The new Swift - video of engine start


Gold Supporter
Could a tuned angular alignment of a U-joint help mask 2/rev rotor vibration?

(just thinking inside my small box)
Cheers Cam.
Not in this case. They want to change the direction to a different angle, not a different plane with the same angle, as seen in the video. Even then, you can't have the input power on the tail rotor shaft because it is the part that would still have the variable speeds. You would have had to apply the power into the system between the U-joint and transmission to have constant RPM speeds at the input and output shafts.

They need a constant velocity U-joint to change the angle. They could use a very large rubber damper between the transmission and the U-joint, but they would have to mount the U-joint and shaft separately, and still the rubber damper would need replacing too frequently.

By fair the best solution would be a CV-type joint in place of the U-joint. Or, they should have designed the tail rotor shaft 90 degrees to the main mast.

I would have gone about it oppositely from what my experience I gained over the years, if I had to go to the trouble of angling the TR-shaft. The lower you place the tail rotor from the plane of the main rotor, the more unstable the aircraft becomes between minimum and maximum flight weights, and also each time to apply TR control input, because of the changing of thrust from the tail rotor. That is why I designed my latest UAV helicopter with the TR on the same plane as the main rotor.


in transition
All good points regarding design which is why I thought a belt drive tail rotor would make sense by allowing for tail rotor design freedom.


Gold Supporter
Sure does ! Reminds me of the theft of the control system design of the CH-6 from Augusto Cicare and called it his own and then patent it here in the USA... and then attempt to sue everyone and their brother for his STOLEN design patent infringements!!!
Well, the man asked me for my opinion, and I gave it. Always someone from the peanut gallery that has to chime in.

To help clarify my previous statement, and to answer this allegation posted here without the full facts;

1. Ends up that Cicare had stolen the control in his helicopters from the guys that invented it, from Kaman Helicopters.

2. Cicare entered a deal with me to build helicopters, which was going to be his design fit into the shape of the Mini-500.

3. Cicare did not honor his deal with me, even after I sold Air Command and invested all my money into our helicopter deal. In fact at the same time Cicare had also made a separate deal behind my back with another company. When I found out, I gave him a deadline to honor our deal, and he failed to meet the deadline, and that second failure canceled or deal.

4. I was left alone, and without any help from Cicare or his only prototype which I never had possession, to design my own helicopter, which because of the circumstances caused by the failure of Cicare to honor his part of a bargain, took me a great more amount of money and time to complete. That is why even any idiot that looks at my design next to a Cicare design will say they are two completely different designs.

5. I completely changed the mechanical features of the control system that Cicare copied from Kaman. In fact so much, that it was awarded it's own patent separately from the US Cicare patent he somehow got despite it being a Kaman copy.

6. Finally, after I won a lawsuit in Argentina, his home country, where the courts ruled that our helicopters and control systems were different enough from each other that they were not in any patent conflicts, Cicare himself posted a letter admitting that the Mini-500 and its control system was entirely my own (Dennis Fetters), and different from his.

I don't know how much more someone would want to be convinced than the above historical facts. But now that you bring it up, the copy-cats I was referring to in my previous post was;

John and cohorts at Millennium Helicopters, of whom I entered a deal with him in good faith, signed contracts and then he cheated me out of the commissions we agreed to, and afterwards proclaims the helicopter to be his design. I posted the facts and even the contracts and emails to prove it here on this forum, but they were removed. Yes, I sued them and his cohorts, and they backed down. In time, as I knew, they failed completely. Too bad, because I was standing by to help them succeed until they screwed me.

Those are the facts, and I don't need to get into a mud slinging contest about it.


Magic free zone
Everybody copies somebody to some extent. I tried re-inventing the wheel but found that a circle was the best shape. :)
From Composite FX Facebook page, February 24:

"The Swift is flying and showing us what needs to be changed before we release it. It seems to have plenty of reserve power & tail rotor authority - but she is still a bit overweight. We will post more in an official release soon. Thank you for your continued interest."

I would say that test flying is a milestone! :)

Just hoping the weight issue mentioned is correctable.


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