Our History

RotorWay began in 1964 when Rotorway founder B.J. Schramm designed and built the Javelin helicopter prototype. What was learned from the Javelin was put into RotorWay’s first production helicopter the Scorpion. In 1967 RotorWay was formed and began building and selling the Scorpion model kit.

From this first helicopter model RotorWay expanded and grew to become the largest kit helicopter company in the world. The reason for our success has been the commitment to offering well designed and quality components at reasonable prices giving more people the ability to experience the joy of helicopter flight.

In the past four decades RotorWay has brought many new concepts to the kit industry. RotorWay was the first to mass market kits worldwide, the first to offer exclusive training in RotorWay helicopters, and the first to manufacture its own engine. We also were the first to introduce the FADEC (Fully Automated Digital Electronic Control) System in our kits, the first in any general aviation aircraft at the time. Our unique parts card system gives the builder a more organized system for assembly while decreasing assembly times and resulting in a high kit completion rate.

RotorWay kits have maintained an excellent safety record. This has been due to many factors including the quality of design and manufacture, great amateur builders, factory maintenance, flight training, and great flying qualities.

Timeline

1964 – The first RotorWay prototype the Javelin takes flight. B. J.
Schramm the founder of RotorWay begins to refine the design.

1967 – RotorWay begins to manufacture and sell the Scorpion kit model.
This model is a single place helicopter powered by a 120 hp Evinrude
engine.

1971 – The Scorpion II model is introduced. This is a two place helicopter
and RotorWay begins to expand its market selling several hundred kits.
With the success of the Scorpion II models RotorWay begins a long
tradition of offering pilot and maintenance training to our customers. The
increased training improves safety and customer satisfaction with our
helicopters.

1976 – The lack of suitable engines requires RotorWay to seek alternatives
to the current engine. None being found, RotorWay designs and
manufactures it own engine. Through the years the engine has been
improved and updated and now we produce the RI600N model engine that
is FADEC controlled, fuel injected, electric ignition and liquid cooled 4
cylinder that produces 147 h.p.

1980 – RotorWay introduces the Exec Helicopter. This helicopter is
radically different from the previous models with increased capabilities.
The Exec leads to a long period of growth for Rotorway, and opens up
overseas markets.

1990 – The Exec 90 is a much improved helicopter. The Elastomeric Rotor
System and increases in lifting capability make the Exec 90 an instant
success.

1993 – The Exec 162F is introduced and goes on to become our most
successful model to date. The 162F helicopter was the first aircraft to use
a FADEC (Fully Automated Digital Electronic Control) system.
The system uses sensors to calculate fuel/air mixture and throttle position to give the engine maximum power
at different power settings and elevations. With the FADEC system reliability increased and pilot work load decreased.

2007 – The A600 was introduced at Oshkosh Airventure. The new
A600 is the most advanced helicopter RotorWay has produced to date. The A600
features new main and tail rotor drive systems, new electrical system, FADEC and
ignition systems. Shipments of this model began in January 2008.