Pete's RotorWay/JetExec Helicopter Page - N105PS

  Latest Progress Pictures
  Top 10 Reasons
  T-62T-32 Turbine
  Frame Mods for Turbine
  "Doghouse" Cowling
  New Main Rotor Drive
  Interior Fiberglass
  Directional Control Pedals  
  Throttle and Collective
  Fuel System
  Oil Cooling System
  Cabin Air System
Go to RotorWay International Home Page.
The RotorWay Exec 162F Kit. A flying finished Exec.
Last Updated: March 22, 2014

      During a midlife crisis at the age of 43 I suddenly decided I needed to do something completely impractical, irrational and financially irresponsible in my life. I bought a build-it-yourself kit helicopter called the Exec 162F, shown above, from RotorWay International in Chandler, Arizona.

      The completed Exec 162F is a full-size, two seat, piston engine helicopter with a top speed of 115 mph and a flying range of 180 miles. It is 22' long nose-to-tail with a 25' rotor span, will take off and land at 7,000' elevation and has a 10,000' flight ceiling. It can carry 425 lbs pilot and passenger load for a total 1,500 lbs gross flying weight. The original factory engine is a 150hp 162 4 cylinder fuel injected oil cooled piston engine with a Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system. I am currently building it in my tool room/garage.

      I selected the RotorWay kit because 1) it was a relatively inexpensive way to get into helicopters; 2) I wanted to build and maintain the helicopter myself; 3) I thought it might be a good idea to be intimately familiar with the workings of every moving component strapped to my backside; and 4) at 6'6" tall, I wanted something I could customize to fit comfortably inside. I visited the factory, got a good look at the helicopter and took a test ride, decided it was doable and in July, 2000 I purchased the first two groups (first half) of the kit from RotorWay.

      I received the first half of the kit in September, which included the welded chrome-moly steel tubing frame, aluminum tail boom and stabilizer fins, all of the interior and exterior fiberglass, windscreen and doors, and the main rotor mast and controls. Hadn't even started assembly and I was flying high already!

      Due to my height, I had to make several modifications to the steel frame and fiberglass interior of the helicopter to allow me to fit comfortably inside. By dropping the pilot seat and moving the directional control (foot) pedals forward I managed to gain 6" of additional head room and 6" more leg room. I also widened the pilot and passenger seat areas some to improve comfort there, and widened and raised the instrument console too.

Go to KISS Aviation Home Page.       While I was building my kit, several other RotorWay owners were beginning to replace their factory 162F piston engine with a military surplus jet turbine engine. A company called KISS Aviation in California began to produce a kit that would allow you to convert the Exec 162F to a JetExec. Their conversion kit and the jet turbine engine replaces all of the RotorWay engine, chain and belt drive systems with a very reliable turbine engine and solid direct-drive components.

      In August 2003 I visited KISS Aviation and ordered the conversion kit, #38 and soon after, I received my first shipment of KISS Aviation parts! The workmanship was very nice. I understand that kits are up in the 100's now and recent deliveries have been made in 7 weeks! Way to go, Dave!

      Here are the top 10 reasons why a jet turbine is SO much better than the piston engine...

#10.     Better performance at high elevations.
# 9.     Less congestion "under the hood."
# 8.     It costs practically nothing in time or money to maintain, while the high performance 150hp 162 4 cylinder fuel injected oil cooled piston engine with Full Authority Digital Electronic Control (FADEC) system is just a little maintenance intensive.
# 7.     It will burn everything from diesel to kerosine, peanut oil to moonshine.
# 6.     The electronic governor maintains 100% rotor RPM all the time so you donít have to constantly coordinate the throttle with all the other controls, making it much simpler to learn and to fly.
# 5.     The view out the windscreen is much prettier than watching a Tach.
# 4.     Only one moving part, N1, and it   really   moves.
# 3.     There's just something about that smell of Jet-A.
# 2.     It sounds way-cooler when you spool it up.
# 1.     Hobbs meter hours.

Solar T-62T-32 Turbine Engine.       The T-62T-32 turbine engine was originally designed by Solar for use in an Army single seat helicopter. The project was scrapped after the engines were already in production, so the engines were installed instead in portable electric generator sets. These generator sets are still in use by the military today and routinely become available as surplus, usually for about $3,500. This is a very good price to pay for an $88,000 jet turbine engine! The engines can be inexpensively rebuilt to brand new condition and will run for thousands of hours with limited maintenance. In this picture, the tan rectangular case on the left is the reduction gear box. The air inlet section to the turbine is next to the gear box and the burner section and exhaust are on the right.

      Here are a few more pictures of the turbine after it was rebuilt by Joe Bedo, and a few from my first turbine start.

      For those who are currently building, I did put together a few additional pages on the cooling oil systems and the fuel systems, with pictures, plumbing diagrams and a complete parts list. If you find this information helpful, please remember to donate generously to the author's personal beer consumption fund the next time you happen to meet him!

      Here are a few other pictures of the helicopter in assembly...

            "Doghouse" Cowling around the turbine. (1/28/2007)
            New main rotor drive. (1.5 MB)
            Frame modifications for dropping the turbine. (2.0 MB)
            Modifications to throttle and collective. (0.5MB)
            Chrome-Moly Steel Tubing Frame, rotor mast, and aluminum tail boom.
            Fiberglass skin and basic interior (without windscreen)
            Early Floorpan and Instrument Console mods- 01, 02, 03, 04, 05.
            Split the Bottom Tub- 01, 02.

      and a few other useful links if you would like to learn more about building a RotorWay helicopter...

            RotorWay International company web site.
            KISS Aviation company web site.
            RotorWay Owners Group message forum.
            JetExec Owners Information for builders and owners.
            Rotory Wing Forum message forum.
            Wally Anderson's Strategy for completing your aircraft.

      Update, March 10, 2010 - First Solo today (in an R22)!

      March 31, 2011 - Finally! Received my Private Pilot Helicopter license after completing training through Silverhawk Aviation Academy in Caldwell, Idaho!

      January 29, 2013 - Received FAA Aircraft Registration number, N105PS.

      This page is getting kind of long. Updated progress photos or additional sections will be added to the list at the top of the page. Thanks for visiting!

Last Updated: March 22, 2014 | Send Mail to: Pete Swanstrom
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