This Frenchman was the first person to fly by helicopter

This Frenchman was the first person to fly by helicopter

Nowadays, flying by helicopter has become so common that even "helicopter cities" already exist, that is, cities so overcrowded in their land traffic that the wealthiest citizens use a dense network of heliports to get from one point to another.

However, at the beginning of the 20th century, no one had yet flown in one of these aircraft. The first to do so was the next Frenchman .

Paul cornu

French engineer Paul Cornu was the first person to fly by helicopter. In 1907 he managed to take off with a hulk of his invention equipped with four propellers.

He used the light but solid structure of bicycles as the basis for the design of a flying machine that used a rotor instead of wings to fly.

Corno only managed to rise a foot and a half above the ground , but it was enough for the helicopter to stop being a mere impossible fantasy and become a reality. That same day he made another attempt, managing to raise the machine to a height of five feet, with Paul Cornu and his brother Jaques as passengers.

The flight was made on November 13, 1907 in the town of Lisieux, within the Calvados department, in northwestern France.

In developing his machine, Cornu built a balance of force for his rotor tests and was one of the first to conduct systematic experiments to study the thrust and power requirements for vertical flight. Cornu’s free flight test team, a model weighing up to 18 kg lifted by a 24 hp engine driving two counter-rotating rotors, had to perform several sustained flights, both in hover and forward flight, and with many witnesses. of the event .

Cornu patented his design, and it is registered as U.S. Patent 902,859, filed on September 11, 1906 .

Cornu died on June 6, 1944 under the rubble of his house, which was destroyed in the course of the precursor bombings of the Normandy landings by the Allies during World War II .