April 2010
TAM test the new bi-prop helicopter rocket engines with incredible success

We did it again!!

TAM designed and built this patent pending bi-propellant rocket engines specially designed for helicopter use, this rocket engines are to my knowledge the most powerful rockets ever built for it's size and weight, with an exterior chamber diameter of only 1.00 inches (25.4 mm) they produced a maximum thrust of 45 kilos or 441 newtons or 99.2 pounds of thrust that is about 198.4 hp at the tip of the rotor blade.
In the pictures the rocket engine without the cooling ring and the water cooled version in the computerized test stand.
We got this performance with standard grade 70% hydrogen peroxide and alcohol, now we are working on the design of the 50% H2O2 version.
This rockets don't use a catalyst and they don't need to use "rocket grade" hydrogen peroxide anymore and we have unlimited supply of 70% and 50% hydrogen peroxide in any part of the world and the best is that this rocket engines will be service free with a life of about 3000 hrs., nothing to change or wear!!

Read at this page below the history of the rocket helicopter to see the involvement of TAM in the history of this amazing machine!

TAM is the only company in the world that specialized in helicopter rocket engines, designer and builder of the most powerful rocket engines ever developed for helicopters, builder of the rocket engines for the Liteco, Atlas, Intora, Vertical UAV and now associated with Swiss Copter making the new generation of rocket engines for the entire line of Swiss Copter helicopters, with plans to make executive helicopters with this wonderful technology.

The TAM rocket engines are the only ones that have proved in the test stand and also in flight that can produce it's maximum power with hydrogen peroxide at a concentration of only 70%, something never before achieved and all this thanks to our proprietary formula of the penta metallic catalyst pack invented by Juan Manuel Lozano Gallegos from TAM.

Atlas two place Rocket Helicopter by Swiss Copter


The benefits in safety of this kind of helicopters are many compared with a traditional helicopter design, check the nest list of benefits over any other design.

  • In first place they are a lot safer than any helicopter because this design don't need a tail rotor and being 86% of the fatal accidents in an helicopter caused by a fail of the tail rotor with just thus we eliminate 86% of the accidents.

  • Since this helicopters don't produce torque and they don't need a tail rotor because the power is direct applied to the tips of the rotor blades, they are a lot easier to fly and with just a few hours of instruction they can be flown because this design is inherently more stable in flight and in hover than any tailed helicopter.

  • The new generation of rocket engines designed and built by TAM will prevents 98% of maintenance costs because the new generation of rocket motors are virtually maintenance-free with just a self cleaning of the injectors with water and they will be ready to fly in all conditions, regardless of dust, sand or any weather phenomenon unlike a turbine that all this affects not only their performance but in its life.

  • TAM's new engines having no moving parts eliminates 98% of engine failures.

  • These rocket engines generate their own exhaust gases this way his performance is the same at any altitude, in fact its power increases with altitude with less resistance to air at a lower density, remember that rocket engines are designed to operate in the space where there is no atmosphere, so we don't have any limit of power at high altitude.

Dic. 2009
Swiss Copter test fly the Dragonfly DF-1 rocket helicopter with the TAM rocket engines

Video of the first flight of the Dragonfly DF-1 rocket helicopter in Switzerland.
In the next video you can see the vapor trail of the rocket engines because the low ambient temperature that makes visible the water vapor produced by the hydrogen peroxide, at the beginning of the video you can see the warm up of the rocket engine number one, then it was shut off then the warm up of the rocket engine number two and then the two rockets fired, during flight you can see a very slight vapor trail and this is because the low ambient temperature of the air, note that the pilot wears a jacket, scarf and gloves.

With a little more temperature the exhaust of the rocket engines is totally invisible.

This is the comment of the test pilot after this test flight, "This is the most stable and vibration free helicopter I have flown in my life"

Videos of the Atlas and Intora Firebird Rocket Helicopters now Swiss Copter

In this video is shown the Atlas from Swiss Copter.

This is the video of the Intora Firebird that now is the Dragonfly from Swiss Copter, a new design, new rotor blades and new rocket engines made by TAM make this helicopters unique all over the world.

