Its Automotive Antecedents
Owning an Autocopter is more like owning a car than people would think. Much of the technology built into it stems from the automotive rather than the aerospace industry. How you will fly it is also more like driving a car than flying a conventional helicopter, as was shown in the Cockpit section.
The key to building a successful aircraft often depends on getting the weights of components down and there is an informal rule that says aircraft weights should come in at about one half to two thirds those of an equivalent car part. In Horizon’s world this has meant looking at Formula 1 suppliers rather that main-stream auto suppliers for parts and design technologies. There are probably only two parts in the Autocopter that are aerospace-derived – the combustion chamber of the gas turbine and the Coaxial main rotor. Another reason for going to the automotive industry is that their production volumes will deliver significant economies of scale, and their redesign or design change response times are much more reactive than those of the aerospace industry. This will reduce the time from design commence to production.