Eugene Michael Gluhareff

1916 – 1994

Eugene M. Gluhareff

Eugene Michael Gluhareff was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1916 immigrating to the United States with his family from Paris when he was a teenager.  He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1944 with an Aeronautical Engineering Degree and immediately went to work at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Bridgeport, Connecticut working directly under Igor A. Sikorsky.  In 1947 Eugene was assigned to design and develop the Pulse Jet Engine for Sikorsky, a one-man single bladed jet helicopter. Little did Eugene realize this would be the beginning of his lifelong journey on the pressure jet engine. The helicopter was successfully test flown and documented but never put into production.

In 1950 Eugene moved the family to California and not long after he signed on with American Helicopter where he was Chief of Preliminary Design Group and was instrumental in designing the XH-26. The One man Pulse Jet Powered Helicopter went on to win the USAF Competition Award. He was also Project Engineer for flight testing the XA-5, two place Blade Tip Pulse Jet Powered Helicopter better known as “Top Sergeant”.

1952 saw Eugene moving over to Rotorcraft Corporation in Glendale, California as Design Engineer engaged in the redesign of a rocket powered one-man-helicopter for the U.S. Navy.

During this time, Eugene pioneered the use of liquid propane as a fuel for jet engines and designed a series of ultra-light portable one-man-helicopters the MEG-1X, MEG-2X and MEG-3X.  These helicopters were designed by Eugene and developed by his own company, E. Gluhareff Helicopters Corporation, and entered into a military competition.  All the helicopters were powered by the G8-2-13 Pressure Jet Engine and were situated on the blade tip.

In 1960 Eugene contracted with the U.S. Navy as a Project Engineer and worked at the Naval Ordinance Test Station in China Lake, California on Rotary Drones.  In 1964 he joined the Douglas Aircraft Company, Missile and Space Division as Design Engineer Scientist on the S-4 stage of the Saturn Rocket used on NASA’s Apollo Project. While at Douglas he participated in the launching of four Saturns. Later he worked at McDonnel Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California as a Senior Design Engineer in Advanced Systems for Special Projects researching and testing rocket engines. While there, he became a specialist in the design of rocket stabilization systems for ejection seats and capsules.

In the mid 1960’s, the Gluhareff Pressure Jet Engine was a featured, working exhibit in the California Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles, California teaching the principles of jet propulsion.  The Gluhareff Pressure Jet Engine museum exhibit was also part other several other museums across the US and Canada.

In 1972 Eugene returned to conducting research and design under his own company, EMG Engineering in Gardena, California. There he continued his work on the G8-2 Pressure Jet Engines which ranged from five pounds of thrust to 700 pounds of thrust. To further promote the study of aerodynamics and jet propulsion, Eugene designed the Gluhareff GTS-15 Teaching Stand which was purchased by universities throughout the United States.

In the early 1990’s when Eugene went into semi-retirement he designed, built and tested his own one-man tip jet helicopter, the EMG-300.  He conducted successful preliminary test flights finally achieving his lifelong dream of creating what he called the  “Flying Motorcycle” before leaving us in July of 1994.

Eugene M. Gluhareff was a member of the American Rocket Society, The American Helicopter Society, Inc. and The Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences. Eugene had several patents issued such as the G8-2 Jet, Valveless Pulse Jet, Portable and One-Man Helicopters, Flying Platform, Rotorcar, Convertiplane, Rocket Stabilization Unit and several others.

Tipjet Collage

Featured Presentation
“The Gluhareff Pressure Jet Engine, Past, Present and Future”
By Professor Ronald Barrett of the University of Kansas

E.M.Gluhareff & Flying Experiment Test Stand, c. 1950

AIAA Presentation