17-Jan-2011 Source: HeliHub.com
Britain’s Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare is seeking volunteers to help them complete the restoration of Fairey Ultralight G-AOUJ.Â This two seat tip-jet helicopter with a gross weight of 817kg was developed just over fifty years ago, but cancelled after the UK military dropped their interest in it, and manufacturers Fairey found civil interest very muted indeed.
The first prototype took to the skies for the first time on 14th August 1955. By the middie of 1956, official support had been withdrawn to save money, but Fairey decided to continue the project as a private venture. Two further airframes were built, both civil registered. The Ultralight was evaluated by the Royal Navy and the RAE in 1957-58, but no sales resulted and development was abandoned in 1959.
This particular example was acquired by The Helicopter Museum, in 1979 and later moved off site for work by Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group.Â Unfortunately this group had to vacate their premises at RAF Innsworth and G-AOUJ was moved to nearby Staverton/Gloucestershire Airport for storage, until a further journey was made back to Weston-super-Mare on 3rd November 2010.Â It is this return which is prompting the Museum to seek volunteers.
Further information at http://hmfriends.org.uk/faireyulh.htm
Powered by a Turbomeca Palouste turbine engine. Air from the centrifugal compressor was sent to the blade tips where it was mixed with the same fuel as was supplied to the turbine, to create additional thrust using tiny combustion chambers.
The full production of Fairey Ultralights consisted of five aircraft and one ground trials airframe
F.9423 XJ924Â First prototype
F.9424 XJ928, G-AOUJ The Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare (see above)
F.9425 XJ930Â Delivered to ministry of supply
F.9426 XJ936, G-AOUK
F.9427 Ground trials airframe
F.9428 G-APJJ Now on display in the Midland Air Museum, Coventry