We take them for granted but go back a few hundred years and a helicopter would have been seen as pure magic. Take a look below for 16 crazy and fun facts about helicopters.
1. The world’s fastest helicopter can travel at 248 mph.
2. The longest nonstop trip on record is an amazing 2213 miles!
3. They can help fight fires by dropping thousands of litres of water from the air.
4. And chinook helicopters have enough horsepower to carry a tank into battle!
5. They are classed as a type of rotorcraft.
6. Helicopters can go forwards, backwards, laterally, and of course hover on the spot.
7. Many people think that Leonardo da Vinci’s flying contraption was the first ever drawing of a helicopter.
8. But Igor Sikorsky should have the honour of being the true inventor.
9. He created the VS-300 in 1939.
10. It was the world’s first practical design to take to the skies and featured an iconic tail rotor.
11. A helicopter’s average flying altitude is 12,000 feet.
12. One flight took the pilot to an amazing 40,820 feet above sea level.
13. The word ‘helicopter’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘spiral wings’.
14. Autorotation means they can land in a controlled fashion with a broken down engine.
15. The Mir diamond mine in Russia is so deep that helicopters are unable to fly over it.
16. The Chinook’s blades are so strong they could hold two Apaches.