Atlas and Intora Firebird Rocket Helicopters with the TAM rocket engines are now Swiss Copter Dragonfly

Rocket Tip Helicopter History

The World's First Rocket Helicopter

TAM Tecnologia Aeroespacial Mexicana is part of this history!

In 1954 an American inventor named Gilbert W. Magill of Glendale California designed and built the HR-1, a "mini" portable helicopter, at the tip of the rotor blades a hydrogen peroxide rocket engine impulse the rotor, this helicopter was better known as the "Pinwheel".

Magill made his helicopter portable in a carrying box which was a success that flew incredibly well and had a fantastic performance for its size, with a maximum speed of 161 km / h (100 mph), a ceiling of 4570 meters (14.993 feet) and a range of 32 km (20 miles) with two tanks with a total of 20 liters of hydrogen peroxide 90% ea
This small helicopter still holds the world´s record speed of vertical climb rate.

In this photo pilot Bob Farmer with the original version of Magill portable helicopter or "landing gear legs" version.

Later Magill built the second version by contract with the U.S. Navy's with larger peroxide tanks and a tripod landing gear that could take off standing on legs, this is the model flown in this video.

Magill then formed the General Aerospace company in Odessa Texas and he built three prototypes of his third design under a U.S. Navy contract.
It was a small helicopter with fixed gear and landing skids with even larger peroxide tanks to give more autonomy, he wanted to sell this helicopters to the Army but it was very small and the Army needed full armed helicopters to compete with the Russians in the Vietnam War so full armed 212 Bells and Cobras where ordered by the Navy instead and Magill that spend all his money in this project broke in the mid 80's, and the creditor bank was now the owner of all the project including even the patent, the prototypes and all the parts.

After the success of the Magill´s Pinwheel, on May 13, 1954, the Kellet KH-15 flew for the first time with a pair of hydrogen peroxide rockets at the tips of the rotor blades and it shown an excellent stability but this project was abandoned because the patent was granted to Magill.

This photo shows the helicopter with two spherical tanks flying "hands off" to demonstrate their stability.


In 1987 Afibra Handels, later renamed Liteco Helicopters Systems, a Swiss company bought the patent and all the remains of Magill to creditor bank and they took the project of Maguill to develop two new rocket helicopters.
I was contacted by Liteco to design the new transverse rocket engine to be used in two new helicopters designed for Liteco by Advanced Technologies Inc. of Virginia USA, this new two helicopters was the single place Liteco and the two place Liteco Atlas.

The original Magill design of the rocket motor was very difficult to service and change the catalyst pack because you have to remove the tips of the rotor blades and the engine to change the two cartridges that were inside the main rotor blade so a more powerful rocket engine with a transversal design easier to service was developed by TAM.

Advanced Technologies in Virginia USA built two new helicopters under the designation CH1 ATI on order to Liteco, those were registered as N9042F s/n 00001, and N8186E s/n 00002.

This was the first prototype rocket engine built by TAM of the new transversal rocket engine for Liteco, this design was a great challenge in design because for the centrifugal force the liquid hydrogen peroxide was forced to the outer wall of the catalyst pack and a special device was tested to eliminate this problem and it was solved, in this picture you see the first prototype with the solid nozzle and not like the final design with the lighter contour DeLaval nozzle and we built the final configuration engine but Liteco closed in 1993 after six years of very hard work and the cause was that the 90% hydrogen peroxide was not available any more and the only company that produced it Degussa had a lot of restrictions for the supply.

This are the engines built by TAM for Liteco that they never flew in the Liteco helicopters

This is a picture of the Liteco original Maguill helicopter flying with the Maguill enclosed rocket engines at the tips, Liteco never flew the helicopters with the new TAM transversal rocket engines.


In 1998 after five years that Liteco closed, the Intora company in England bought all the parts and Liteco prototypes and N8186E was registered in the UK as G-BXZN on August 25 (N9042F is shown here wearing a fake/incomplete registration).

