Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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Kellett XR-8 Helicopter

Developed as a prototype for the USAAF in 1940s, the Kellett XR-8 tested the idea of stabilizing a helicopter by using dual offset horizontal rotors to eliminate the need to power a tail rotor. Nicknamed “Eggbeater,” the design used two intermeshing wooden propellers above the two person cabin. The XR-8 first flew on August 7, 1944. Though the XR-8 was a revolutionary design, the Kellett Aircraft Corporation encountered significant problems with stability control and timing the rotors. The company modified the vertical stabilizers in an attempt to resolve some of these issues. Because of these and other complications, Kellett only produced two XR-8s before cancelling the program. This artifact is the only surviving version of the XR-8.

Restoration Update Video Jan 2024

Technical Notes Engine: Horizontally opposed Franklin six-cylinder engine of 245 hp
Maximum Speed: Approximately 100 mph
Ceiling: Approximately 10,000 ft