It Goes Straight UP

It Goes Straight UP


Learning to Fly One

A student received a gift certificate for helicopter flying lessons for his birthday. One day he was bored and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. When he arrived at the place, the instructor said, “Well, there’s only one helicopter here and it only has one seat. If I show you how to do it, do you mind going up solo?”

“Of course not! I can handle it,” the student said.

Well, he showed him the inner workings of the helicopter and sent him on his way, only asking that he radio in every 400 feet just to make sure everything was going smoothly.

At 400 feet, he radioed in and said, “Wow! This is so much fun!”

At 800 feet, he radioed in again, saying, “This is pretty easy, I can do this all day!”

At 1,200 feet, the student didn’t radio in. He waited and waited, and didn’t hear from the student. Seconds later, he heard a crash in the field next to the station. He ran out to see what happened and discovered the student had crashed.

Luckily, he survived. “What happened?” the instructor exclaimed.

“Well, I was doing fine, but I started to get cold so I just turned off the big fan!”

Civilian Training Helicopters

The Robinson 22 dominates the civilian training market and is frequently used for livestock management on large ranches in North America and Australia.



The first references for vertical flight came from China and since around 400 BC, Chinese children played with bamboo flying toys which comprises of a stick and a rotor.


Leonardo da Vinci created a design for a machine described as an aerial screw. His notes indicated he build small flying models.


The first piloted helicopter was invented by Paul Cornu in France in 1907. It flew to the towering altitude of 5 to 7 feet for less than a minute. Another French inventor, Etienne Oehmichen was more successful. His attempt at a helicopter flew one over half a mile (1 kilometer) in 1921 but still at only of 6 feet above the ground.

Heinrich Focke at Focke-Wulf in Germany helped develop the first practical helicopter, the Focke-Wulf Fw 61. It first flew in 1936, breaking all helicopter distance, speed, and altitude records the following year. Then came Igor Sikorsky, considered to be the father of helicopters because his was the first successful helicopter. Russian born Sikorsky began work on helicopters around 1910, and by 1940 his successful VS-300 became the model for all modern single rotor helicopters. He also designed and built the first military helicopter, the XR-4 for the U.S. Army.

Bell Aircraft hired Arthur Young to help build a helicopter using Young’s unique two blade design. His ideas eventually led to the Bell 47 in 1946, which became the first helicopter certified for civilian use in the United States. Produced in many countries, the Bell 47 was the most popular helicopter model for nearly 30 years.


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