In this picture the now Intora Firebird was flying still with the original Maguill rocket engines, in fact in the Intora Firebird video the helicopter is shown with the original Maguill rocket engines before the rotor blades here changed for the new transversal rocket engines.

This are the first pictures of the now Intora Firebird and Intora Atlas with the new transversal rocket engines built by us.

The people from Intora company contacted me to develop a new more powerful transversal rocket engine to be used in the new Intora Atlas, the Intora Firebird and a new military version of a UAV helicopter.

The Intora Firebird flew incredibly well, in the video is seen as the helicopter takes off from a trailer behind a truck, flying low under a bridge, climb and returns to the trailer, landing with an agility and dexterity that I could not make a normal helicopter.

These are the transverse rocket engines made by TAM that produced an incredible power for its size, nobody in the world has an engine so small with the same power than the TAM rocket engines.

This is a video of the test of this rocket engine at TAM in Mexico, shown in a very primitive test stand but it work and the distortion in the image of the video is when the engine produces a supersonic shock wave at full power, in the video I had a leak in one of the o-rings of the rocket engine that was fixed after this test.

On the Dubai air show in 2000 several governments and companies were so impressed with these helicopters that large numbers of orders were placed and this caused a problem between the partners that made the company Intora close and ended in a lawsuit between partners in court.

Swiss Copter

For eight years all the parts and prototypes of the Maguill, then Liteco and then Intora was stored in an hangar in London Southend Airport in England after a very long lawsuit between the owners and partners of Intora and in 2008 Swiss Copter a branch company of Innosuisse in Switzerland bought the remains of all this subsequent companies that worked with the original Maguill design and the new owner of the company contacted me again to develop a new rocket engine to be adapted to a new aluminum rotor blade and make a more powerful rocket engine and also to develop a new bi propellant rocket engine, we signed a contract to develop a new rocket engine and I had in the contract a % of the company and also of all the sales of the helicopters, the original transversal rocket engine that used 90% hydrogen peroxide was not able to lift the Intora helicopter because they used 95% H2O2 to get the power and this is because when I designed this rocket engines it was for the electrolytic hydrogen peroxide that was ultra pure and had more ISP than the now organic hydrogen peroxide so I modified the original rocket engines with more catalyst area and we flew the new Swiss Copter Dragonfly with my new rocket engines and the comment from the pilot that by the way he was the original pilot for Liteco and for Intora was that this was the smoothest helicopter he have flying in his life!!

This was the first test of the bi-propellant rocket engine in TAM back yard, in the picture from left to right Hans S. the owner of Swiss Copter from Switzerland, Juan Manuel Lozano G, Ricardo C the representative of Swiss Copter in USA from Arizona USA and Ing. Alberto B.

We used a new set of aluminum rotor blades with my new rocket engines and this is a video of the very first flight with this configuration using 90% hydrogen peroxide provided by Peroxide Propulsion in Sweden.

A plant was set in the US in Arizona to built the new generation of the Swiss Copter Firebird and it was presented at Oshkosh at the EAA air show with a great The real problem with this helicopter was that the fuel or the 90% hydrogen peroxide was not available and it was a problem to get it and to transport and after the accident at the plant of Peroxide Propulsion in Sweden it was almost impossible to get any peroxide in Europe, that´s why the urgency to design and develop a new rocket engine using a bi propellant to be able to use methanol and 70% hydrogen peroxide and I did it and it worked and I was working on the development of a new rocket engine capable to run with 50% hydrogen peroxide when the company was sold and they didn`t gave me my part so I keep the design and prototype of this new rocket engine.

In less than two years Swiss Copter closed and part of the remains are now in the US in Arizona with Ricardo C the US representative of Swiss Copter and the last thing I knew is a video I saw in kickstarter when he was trying to get founds to continue with this helicopters, it is a shame because this are a truly amazing machines, I hope some people with money invest in this project and start the production of this helicopters.

What is next? I don´t know I has been in this project for so many years and I have seen many companies and dreams come and go and I wish this project don´t end here because it has a huge potential!!

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