Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by Neil Mackengie
The dream of a flying machine that would rise straight up is an old one. Monardo da Vinci made drawings for a gigantic screwlike helicopter about A.D. 1500. He never tried to build one because he had no motor to drive it. No one knows where it came from, but a toy helicopter known as “the Chinese top” was shown in France in 1783. In 1796, Sir George Cayley made experimental forms of Chinese tops and also designed a steam-driven helicopter.
For the next 100 years, a number of people made designs for helicopters. Some were fantastic, others almost practical, and a few of them actually 8ew. But there were no powerful, lightweight engines. It was not until such engines were made during World War I that anyone made a helicopter that got off the ground with a man aboard.
Igor Sikorsky built two helicopters, in 1909 and 1910. One of them actually lifted its own weight. Towards the end of 1917, two Austro- Hungarian officers built a helicopter to take the place of observation balloons. It made a numinr of flights to high altitudes but was never allowed to fly freely.
Work on helicopters continued in many countries, but none of the machines were what the inventors had hoped for. In 1936, an announcement came from Germany that the Focke-Wulf Company had built a successful helicopter. In 1937 it flew cross-country at speeds close to 70 miles an hour and went up more than 335 meters. In 1940, Sikorsky showed his first practical helicopter and it was delivered to the United States Army in 1942.
Who invented helicopter first time?