fast and capable of vertical take-off and landing from city centre heliports. However despite the proven feasibility of this bold concept, the Rotodyne project was terminated in 1962 due to escalating development costs and unresolved technical issues. This book seeks to fill a gap in aviation literature on the history of the Rotodyne, an aircraft ahead of its time. David Gibbings is a retired RAF engineer/navigator and flight test engineer for helicopters and aircraft. He worked on the Rotodyne with Fairey and subsequently was a Flight Test Engineer with Westland. Awarded the Kelly Johnson award for outstanding achievement in his field by the Society of Flight Test Engineers, he was the first recipient of the award outside the US. David lives in Somerset and continues to work as an aviation artist, flight test consultant and flight historian.