Museum adds two hydrogen peroxide powered helicopters

Museum adds two hydrogen peroxide powered helicopters

25-Jul-2017 Source: The Helicopter Museum

Two unique helicopters, developed to use high grade hydrogen peroxide and a silver catalyst chemical reaction to create high pressure steam driving the rotor system, arrived at the Helicopter Museum on 19th July for restoration and display. The aircraft, a single seat Dragonfly DF.1 and two seat Atlas, had their origins in a 1950-60s US military project to help downed airmen escape from enemy territory, by parachuting a foldable helicopter that could be assembled and then flown to safety.
The two examples donated to the museum were last seen in public at the Farnborough Air Show in 1998 and then “disappeared” and have only recently been rediscovered in storage in Surrey. Following discussions, the owner agreed to donate them to the Helicopter Museum and they were collected by volunteers.
Chairman of THM trustees, Elfan Ap Rees said today, “These two helicopters are quite unique and represent a completely new strand of rotary wing development not represented in the collection. Today, the use of high grade 95% H2O2 is banned due to its volatile nature, so the story behind this development is especially interesting to engineers and others interested in rotorcraft history.”

Both aircraft will now be rebuilt in the museum’s restoration facility which welcomes applications from new volunteers to assist in the work being carried out. Interested applicants should contact Mark Service at the museum or email him at

The Helicopter Museum is a registered charity and home to the world’s largest dedicated rotorcraft collection including two aircraft of the Queen’s Royal Flight.

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