The Platt LePage XR-1. The US Air Force’s First Prototype Rotorcraft.

The Platt LePage XR-1
The Platt LePage XR-1

 

The Platt LePage XR-1
The Platt LePage XR-1

 

The Platt LePage XR-1 was the winner of a design competition for a contract for the United States Air Force. This was the very first helicopter flown by the USAF, actually the USAAF. The prototype here flew in 1941 and was retired from flight testing in 1945. Malfunctions, a test flight crash and instability problems plagued the XR-1. This was not a challenging problem for the US as newer an d better rotorcraft were being developed. So it was cancelled. It did feature huge observation windows that has stayed with helicopter design until today.

 

Source: wiki

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3 thoughts on “The Platt LePage XR-1. The US Air Force’s First Prototype Rotorcraft.”

  1. The Platt-LePage XR-1 was retired from flight testing in June 1946, not 1945.

    The actual story of the XR-1 is more complex than what could be condensed is just a few lines of text.

  2. Each of these aircraft could have a book written about them. That would not be the proper format for a short read military history blog. If you scrub through the site, you will see plenty of long form essays. All aircraft are treated as short subjects. Thanks for the visit and come back again.

  3. Please be advised:

    The USAAF was constituted only in 1942. When the XR-1 was commisioned in 1940 and had her maiden flight in 1941 the organisation was still the US Army Air Corps (USAAC, 1926–1942).

    Also technically the XR-1 was not the first rotorcraft commissioned by the US Army (though it was the first commissioned by the USAAC).

    The first was the de Bothezat H-1 „Flying Octopus”, maiden flight Dec. 18 1922, ordered by the US Air Service Engineering Division, from which the USAAC would spring four years later.

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