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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hummingbird: the first Philippine-made helicopter

The PADC Hummingbird in flight in 1980's
Today, the Philippine government rely most of the hardwares from foreign suppliers. But don’t you know that Filipinos are capable of designing and developing their own? Many Filipino inventors had proved this. In the field of transportation, one can’t forget the famous moon buggy used by the American astronauts, the hydrogasifier engine, the water-powered car, the solar-powered car, etc. and many other unsung inventions that only few people know.

I have featured two fixed-wing crafts in my previous articles --- the under development Wing-in-Ground (WIG) vehicle and the Defiant 300 which was built decades ago and not realized into production due to the lack of government support. Do you know that Philippines produced its indigenous helicopter? Yes, it is!

The helicopter is known as the Hummingbird. It was designed and developed by the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) which also developed the Defiant 300 aircraft in 1980’s. It was basically an improvement of the German MBB Bo 105 helicopter. After the initial development stage, it was later deactivated due to budgetary constraint.

It was not until July 1997 when President Ramos authorized spending for the project. The PADC undertook the development effort. Ramos was succeeded shortly thereafter by President Estrada, whose government immediately conducted a review of the Hummingbird program along with the Defiant. The review concluded that the two projects, which were only a year old at that point, were likely to be unjustifiably lengthy and expensive. As a result both were immediately terminated and added to the list of Filipino inventions that became scraps.

Hummingbird's present form
Another factor was that the Hummingbird was in fact essentially an unlicensed copy of the MBB/Eurocopter Bo-105C and Eurocopter had threatened to sue the Philippine government. PADC had been involved with the assembly and maintenance on the helicopters, first acquired during the 1970s. To avoid the impending legal battle the PAF destroyed the prototypes. As of 2012, no attempt had been made to revive the Defiant or develop another helicopter program.




  1. ..hanggang ngayun po ba ay buo pa rin ang hummingbird o talagang sinira nila lahat?? san po kinunan ang picture nito ng prsent form??

  2. Sana ituloy ng gobyerno ang mga proyektong kagaya nito pra madevelop at magkaroon tyo ng tiwala at kakayahang tumayo sa sarili nating paa.

  3. to correct some statement: PADC is philippine aerospace devt corp. i was there. one of aircraft tech who assigned in tail boom assembly. several attemps to roll out the the project for 1998 araw ng 100 kalayaan celebration... our president during that time was capt pamp. villaruel, ndi ma complete yun launching because of MB BO 105. as i remembered we were aircraft tech na distributed ang work place kame sa tail boom, sa mounting etc... jon diego

    1. Thank you for your enlightenment Anonymous (April 5, 2014 at 3:32 PM). Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. Looking forward to have your constructive insight on my future posts.

    2. Was there an employee named Albert LAO,.He was my classmate in Patts at that time and he told me about they were making this helicopter. It hink it was somewhere around you have any idea where he is working .Albert is very informative and helpful ,we learned a lot from him and he even ,5 of us helped to get OJT at PADC and he tought us a lot of things ., and.

      Thanks for this info.

  4. The real problem with such kind of inventions and innovations are mostly budgetary constraints. With the way China is bullying its neighbors, it is high time for our Defense people/leaders to make way for us to produce our own air-sea-arms assets, AND MUST BE FULLY SUPPORTED by our legislators and budget/finance people....

  5. I thought the reason why this wasn't continue'd was because the Company of the MBB Bo105 threaten'ed to impose it

  6. Sana makarating kay president duterte ito. Ituloy nya ung mga ganitong proyekto.

  7. Sana makarating kay president duterte ito. Ituloy nya ung mga ganitong proyekto.

  8. Wag na po tayo umasa sa gobyerno. Wala po alam ang ating gobyerno kundi mangurakot at magnakaw. Magabroad nalang tayo at dun mapapakinabangan ang ating talino at talento. Kung magaling ka magenglish, aba, eh bagay ka sa pinas kung saan naglipana mga call centers dito na pumapatay sa teknikal na industriya ng ating bansa. Isa akong aeronautical engineer sa PADC. As of 18 January 2017, pabulusok na pagbagsak ang ahensyang ito. Wala na tayo maasahan at wag na tayo umasa sa gobyerno ng Pilipinas.