The SAFARI has evolved by designing, testing, modifying, and refining since 1962. The origin is the single seat Helicom, designed in 1953 and built by the capable hands of aerospace engineer, Harold “Pop” Emigh and his son. This model was successfully built and flown by many homebuilders. Many of these helicopters are still flying through support and parts manufactured by Canadian Home Rotors Inc. Later, recognizing the need for a two place helicopter, Pop altered the design to accept a 150 HP Lycoming engine. Many of these were produced during the early seventies.
Mr. Emigh sold the rights and manufacturing jigs in 1970 to a new company, International Helicopters of Mayville, New York. They continued the evolution of the design naming it the Commuter II A & B. It was basically the same sturdy airframe and drive components but with a beautiful new streamlined cabin. Quite a few of these were also produced. It was in 1979 that CHR got its start, when company President Murray Sweet bought his first kit along with the Canadian rights to market the design. After completion of his Commuter IIB and successful flight tests, Murray began making modifications in an effort to save weight, lessen maintenance and increase safety and dependability.
Shortly after, International Helicopters sold out to Tamarind International, which went out of business about 14 months later without making a single complete kit. Past customers of International Helicopters needed parts and asked Murray to make them.
This was the start of the long process of designing, engineering, and developing the details of manufacturing the components. Murray had a head start in this field as it is in his line of work, but it was still a long and expensive task. As the manufacturing process for each part was worked out and tested, he began selling parts to other builders. New partners, investors, and employees joined in the project along the way, with CHR incorporating in 1986.
In 1992, at the E.A.A. National Convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the Safari made its debut. Although CHR had never advertised prior to July of 1992, the company has built a large clientele just by word of mouth. The quality of the product has improved due to computerized equipment and technological advances. The company continues to strive to build the safest and most dependable helicopter possible.
While the Safari looks much as it did when first exhibited at Oshkosh, closer inspection will reveal many changes.
After being involved with the Safari team since 2005, Bobby and Delane Baker purchased the rights to the Safari design in 2009. Canadian Home Rotors, Inc. closed its doors and CHR International Inc. began an extensive program of development and improvement of the helicopter.
With a goal of building an aircraft of “certified” quality at experimental aircraft price, every part of the Safari was considered for improvement. A significant number of parts were modified from the original design to increase safety and component life. For a complete list of upgrades, contact a member of the Safari team.
In 2011, the Safari 400 was introduced. The Safari 400 boasts a new, more robust rotor head, an engine governor, and electric cyclic trim in addition to a number of less obvious upgrades.
All critical parts of the Safari are manufactured to exacting specifications. Parts are identified with individual serial numbers, and tracked through material certifications, dimensional inspection, quality control approval, and assembly. Major components then receive their own unique serial numbers, allowing us to trace the provenance of the included parts.
The procedure of assembling the transmissions and rotor head is carefully documented, with backup inspections at points in the assembly. Once completed, the main transmission is tested for proper operation. The tail rotor assembly is completely balanced and ready to install before leaving the factory. The parts of the main rotor head are made to extremely close tolerances. The Safari 400 main rotor blades are matched within two ounces, making balancing a simple process.
CHR International Inc. provides extensive support to the “legacy” aircraft in operation, assisting owners of these aircraft to improve their experience of owning and flying helicopters of an earlier vintage. Most Safari replacements parts are shipped promptly when they are ordered.
The mission of the Safari has always been dependable and safe operation, and that purpose is being carried out more fully today than ever before. Your helicopter, built your way.