1907Louis Breguet & Professor Richet build and fly a 4 rotor 45 HP machine to 5 feet. This didn’t qualify as a free flight because it was steadied by 4 assistants
1907Few weeks later, Paul Cornu has the first free flight of a helicopter when his machine gets to five feet with a passenger hanging under it.
1910Igor Sikorsky (Russian) Built a co-axial 25 HP helicopter capable of lifting only its own weight.
3 main problems the early helicopters had trouble withPower to weight ratio of enginesDissymmetry of liftGyroscopic precession
1920’sJuan de la Cierva devoted his lift to designing a safer aircraft not dependant on forward speed to develop lift. This led to the autogyro. It was a conventional aircraft to produce forward thrust and freely rotating wings to produce lift. The wind milling effect of the rotating wings is known as auto-rotation. The first model had counter rotating rotors that he hoped would cancel the gyroscopic effect. However, this arrangement was inefficient. Next two attempts were single rotor systems that ended in failure.
Third attempt with the single rotor was an entirely new design that solved the problems of the autogyro and paved the way for the helicopter. The blades were hinged so that they could rise and fall freely during flight. This is known as the flapping hinge.He also introduced the lead-lag hinge1936Cierva’s death the autogyro is well established.
1937Focke-Achgelis FW-61 flown by Hanna Reitsch inside Deutschland Halle in Berlin
Anton Flettner invented the synchro-rotor system – 2 contra rotating two-bladed rotors mounted side by side.
1940Sikorsky reenters the helicopter field with the VS-3001941Later version of Flettner’s helicopter put into production to protect German convoysMay 1941VS-300 breaks world record for endurance held by FW-61
1942Sikorsky starts production of the R-4B. 400 are produced.Bell, Hiller & Piasecki enter the helicopter field. Most engines are modified fixed wing engines.
Bell 47 was the first helicopter to receive civilian certification in 1946
1951Military developed interest in the helicopter which led to development of turbine engines designed for the helicopter
Third generation of helicopters is now in use. Composite materials, FADEC controlled engines, improved survivability.NH industriesEurocopter 62.5%Agusta: 32%Fokker: 5.5%
Introduction To Helicopters
History of the Helicopter<br />
1483<br />Leonardo da Vinci<br />BCIT Aerospace<br />