BAPC.163 10/42 Rotabuggy

Common Name: 10/42 Rotabuggy

Maker: AFEE

Registration: BAPC.163

Previous Registration: 'B/415'

Type: Reconstruction

Custodian: Museum of Army Flying

Location: Museum of Army Flying

AFEE 10/42 Rotachute 'Rotabuggy' recreation - Reproduction of the 'flying jeep' as tested under as 'B-415' by the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment, at Sherburn, Yorks, from November 27, 1943 behind a car and Beaulieu, Hants.

Flights included towing behind an AW Whitley and, just once, a free flight, in September 1944.

Essentially a Willys jeep attached to a wooden fuselage with fins and a free-rotating gyroplane rotor, designed to deliver a jeep to a battlefield by aerial tow - the gyroplane segment being junked upon 'arrival'.

The Rotachute was designed by Raoul Hafner as an extension of his man-carrying gyroplane concepts.

The 10/42 'Rotabuggy' was built by R Malcolm Ltd. BAPC.163 was built by the Wessex Aviation Society at Stapehill, Dorset,

The jeep was acquired via the pages of Exchange and Mart, the rotors came from a Westland Whirlwind, via the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop, Hants.

Dave Tizzard was the engineer in charge, undertaking construction of the basic cabin, the 'fuselage', tailplane and fins. Paul Bailey-Churcher built the rotor pylon and Arthur Amey the rotorhead. John May built the doors, did the sewing and doping and painted the markings. Bill Hamblem was the project welder and undertook the spray painting.

The 'Rotabuggy' made its debut at Middle Wallop in July 1982. Presented to the Museum of Army Flying, on loan, in 1985.

On display at The Museum of Army Flying, AAC Middle Wallop, Hampshire

Photo Roger M Richards