Entrepreneuring Kiwi making a helicopter turbine-powered motorcycle
Chris Minnee from New Zealand is making a helicopter turbine-powered motorcycle for one simple reason; he is motorcycle enthusiast for the last 45 years and own Rotor Craft, a Hamilton Airport-based helicopter maintenance business. This is his first ever venture of building a turbine bike from ground-up fabrication and also one of the most powerful motorcycle in the world considering the fact that it is propelled forward by a helicopter turbine.
The frame of the bike is a late model Triumph Rocket 3 imported from the US which was extended by 200mm and its rear swing arm by 60mm. to hold the fuel load of this powerful beast the tank is enlarged to hold around 40 liters of fuel which lasts only for an hour in cruise mode!
Now coming on to the USP of this motorcycle which is the power generating Rolls-Royce/Allison C20B type turbine used in Bell Jet Ranger and Hughes 500 helicopters made by Oceania Aviation in Ardmore. So theoretically, we are talking about loads of power for a two wheeler, in fact 420hp delivering 583 Newton meter of torque hurling the motorcycle up to top speeds of 260kmh.
The gear transmission is an adaptation of Toyota 4WD and although the motorcycle takes quite a while to start up, you can pretty well be deafened by the noise it makes once it hits the road. Which makes it ever so difficult to get road legal which is one of Minnee’s top priority.
Minnee has been working for almost two years on this powerful beast and hopes to complete it by the end of this year. For now he plans to show off his helicopter turbine powered Triumph motorcycle at the Waikato Classic Motorcycle Club’s annual swap meet and show ‘n’ shine in Frankton this weekend.