McDonnell XHJD-1 Whirlaway (Anigrand)

TYPE: Rescue helicopter

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two, up to 8 passengers

POWER PLANT: Two Pratt & Whitney R-985 engines, rated at 450 hp each


COMMENT:  In 1944, U.S. Navy launched a competition that called for a large rescue helicopter which could carry up to 10 occupants. McDonnell was determined to win a new Navy contract as the company only had sub-contract jobs at the war time. With investment in Platt LePage Aircraft Co., McDonnell was allowed to learn helicopter techniques and developed its own design, Model 65. Considering a most suitable configuration for a large helicopter, it was fitted with twin side-by-side rotors mounted at the end of main wings. In 1945, McDonnell proposed the project to Navy and was rewarded contract for construction of one test bed, designated XHJD-1. First flight was made on April 1946. It became the world’s first successful twin-engines, twin rotors helicopter. From 1946 to 1951, XHJD-1 was tested for numerous flying researches peculiar to its twin-rotor configuration. The aircraft never went into production.