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The Legacy of the Helicopter Developed by Design

Aug 17, 2007
The helicopter and the airplane are undoubtedly the most important inventions of the 20th century's aeronautical industry. People have had dreams of flying since they were born. Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian genius, was the first person who ever drew a sketch of a manually piloted helicopter. It stirred some water at that moment, but it wasn't until the 20th century that the first modern helicopter was built, in the late 30s.

There are many and important differences between the airplane and the helicopter. Although we are not going to talk about the plane much, its basic idea is that it has to execute a forward motion in order to be able to move. The wings have the purpose of generating a force which neutralizes the gravity force when they are moving through the air, and this is exactly what makes the plane fly.

The helicopter is very different. Its ability to hover into the air without even moving is unique. This is caused by the continuous motion of the blades. This has a main factor, like in the case of airplane wings, the air resistance force.

The force which the rotating blades generate is equal to the weight of the helicopter when the helicopter hovers. If the pilot wishes to take the helicopter to a bigger height, the blades' positioning angle must be modified. The pilot has the ability to do this simultaneously with all the helicopter's blades.

The helicopter has only one engine, and this engine is used to spin the rotor. Although most helicopters have a single main rotor, there are some who have two. They are meant to offer a greater stability for the helicopter by spinning in different directions.

Most helicopters have a single main rotor though and a smaller one which produces a horizontal force at the tail of the helicopter. If, by any chance, the engine fails in mid-air, the main rotor's spin will be significantly reduced. This means that the rotor won't be able to provide the necessary ascending force for the helicopter to fly.

However, even in this desperate situation, a helicopter can still land safely, especially if there's an experienced pilot on board. This can be done through a method called auto-rotation. This is also one of the main advantages of the helicopter, the fact that even in the most difficult conditions it can bring a pilot safely to the ground.

Helicopters have many uses, from warfare to saving lives or as a transportation means. The most technologically advanced ones are a menace on any battlefield, due to their sheer maneuverability and stealth. There are also big helicopters used to carry military equipment from place to place. Also, rich people can afford helicopters which are able to get them from place to place very quickly.

Then, helicopters are also used in rescuing people from difficult situations, in places where nothing else could reach. For example, countless persons have been saved from remote mountain tops or from rough seas. This could have never been possible otherwise, and this is maybe the biggest utility of a helicopter.
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Guidelines and tips on helicopter travel and flight
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