Introduction: The Helicopter Story (05:14)
Militaries use the versatile rotary winged aircraft for reconnaissance, evacuation, weapons and supply drops, transportation, amphibious landings, anti-submarine operations, and attack. Civilian applications include sea and fire rescues, firefighting, police patrol and enforcement, ranching, crop spraying, construction, and transport.
Early Developments (06:59)
Leonardo da Vinci designed the Lifting Screw; the Wright brothers made the first powered flight in 1903. Many attempted engineering rotary winged aircraft without achieving liftoff or stability. Juan de la Cierva invented the Autogyro; Louis Breguet produced the first helicopter with contra rotating blades.
Preparing for War (07:30)
Germany produced advanced helicopter technologies featured in Anton Flettner's Model 185, and Focke Achgelis FA-61 and Doblhoff WNF 342; they invented the warfare types and debuted the FL 282 Kolibri in 1941. United States based Igor Sikorsky designed the VS-300; he manufactured R-4's for the American and Royal Navies.
Wartime Innovations (05:14)
In 1941, Bell Aircraft Company funded a full sized prototype of Arthur Young's remote controlled model, incorporating the stabilizer bar; they produced the Bell Model 47 Sioux in 1945. The United States Navy commissioned Frank Piasecki to design the PV-3 for rescue missions.
The Fifties: Military Applications (04:05)
During the Korean War, helicopters evacuated injured troops, transporting them to MASH facilities; the Bell Sioux featured covered stretchers flanking the cabin. The versatile Sikorsky S-55 had six stretcher capacity. The British used the Bristol Sycamore and Sikorsky S-51 to fight communist camps in the Malayan Jungle.
The Fifties: Civil Applications (03:39)
Farmers used helicopters to spray crops, and harvest nuts; oil companies used them for prospecting, and pipeline patrol. Commuter types developed, including the Hiller Flying Donut. Howard Hughes aviation company produced the XH-17 Heavy Lift; the Sikorsky Sky Crane lifted 20 tons over 200 miles.
War Machine (09:59)
French military used Piasecki Flying Bananas and Sikorsky F-55 for transport during the Algerian conflict. During the Vietnam War, the United States Marines established the 11the Air Assault Brigade, equipped with Bell UH-1 Iroquois; the Army Air Mobile Division carried out large scale operations, locating Viet Cong with Hughes OH-6 Cayuse.
Air Mobile Operations (04:14)
After Vietnam, helicopters were adopted globally by militaries; Russians developed the Hind, used in the 1980s Afghanistan conflict. Tank busters were utilized by navies for anti-submarine and amphibious landing missions. During the Gulf War, the 101st Airborne Division set up refueling stations and attacked Iraq from within using Hughes Apache Gunships.
Modern Civil Uses (03:00)
During the 1980s, the helicopter was adopted by police forces, and firefighters; it was used for medical emergency transport, emergency evacuations, and humanitarian supply drops. The Russian Mi-26 Halo debuted, with 60 passenger capacity; NOTAR technology made rotary winged craft more maneuverable.
Credits: The Helicopter Story (00:42)
Credits: The Helicopter Story
For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or firstname.lastname@example.org.