Saturday, June 24, 2006

Speaking of flying Joes

(Posting on the road from Lake Elsinore, California)
Did you know the GI Joe Irwin Helicopter from the 60s painthead era was based on a real aircraft? The Hiller Hornet was one of a family of simple and light helicopters built by Hiller aircraft in the 50s, with rotors driven not by an engine inside, but by ramjet engines in pods on the rotor tips. So not only is this aircraft the basis of the Irwin helicopter, but also the Adventure Team Turbocopter and, to a lesser extent, the AT Helicopter. Earlier this week, our vacation took us through the bay area where I visited the Hiller Museum, where I took these (and many more) pictures of the Hornet and it's near-kin. Hopefully these will be the basis of some articles I hope to write for the GI Joe Collector's Club newsletter.

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