X-Files: JOVAIR SEDAN 4E

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In today’s Sydney Flyer article we are delighted to welcome back author Anthony Coleiro and the most recent instalment of his X-Files series. This is Anthony’s 139th article under the ‘X-Files’ banner for the club magazine. What a record!

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FILE X139: JOVAIR SEDAN 4E

If I mention to you in a conversation, ‘twin-rotor helicopter’, those of you of my vintage may build a picture in your mind of a Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook, after all, the Australian military had both the C and D models in its inventory for use in lifting heavy payloads and for inserting with precision, troops into the battlefield.  The genesis of that particular Boeing design goes back to 1958, but it was not the first to adopt such a configuration.

The Jovair Corporation of Culver City California founded by D. K. Jovanovich had been working on helicopters since 1940.  The Sedan 4E was a descendant of the JOV-3 which was a tandem rotor design dating from 1948.  The rights to the JOV-3 were later sold to McCulloch Motors helicopter division.  They built two slightly larger prototypes they called the MC-4, the second of the two was modified with outrigger fins.   McCulloch also built three further examples they called the YH-30 for US Army evaluation.

The MC-4 was a two-seat helicopter and the second one that was built with the added fins was reacquired by Jovair who then modified it into a 4-seater for either personal or commercial use which they called the Sedan 4E.  Each occupant had their own personal door to enter the cabin.  The aircraft was powered by a 210 h.p 6A-335 Franklin engine.  They also had a second engine option of a 225 h.p Franklin 6AS-335, this helicopter had the designation 4ES.

JOVAIR SEDAN 4E

The aircraft’s single engine drove a pair of 3-bladed all-metal rotors of 7 metre span and 17 centimetre chord via flexible Vee-belt driven shafts with bevel gears; it had a service ceiling of 8,000 ft., a cruising speed 145 km/h with an endurance of 2 hours.  The tricycle undercarriage was fixed.

The helicopter was designed to be easily serviced with independently removable parts and the rotors were interchangeable.  The structure was steel tube skinned with aluminium.  Its control system was heavy duty in its design and vibrationless

The Sedan 4E achieved F.A.A certification in March 1963 and proved to be the smallest helicopter with the twin rotor layout that was commercially available.  Another version was made called the 4A and this differed in having 2 seats only with the rear part of the cabin being used as a cargo compartment.

Unfortunately there was insufficient public interest for the Sedan and so it never went into production hence why when you think of a twin rotor helicopter, this is not one that springs to mind.

Acknowledgments

Vertical Flight Aircraft of the world
F.G. Swanborough

Air Progress
August/September 1964
Conde Nast Publications

The Illustrated Ency. of Aircraft
Orbis Publication

Australian Air Power
Ross Gillett

Anthony Coleiro

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