Who Invented Helicopter
Igor Sikorsky was the first to design a practical helicopter,Vought-Sikorsky-300 (VS-300), on September 14, 1939. It was built by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation. It was the world's first helicopter which consists of a single main rotor and tail rotor design. The first flight of this helicopter was piloted by Sikorsky and lasted for only a few seconds. The rotor had three blades of 28-foot diameter, which gave the blade speed 250 to 300 mph and variable pitch.
Later, the concepts of VS-300 became standard and the basis for the production of helicopters. Sikorsky was granted a patent for a direct lift aircraft in 1935. The direct lift aircraft included the features of the VS-300.
Igor Sikorsky and the invention of the helicopter
Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky was born on May 25, 1889. In his childhood, while he was home schooling by his mother, he developed a love for art. Igor developed an interest in the life and work of Leonardo Da Vinci. In addition, he was very fascinated by the stories of Jules Verne. Igor became interested in natural sciences at the age of 11 while in Germany with his father. He started building flying machine models and made a small helicopter that was rubber powered at the age of 12. To expand his knowledge in engineering, Sikorsky enrolled in the mechanical college of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in the Russian Empire in 1907. After learning about the work of the Wright brothers' Flyer and others, Sikorsky decided to study aviation.
After many experiments and several unsuccessful attempts, Sikorsky began developing his first practical helicopter VS-300 in 1939 when he was at Vought-Sikorsky Division. VS-300 flew its test flight with cables connected in September 1939.
Specifications of VS-300
The VS-300, powered by a 75 HP engine, had a single rotor with three blades. Thus, it was the first helicopter to have a single lifting rotor. Sikorsky later developed VS-300 with utility floats; this made take-off and landing over water possible in 1941. Hence, it became the first amphibious helicopter.In May 1941, VS-300 held the world endurance record for staying a loft for 1 hour 32 minutes and 26.1 seconds. A two-seater version of VS-300 was designed for the US Army in 1942.
History of Helicopters
Chinese Kite was one of the first designs with a vertical flight, using rotary wings for lift. Then the toys which used the pulling force of the string for the rotary blade to turn became popular.
Leonardo Da Vinci made a spiral airscrew for a lift in his helicopter drawing in the 15th century.
Launoy and Bienvenu presented their feather helicopter model to the French Academy of Science.
The first steam-powered helicopter model was developed by the father of fixed-wing flight Sir George Cayley.
Paul Cornu made the first man-carrying helicopter powered by a 24 HP engine with a 20-second free flight.
A successful autogiro flight took place in 1923 by Juan de la Cierva. An autogiro is different from a helicopter as it is not powered and lifts with its mechanical rotation produced by air.
Focke Achgelis Fa 61was developed in 1936 in Germany.It received its power from a 160 HP radial engine and had two three-bladed rotors.
From 1939 to 1941, Sikorsky designed and developed VS-300.
Ways in which helicopters make our lives better
Helicopters are not just technological advancement but also an invention that has significantly impacted our lives over the years. These are examples of ways in which helicopters help us make our lives better -
Helicopters have been used in medical emergencies when the time to hospitalize a patient is significantly less. For example, a patient is critically ill, and helicopter-based air ambulances have played a crucial role.
All of us are safe in our country because of our national defense service. Helicopters are used to evacuate the injured soldiers, transport supplies and troops, search and rescue missions, and protectthe homeland.
Helicopters help us to keep track of our natural resources. For example, finding and connecting remote areas with electric supply. The primary application is in the oil and gas industry, where workers are transported to offshore locations.
Search and Rescue Operations
Helicopters are used in search and rescue missions during major disasters and help save lives.
Helicopters are used for aerial fire-fighting in remote areas. It has helped keep wildlife safe by controlling forest fires.