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The XH-26 Jet Jeep was an experimental helicopter developed in 1951 by the American Helicopter Division of the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. to meet a U.S. Army and USAF request for a collapsible and air-droppable observation helicopter.

Design and development

The design of the original Model XA-8 single-seat lightweight helicopter began in 1951 under the sponsorship of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps and the USAF. The Army's specification in 1950 had called for a light-weight, one-man unarmed helicopter that had to be collapsible, capable of aerial delivery to troops in rugged terrain, and assembled quickly with simple tools. The helicopter was to be used for both light observation and as an air-droppable rescue vehicle for downed aircrew. After a review of all proposals American Helicopter was awarded the development contract in June 1951, based on its XA-8 design proposal. The first of five prototype XH-26s flew in January 1952.


 United States



General characteristics


General characteristics



See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists