The FA-61, designed by Heinrich Focke, flew for the first time on June 26, 1936. The FA-61 was the first practical design for a maneuverable helicopter. In 1937, as a propaganda stunt for the Nazi regime, the renowned female pilot Hanna Reitsch flew the FA-61 inside the city of Berlin’s Deutschlandhalle sports arena. Another German helicopter, the FL-282 Kolibri, was used by the German navy during World War II (1939-1945). It could fly at 140 km/h (90 mph) and reach an altitude of 4,000 m (13,000 ft) with a payload of 360 kg (800 lb). It was the first helicopter design produced in quantity, but only a few became operational before the war ended.
Igor Sikorsky, a Russian-born American aeronautical engineer, flew the first successful single main rotor helicopter, the VS-300, in 1939. He flew the final version of his VS-300 helicopter in 1941. Unlike previous helicopter designs, the VS-300 was the first helicopter to use a tail rotor to counteract the torque of the main rotor. This represented a major accomplishment that has been copied by the majority of helicopter designs built since. Sikorsky’s research and development of the VS-300 led to the R4, the first American helicopter built in large quantities
Take a look at the "Paul Weston Sea Era" thread. Paul has a two place design but no prototype. He is 84 and does not want to build another airplane but would like assist someone like yourself. He was working with Holden on a two place and Holden is now off on his own making "improvements". You will have several options on what to build but it will be a design in progress. That may be good if you want to have design input capability. Eitheer way I think the designs have some superior features not available in older designs. All this is covered in the extensive thread. Overlook the WIGE comments unless interested in Ground Effect.
There are several designs mentioned by other people already.
I've kicked around the idea of reviving the Vireo LSA project and turning towards an amphibian design (at least nominatively) where the bottom hull could be removed easily when water operations are not envisioned thus making it more aerodynamic not to mention more appealing to those who don't want or need amphibian capability. I have little need or desire for waterborne flying but the engineering challenge of designing a flying boat (not to mention the aesthetic option of retractable gear available to an amphibian LSA) is very appealing.This is why I am designing a new one. There are limitations with existing configurations and the penalty for water operation is very large, perhaps 50% higher drag. Most don't allow proper access into the front and most are quite draggy. Many are tail draggers and this makes the insurance much higher. The problem is unless you can afford to go without insurance, the insurance is going to make it very expensive. Typical insurance costs are 1/5-1/4 the cost of the insured value per year. If you have a $50,000 seaplane, you have a cost of nearly $10,000 for insurance potentially. Most people don't insure.
Steve,I've kicked around the idea of reviving the Vireo LSA project and turning towards an amphibian design (at least nominatively) where the bottom hull could be removed easily when water operations are not envisioned thus making it more aerodynamic not to mention more appealing to those who don't want or need amphibian capability. I have little need or desire for waterborne flying but the engineering challenge of designing a flying boat (not to mention the aesthetic option of retractable gear available to an amphibian LSA) is very appealing.
Under the original design of the Vireo, if you went with minimal instruments for strictly VFR flying (it was envisioned as being a LSA which would also be a stable instrument platform to increase marketability to private pilots) chances are good that it would be more affordable than the fancy composite flying boat designs which are also hideously ugly from an aesthetics standpoint. It would reduce the risk of sensitization of the builder to the chemicals associated with composites due to the only part of the aircraft that would be large scale and composed of composites would be the lower hull.
Yeah, but I dislike floatplanes. I think they look funny. Not as funny as things like the Icon or Deathwind (err...Seawind) but still just odd looking. Kind of like the whole "Let's land on water!" thing was a last minute consideration and someone went and scavenged a couple of kayaks from their garage.A Glastar has that concept in that floats can be added, and gear can be changed to tri or tail dragger.
The Vireo is the working name for the LSA I am working on designing. I figure it is appropriate to name a light aircraft after a group of small songbirds. Other than the cockpit layout, I don't have much done currently because I am nearly completely reworking everything (save the cockpit) into an amphibian. It will be a mid-wing, pusher flying boat. To be quite honest, the whole "flying boat" thing is more or less just an excuse for retractable gear because I think fixed gear look odd. It's like a racing bike with training wheels on it.I don't know what a vireo is.