Helicopter Facts

Helicopter Facts
Helicopters are classified as rotorcrafts. It uses rotors to supply the thrust and lift required for flight. The helicopter is unique in that it is able to take off and land vertically. It is also capable of hovering, flying forward, backward, and laterally. The idea of vertical flight has existed since 400BC, when Chinese toys made of bamboo mimicked the flight of modern day helicopters. In the 1480s Leonardo da Vinci designed a machine on paper that he believed would be capable of vertical flight. The first operational helicopter, called the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, was built in 1936. The first helicopter to be put into full production was a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky in 1942. Today helicopters are used for transportation, military, recreation, fighting fires, and for rescue and medical emergency transportation.
Interesting Helicopter Facts:
In 1861 a machine was called a helicopter, but it could not lift off the ground.
Helicopters are designed with spinning rotors, which can include two or more blades that provide the lift and thrust that make vertical flight possible.
Most helicopters have two rotors, one on the top and one on the tail.
Because helicopters are capable of vertical take-off and landing they are ideal for accessing difficult to reach locations in emergency situations.
Helicopters tend to be much noisier than airplanes, and they vibrate a lot.
Helicopters are capable of hovering but it is a difficult maneuver to control due to the air flow created by the rotors of the helicopter itself.
If the helicopter's engine stops, the rotor will often allow the helicopter to land safely because it continues to spin.
It is believed that there are approximately 45,000 helicopters operating around the world today. This number includes military helicopters.
There is a nut holding the main rotor to the shaft of the helicopter, called the 'Jesus nut'. This nut was named as such when a pilot said, "Oh Jesus, if that nut comes off..."
Helicopters can be used to lift heavy items into place. The Russian helicopter MIL Mi-12 Homer could lift 40,204kg to a height of 2255 meters.
The first person was rescued at sea by a helicopter in 1944. It is estimated that the use of helicopters has saved more than 3 million lives in war and peace times around the world since then.
Helicopters are also referred to as helos, whirlybirds, choppers, and copters.
In 2002 a helicopter crash in Chechnya resulted in the deaths of 114 passengers. There were 147 people on board, which exceeded the helicopter's capacity by 1.5 times.
Helicopters travel at speeds much slower than airplanes, but the advancing rotor blade can exceed the speed of sound.
If helicopters were not designed as well as they are, the vibration would be capable of shaking them apart.
The fastest recorded speed of a helicopter is roughly 248 miles per hour.
The farthest a helicopter has traveled without landing is 2213 miles.
Helicopters are often used to take photographs and film footage from the air.
Helicopters can help fight forest fires as they can carry helibuckets full of water to be dropped on strategic areas.

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