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XHJH Whirlaway
Role Experimental twin-rotor helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer McDonnell Aircraft
First flight August 1944
Number built 1

The McDonnell XHJH Whirlaway was a 1940s American experimental twin-rotor helicopter designed and built by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy.[1][2] It was the first successful twin-engined, twin rotor helicopter in the world.[2] The Whirlaway was the largest helicopter flown up to that time.[3]

Design and development

In 1944, the United States Navy issued a requirement for a large rescue helicopter with a capacity for ten occupants. The design was originally designated XHJD-1; shortly after flying it was re-designated the XHJH-1. The XHJH-1 first flew in August 1944, and had twin side-by-side 46 ft (14 m) rotors at the end of pylon wings which turned in opposite directions. Each rotor was powered by a 450 hp (336 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine.[2]


Original United States Navy designation.[1]
Designation changed before first flight.[1]

Aircraft on display

The sole XHJH-1 is held by the National Air and Space Museum.[citation needed]


Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Length: 32 ft 2 in (9.80 m)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-985 , 450 hp (340 kW) each
  • Main rotor diameter: 2× 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m)


  • Maximum speed: 120 mph (193 km/h; 104 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 90 mph (78 kn; 145 km/h)
  • Range: 300 mi (261 nmi; 483 km)

See also

  • List of rotorcraft


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Andrade 1979, p. 194
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "American airplanes - McDonnell". 25 March 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  • Andrade, John (1979). U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Midland Counties Publications. ISBN 0-904597-22-9. 

External links

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