Friends of The Helicopter Museum

The Husband Modac 500 Hornet Gyroplane

The little-known Hornet single-seat Gyroplane was designed and developed, as a private venture, by civil engineer Richard Husband at Rivelin, Sheffield, in the UK, between 1997 and 2003.

The sophisticated design of the machine, which was powered by a 65hp Arrow GT500R 2-stroke, 2-cylinder, piston engine, was intended to improve on many aspects of the performance of current light autogyros. It incorporated composite components, an Arplast three-bladed pusher airscrew, full instrumentation and provision for pre-rotating the lifting rotor to facilitate a "jump" takeoff.

The Hornet was never licensed but it undertook taxiing trials in July 2002, probably becoming airborne for brief periods. Encouraged by these tests Husband started to plan further refinements including a four-bladed airscrew but, sadly, he died in 2003.

The Gyroplane, with photographs and other documents, was donated to The Helicopter Museum by the Husband family, arriving in November in 2004.

The pilot's seat, formed from hollow plastic, served as a 2-stroke fuel tank. The filler cap is visible (left) on top of the backrest. For pre-rotation, a jointed shaft, belt-driven from the engine, drove the hub of the rotorhead. The large tail unit (below) was intended to counter the resulting rotor torque.
Back to Arrivals Page