HENK WADMAN COLLECTION
No. 10870. Westermayer WE 03 (OE-AXB c/n 03)
Photographed at Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ca. 1978, by Henk Wadman

Westermayer WE 03

10/31/2011. Oskar Westermayer, a manufacturer of rotor blades for small aircraft at Poysbrunn in Austria, built four single-seat rotorcraft types.

The WE 01 (c/n 01) was completed in 1969, registered OE-AXW (site files), and named "Luftkäfer" (Air Beetle), it was similar in general configuration to the Bensen B-8M. It was powered by a 65 hp 1,800 cc Volkswagen engine and had a two-blade teetering rotor, made originally of wood but later fitted with glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) blades. The aircraft is preserved at the Museum Aviaticum at Wiener Neustadt, 30 mls (48 km) south of Vienna,Austria.

The WE 02 was a testbed for a new GFRP rotor, with teetering hub and automatic pitch change from pre-rotation to flight pitch.

The WE 03 was a more refined rotorcraft, registered OE-AXB it was used to flight test various early forms of the rotor head used on the later WE 04. Powerplant was a 2,600 cc Volkswagen engine.

The WE 04, similar to the WE 03 in general configuration, represented the fully-developed Westermayer single-seat rotorcraft. Registered OE-AXR it was flown for the first time in early 1980, and embodied a number of design features new to aircraft in this category, including all-glass fiber rotor blades and a patented helicopter-type rotor head that provided cyclic and collective pitch to the blades, offering improved stability and safety. The blades were pre-spun to 500 rpm prior to take-off and pitched to + 7° for flight.

The blades, built by Westermayer, were made from Gevetex Glasrovings and cloth, with a Rohacell 31 foam core, bonded with CIBA epoxy resin in heated aluminum moulds. Blade section was NACA 8H-12.

The fuselage was made of metal, with GFRP covering on the cabin and a side-hinged (to the right) one-piece canopy/windscreen. A non-retractable tricycle landing gear was fitted, with steerable nose wheel and a small bumper wheel at the rear of the tailboom. The horizontal tail surfaces were fixed, but there is a large rudder with a ground-adjustable tab on its trailing-edge. All tail surfaces were wooden-covered.

Powerplant was a 70 hp 2,600 cc Volkswagen engine, driving a two-blade wooden fixed-pitch pusher propeller. Normal autorotative rotor rpm in cruising flight was 380-400.

A second WE 04 was produced in 1992 and carried the registration OE-XAW (c/n 05), this is presently hanging from the ceiling in the Technisches Museum (Technical Museum) in Vienna, Austria.

Created October 31, 2011