Helisport Mosquito - Build your own personal helicopter
By James Grahame
Early 20th century visions of the future usually showed cheerful citizens zorching around the sky in personal aircraft; usually little airplanes or blimps, but also helicopters. It's a good thing that particular future never came to pass, because rush hour accidents would be spectacularly lethal and even a massive SUV can't compare to a helicopter's excessive fuel consumption.
Still, the future has arrived... sort of. The $28,500 Helisport Mosquito XE ultralight helicopter is an amazingly cool little single-seat aircraft. It's a mere 20 ft long and weighs only 298 lbs. It's powered by an MZ202 2-cylinder 2-stroke engine and has a maximum speed of 75 mph and the ability to hover in ground effect at 8,000 ft (estimated). The Mosquito is built from a kit that's delivered in five sub-groups: airframe and construction plans, control system, drive system, engine system, and rotor system. An information pack is available from the manufacturer for $25 (Canadian), including a DVD, sample drawings and specifications.
The company gives a $2000 rebate to builders who complete flight training before purchasing the rotor system kit - this is an excellent idea from a safety perspective, since teaching yourself to fly a helicopter would probably be a messy experience. To get an idea how nimble this little vehicle is, check out the video (and yeah, I find it slightly scary).