April 2010
TAM test the new bi-prop helicoper rocket engines with incredible sucess

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!!

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 now Swiss Copter

Rocket Helicopter History

In 1950 the Hiller company designed and built the Hornet HJ-1 that had a pair of jet engines at the tips of the rotor blades, being this type of engines ram jets shown in the picture below.

This helicopter showed many advantages over a common helicopter and in 1954 Hiller built the HOE-1/H-32 a military helicopter shown in the picture below.

This helicopter like the HJ-1 Hornet had a ramjet reactor at each end of the rotor blades, the idea was excellent because in this way eliminates the need for a tail rotor that cause so many accidents and also having no torque and need for tail compensation it would be much easier to fly, unfortunately this ramjets where very difficult to start because they needed a pre rotation of almost full speed to be ignited and the engines where heavy and caused a lot of stress to the rotor root and tips but the worst was that they produced so much drag in auto rotation that this idea was abandoned but the idea was wonderful and was the first time you could fly a helicopter without or a tail rotor or a double coaxial counter rotating rotor..

The World's First Rocket Helicopter

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 later 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 and 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.


Later Liteco Helicopters Systems, a Swiss company bought the patent and all that remained of Magill to creditor banks in 1987, I was contacted by Liteco to design the new transverse rocket engine to be used in the single place and the Atlas a new two-seater developed by Liteco along with Advanced Technologies Inc. of Virginia, USA.
The original Magill design of the rocket motor was very difficult to service and change the catalyst pack because you have to remove the tip and the engine to change the two cartridges that were inside the main rotor blade so a more powerful rocket engine easier to service was developed by TAM.

The two helicopters were a success and flew with new engines from TAM but when the hydrogen peroxide of 90% was not produced anymore in the world Liteco company sold the whole project to the Intora company in England.


The Intora company in England bought all business and Liteco prototype, I was contacted by Intora to design a new more powerful rocket motor for use in the two-seater version of Atlas and a military version for a new Firebird Intora.

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.

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 a lawsuit between partners in court.

Swiss Copter

Since 2008 Swiss Copter owns the company all designs and prototypes of Gilbert Magill, Liteco and Intora now belongs to Swiss Copter and in partnership with TAM who is designing and manufacturing the new generation of engines that will drive this line of helicopters from Swiss Copter we will manufacture the safest helicopter in the world with plans to build even executive helicopters with the same technology.
At this moment the Swiss Copter helicopters are flying all over the world making shows, if you are interested to see a demo flight, contact us.

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