Tsheten Dorji backpack helicopter


Tsheten Dorji of Paro, Bhutan, is a young enthusiast of mechanical engineering and ultralight rotorcraft. Since childhood he has pursued his dream of mechanical flight, but it was not until age 20 that he began development of his own aircraft. He currently works as an accountant and manager of the Soongngyen Kalapingka nightclub in Thimphu, Bhutan.

His first project was a single-seat light helicopter based on the AW-95 with an enclosed canopy of his own design. Due to his lack of engineering experience, he sought assistance with this project via two popular rotorcraft forums, where he met individuals who helpfully guided him through the process. As a result, he was able to build a full-scale airframe of the design, as well as wooden rotor blades. However, due to financial problems and lack of availability, he was unable to acquire a suitable engine. This particular project has since been put on hiatus until the aforementioned issues have resolved.

His next project began in early April of 2012, taking the form of a backpack helicopter with a tripod configuration, similar to that of Franz Schoeffman in Austria. A full-scale airframe was built, but he was again faced with a financial issue that forced him to alter the design to a simpler form.

Images © Tsheten Dorji (tsheten8), 2012
Drawings © Travis E. Britt (Stingray)