Civil Aviation

Fiat 7002: The Flying Drinks Cabinet

The Fiat 7002 is an innovative experimental helicopter designed for both passenger transport and various utility tasks.

Its standout feature is the unique “cold jet” rotor system, where compressed air, supplied by a Fiat 4700 turbogenerator, is expelled from the blade-tips to rotate the main rotor, avoiding any combustion process.

This two-blade rotor system is constructed with stainless steel, featuring internal ducts for air propulsion and linked blades for load balance and pitch control.

The helicopter’s structure is primarily light alloy, segmented into three main areas: the front section with side-by-side pilot seating, a central cabin for passengers or cargo, and a rear section housing the power plant.

Produced in 1960, in response to an Italian government contract
Produced in 1960, in response to an Italian government contract

It features a compact semi-monocoque tail-boom, supporting a small, ducted tail rotor and a horizontal stabilizer, contributing to its excellent maneuverability, especially at low speeds and during autorotation.

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For landing, the Fiat 7002 uses a twin skid gear system. Its power is provided by a vertically housed Fiat 4700 turbogenerator, with a fuel capacity of 525 liters. The cabin accommodates two pilots with dual controls and has large doors for easy access.

The central cabin can transport up to five passengers or a cargo volume of 2.5m^3. In medical evacuation missions, it can carry a pilot, an attendant, and four litters.

The Fiat Model 7002 was a 1960s Italian general-purpose helicopter
The Fiat Model 7002 was a 1960s Italian general-purpose helicopter

Commissioned by the Italian Defence Ministry in 1959 for the Italian Air Force, the Fiat 7002’s distinctive design included a flat-sided, semi-round fuselage and a small tail-boom with a shrouded tail rotor.

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Its first and only prototype took flight on January 26, 1961, but the project ceased in 1963. Fiat’s subsequent venture into helicopter design, the high-speed, three-seat Fiat 7005 with a pusher propeller, remained unbuilt, leading to the company’s exit from helicopter development in 1967.

POWER PLANT: One Fiat 4700 turbogenerator with equivalent power of 530hp housed vertically in rear of fuselage

Data from Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft 1958-59

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1-2
  • Capacity: 5-6
  • Length: 6.12 m (20 ft 1 in) (fuselage)
  • Width: 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) (fuselage)
  • Height: 2.88 m (9 ft 5 in)
  • Empty weight: 600 kg (1,323 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,400 kg (3,086 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 525 L (138.7 US gal; 115.5 imp gal) in fuel tanks above the cabin
  • Powerplant: 1 × Fiat 4700 Turbo-compressor, 400 kW (530 hp) gas equivalent power
  • Main rotor diameter: 12 m (39 ft 4 in)
  • Main rotor area: 113.112 m2 (1,217.53 sq ft)


  • Maximum speed: 170 km/h (110 mph, 92 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 135 km/h (84 mph, 73 kn) at sea level
  • Range: 300 km (190 mi, 160 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 3,400 m (11,200 ft).