09/30/2009. For primary helicopter ground training, any version of the piston engine powered DH-1 aircraft could be mounted quickly on the DHT-1 platform. Initially designated GET-1 (Ground Effect Trainer 1) it was later redesignated DHT-1 (Del Mar Helicopter Trainer 1). Here a DH-1A is seen mounted on the platform.
This independently powered air-cushion platform with flexible skirt, was capable of moving in any lateral direction, without friction or ground contact. The DHT-1 provided transitional lift at forward speeds up to 40 mph (64 kmh).
The articulated linkage mounting mechanism allowed the helicopter free vertical rise, 360 degrees turn in azimuth and tilt in any direction. In the case of piloted versions of the Whirlymite, the student pilot was able to train himself to fly in complete safety, since the ground platform prevented the helicopter from tipping over if control was lost.
The DHT-1 could also be used to calibrate and check the automatic control systems of drone versions and to train drone operators. It was also evaluated by US and foreign military and civil aviation authorities. View also photo 9272.
In 1975 the DHT-1 was used by the US Army Human Engineering Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, to investigate the influence of pilot incapacitation on low speed and hovering flight.
View also photo 9270, 9272 and 9652.