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Transcript of Helicopter Timeline
Chinese bamboo toy consisting of a stick and a rotor was the earliest form of helicopter.
Leonardo De Vinci made the aerial screw, an aircraft with a screw like configuration that produced lift when spun; however he never made a real model, only drawings.
Christian De Launoy created a model with two rotors that spun in opposite directions; therefore balancing out the torque reaction and improving stability and handling.
The first time aluminium was used in helicopters. It was advantageous as it was light, strong and corrosion resistant.
Paul Cornu invented the first pilot driven helicopter. His helicopter incorporated two six metre rotors in counter-rotation to each other. The helicopter was made from a simple airframe constructed from steel.
Alphonse Penaud developed the co-axial rotor consisting of a pair of rotors fitted onto the same shaft which spun on the same axis as each other; although each rotor spun in different directions. This balanced the torque reaction, as did De Launoy’s development.
Father and son Emile and Henry Berliner developed a rotor capable of movement on the x-axis. This provided directional control of the helicopter.
Stud welding was invented and used for industrial use for purposes such as welding steel.
1935: Fibreglass was developed, yet it wasn’t used in helicopters until 1965.
Heinrich Karl Johann Focke made the first helicopter that was fully controlled by the pilot; the Fw 61.
Igor Sikorsky created the first successful helicopter that has formed one of the fundamentals of helicopter design; the VS-300. The helicopter had one main rotor made from timber that was attached to the top of the fuselage. It was the first helicopter to utilise a tail rotor which spun on the vertical plane; producing horizontal thrust which opposed the torque reaction. The fuselage itself was made from a tubular steel frame and stud welded together. It became the first mass produced helicopter on which modern helicopters are based (main rotor and tail rotor)
1962: Skids replace wheels as landing gear in lightweight helicopters. They were advantageous as they were lightweight and simple to connect.
Fibreglass was used in the construction of helicopters, particularly for the blades and airframe
Composite technology improved with the development of better plastic resins and strengthening fibres, leading to the creation of carbon fibre which was used for the fuselage, rotor blades and ducting of the engine.
1972: The first derivative of a stealth helicopter was developed for the US Military.
The USA military developed the first fully controllable unmanned helicopter (externally controlled)
The first electric helicopter was created by Sikorsky ( an American aviation company).