History of Helicopters (Under Construction)

Sikorsky, a name hugely connected with helicopters, actually tried to construct such a machine in 1910 but was unsuccessful.

Cierva's autogiro provided a great input of experience for the development of helicopters.

The first practical helicopter is generally considerd to be the Focke-Wolf FW 61 of 1936. Heinrich Focke, from Bremen, had gone into business with Georg Wolf to produce aircraft, but his true passion was always helicopters. He had previously tried out a Cierva machine and learnt a lot about the required techniques from it.

In appearance the FW61 was a lot more like a conventional aircraft than modern-day helicopters. It had two rotors either side of the cockpit. Great interest was engendered internationally, but the well-known 'indoor' flight by Hanna Reitsch in 1938 seems to have proved less than a success with the 8,000 strong audience. The aircraft was limited in what it could do inside, and all the windows had to be opened in the middle of a cold spell.

Flettner in Berlin Kolibri

John Young - Spitfires Over London
Spitfires Over London
John Young
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