Helicopter Turbine Engine Helps Innovative Motorcycle Beat The Competition

Yo dawg, I heard you wanted some chopper in your chopper so we installed a Rolls-Royce/Allison C20B type helicopter turbine engine in this one-off, modified Triumph Rocket 3 motorcycle!

The jaw-dropping combination is the brainchild of Chris Minnee, a New Zealander with plenty of experience in both motorcycle mechanics and helicopter engines. Minnee cut his teeth as an aircraft engineer in the mid 1970s and nowadays owns Rotor Craft, a helicopter maintenance firm based out of Hamilton Airport on North Island.

Minnee saw a golden opportunity to merge his main interested when he came across a late-model Triumph Rocket 3 with a blown engine.

Since swapping out the Triumph's engine for one commonly used to power Bell Jet Ranger and Hughes 500 helicopters is anything but cut & dried, Minnee embarked upon a radical modification that would take roughly three years! You can listen to Minnee discuss this project on audio here.

The hard part came first: cutting the motorcycle's in half and extending it by 200mm (8 inches). The next step was to raise the rear swing arm by 60mm (2.4 inches) and enlarging the gas tank to hold 40 litres (about 10.5 US gallons) of fuel – helicopters are thirsty beasts! Even with that, the finished bike will only run for about an hour on a full tank.

We know what you're thinking: “When will it be finished and how can I get one?” According to Minnee, barring any unforeseen delays a running prototype should be ready to roll in late 2014.

In order to get the bike registered, certified and warranted (ie; street legal), Minnee says he'll declare it to be a “low-volume vehicle” much like other customized cars, trucks and motorcycles.

If the intense interest generated by the unfinished project displayed recently at the Manukau Classic Motorcycle Show is any indication, Minnee has got a winner on his hands – a chopper-powered chopper that should fly down the road! (via Stuff NZ and  Damn Geeky)