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Published on Jan 8, 2011
This rare film documents first flight of David Gittens' Ikenga 530Z Autogiro, piloted by Mark Hallett, in June 1988 at the (ESO) Espanola Airport, NM, US. Powered by a tractor-configured Suzuki 95hp water-cooled motor and flying 23-foot McCutchen Skywheels rotors, the Ikenga 530Z Autogiro had a Vmax of 125mph, Vmin of 23mph, service ceiling of 14,500 ft., and could land with a 0-10' rollout.
The name "Ikenga" originates in the Ibo mythology of Eastern Nigeria and refers to the destiny, the creative life force, that the unborn soul brings onto the terrestrial plane to manifest in an individual's incarnation.
The Ikenga 530Z Autogiro resides in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC and is their first aircraft by a designer/builder of African American heritage.
Ikenga 530Z received the Reserve Grand Champion Rotorcraft Award at the 1988 EAA Osh Kosh International Air Convention, Best New Design in Rotorcraft Award at the 1988 PRA International Rotorcraft Convention, and the Grand Champion Rotorcraft Award at the 1988 Albuquerque International Airshow.