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A Brief History of Rotary Wing Aircraft By John Lynch For PLTW STI 2011 Tyler, TX.

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Presentation on theme: "A Brief History of Rotary Wing Aircraft By John Lynch For PLTW STI 2011 Tyler, TX."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Brief History of Rotary Wing Aircraft By John Lynch For PLTW STI 2011 Tyler, TX

2 This common “helicopter” toy originated in China around 400 B.C.

3 Visions of a screw-type flying machine as sketched by Leonardo daVinci in 1480

4 Captain William C. Powers of the Confederate forces designed this machine in His goal was to get around the Union Navy during the civil war in search of supplies. Captain Powers’ machine was never built for fear that the North would find it and use it against the South. There were many other similar ideas in and around this time period. Like Captain Powers’ design, they all specified steam engine power. This proved to be a limiting factor due to the heavy machinery needed for steam power and a relatively low power output.

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6 Paul Cornu of France began working on a helicopter design in He claimed to be the first person ever to fly a controlled and untethered helicopter in 1907 According to research by Dr. J. Gordon Leischman of the University of Maryland, Mr. Cornu’s claims are highly dubious. It is clear that he made a flight with a crowd of witnesses but it’s control is questionable and believed to have been tethered in some fashion.

7 Juan de la Cierva invented this autogyro in Spain and flew it successfully in 1923 The autogyro has a freespinning (non-powered) rotor. De la Cierva went on to invent the first hinged, flapping rotor in 1930.

8 1922 – Geogrij de Bothezat was contracted to build this helicopter for the U.S. Army air service Etienne Oehmichen, of France, makes history by flying this helicopter around a full kilometer track in 7 minutes, 40 seconds D’Ascanio of Italy hits a major altitude record of 18 meters for helicopters.

9 1930 – USSR develops the ZAGI-1A, the world’s first 2 engine rotorcraft – the Focke-Wulf, Germany, is the world’s first practical helicopter. In 1938 it reached an altitude of 11,243 ft and covered a cross-country flight of 143 miles – Igor Sikorsky makes the VS-300, the first useful single rotor aircraft.

10 1940 – Focke Achgelis makes the biggest helicopter in the world and was intended to free Mussolini from prison but couldn’t due to damage. Later it was the first helicopter to fly across the English channel – Nazi Germany is the first to use helicopters in combat using the Flettner FL – US Coast Guard recommends using helicopters for spotting submarines – US Congress criticizes the Navy for ignoring the enormous military potential of helicopters. The Navy took delivery of its first helicopter by October of the same year – the world’s first helicopter training school is created in the U.S.

11 Animation of the Flettner FL282 Kolibri:

12 Frank Piasecki creates the “Dogship”, the first tandem rotor aircraft in It was used by the Coast Guard to carry people or equipment in a spacious 400 cubic foot fuselage. This aircraft had a Continental radial engine in mid-ship that produced 450 HP.

13 1946 Brantly creates a counter-rotating co-axial twin rotor aircraft. Cierva-Weir builds the three rotor “Air Horse”. The Bell 47 becomes the world’s first certified civil helicopter.

14 1947 SGV1 – First helicopter made in Canada “Little Henry” – world’s first ram-jet helicopter. The Gyrodyne The Kellett twin engine developed for the USAF carried up to ten people.

15 1948 – Mi1 becomes the first helicopter to go into production in the Soviet Union – Hiller 360 becomes the first helicopter to cross the United States. The U.S. Coast Guard flies from Maryland to San Diego in 62.5 hours.

16 1951 – The Kaman K-225 is the world’s first gas turbine powered helicopter Fiat created this strange looking bird in the 50’s but was quickly canceled. The American XA-8 was evaluated by both the US Army and the US Air Force between but neither branch purchased these in quantity.

17 Igor Bensen made gyrocopter kits for “DIY’ers” in the 50’s and sold thousands of kits over a 30 year period. This is the Doak model 16 Tiltrotor. It was made for the US Army as an experimental aircraft in 1954.

18 During the early 50’s this Curtiss-Wright flying jeep was a test vehicle for the US Army. It is now on display at the Army’s aviation museum in Fort Rucker, Alabama. The Rolls Royce “Flying Bedstead” is the first true VTOL (Vertical Take- Off & Landing) aircraft with no lifting surfaces (no wings or blades) 1953

19 1954 – Convair made a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off & Landing) with counter- rotating blades. It was assigned to the Navy as a high performance fighter aircraft. It’s Allison turboprop engine developed 5,500 HP giving this aircraft a top speed of 610 mph.

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21 The HU-1A “Huey” was sold to South Vietnam as medevacs but later became a symbol of the US military as we became involved in the Vietnam war. 1962

22 1964 The Sikorsky S-65 is the biggest helicopter in the Western world. Known as “The Jolly Green Giant” it was used by the US Marine Corps and came equipped with seating for 55 troops.

23 1968 – Soviet Union The Mi-12 is the largest helicopter yet flown lifting 40,204 kg to an altitude of 2,255 m

24 1972 – Aerospatiale Lama hits a major helicopter height record of 12,442 m 1976 – Kaman makes the world’s first all composite rotor blades – Frank Robinson makes and flies the R-22. By 1979 he gets FAA certification and sold over 1,000 units by 1989

25 1980’s to Present – there are a variety of home-built kits available such as this “mosquito” gyrocopter and the “body-copter” shown below.

26 References: – Rotor F/X LLC - Helicopter Ultralight kits – Chinese history site – AHS International (American Helicopter Society) – Helicopter history site terpconnect.umd.edu – a history of helicopter flight by J. Gordon Leishman, professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park – the history of the helicopter – aviation website – history of flight


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