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Wednesday
Mar252009

The Future of the Helicopter (1955)

Flying Platform - 1955

The April 30, 1955 issue of Pacific Stars and Stripes (Tokyo, Japan) ran this short piece about the future of the helicopter. While it's certainly up for debate, I think the "hoppi-copter" pictured in the article below may be the most dangerous flying machine this side of a flying Ford Pinto

The many different shapes and sizes helicopter-like flying machines have assumed in recent years were designed mainly for military use but the future promises civilian occupations for almost all of them.

The Navy's new "flying platform" is a recent example. The machine consists of a wingless circular platform. It contains two fans rotating in opposite directions and producing an air blast that lifts and propels the platform.

Inexpensive and so simple to operate it could serve as an assault boat for the individual solider, it also may be the businessman's speedy coupe of the future.

Another unusual whirlybird is the "portable helicopter," a four-bladed rotor and engine weighing 60 pounds. To fly, the operator simply straps the contraption on his back, starts the motor and takes off.

In war the infantryman might use it for airborne assaults. In peacetime the Dodger fan could take in a double header without having to fight stadium crowds on the way to the game.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

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Reader Comments (4)

The remark about a baseball fan... I highly doubt he'd be the only one trying that, which would probably defeat the purpose.

March 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLurker

The "flying platform" thing was also featured in some documentary series, I can't remember which - probably "Modern Marvels". It was about some spectacularly failed weapons and military technology (right there with rocket pistols and small nuclear weapons with a blast radius bigger than the range.)

March 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWWWWolf

That"Bell ConvertiPlane" looks a whole lot like the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor military aircraft, which killed lord knows how many test pilots before they finally kinda-sorta got it to work. I think it still suffers from inherent instabilities when making the transition from one mode to another. I live not too far from a military base and I get the shivers when one flies overhead.

April 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFJP

Sikorsky already made a prototype called "Cyper" using similar technology to flying platform

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_Cypher

April 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwagler

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