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The Most Influential Helicopter in History


Most Important Helicopter in History  

77 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following helicopter models do you think has influenced both aviation and history as a whole, the most?

    • Leonardo da Vinci's Ornithopter Flying Machine
      1
    • The German Focke-Wulf Fw 61
      1
    • Igor Sikorsky's VS-300
      6
    • Bell 47
      17
    • UH-1 "Huey"
      40
    • AH-1 "Cobra"
      1
    • AH-64 "Apache"
      0
    • CH-47 "Chinook"
      1
    • R-22
      2
    • Sea King "HMX-1 Division" (Marine 1)
      0
    • Piaseki H-21 "Flying Banana"
      0
    • OH-1 "Cayuse"
      2
    • SH-34J "Choctaw"
      0
    • UH-60 "Blackhawk"
      0
    • K-Max Heavy Lift Helicopter
      1
    • Bell 206
      5
    • OTHER (Please specify in a post)
      0


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Just thought I would see what everybody out there thought, i have justification for all the helos I picked here: post your own thoughts as well I would like to know how this breaks down across the aviation community.

 

 

· Leonardo da Vinci's Ornithopter Flying Machine

The alleged first drawing to inspire helicopter design.

 

· The German Focke-Wulf Fw 61

The first functional helicopter design.

 

· Igor Sikorsky's VS-300

The first common design helicopter, started the Sikorsky legacy.

 

· Bell 47

Brought about military rotary wing aviation as well as some of the first large scale news and law enforcement helo operations.

 

· UH-1 "Huey"

Really obvious reasons, the face of the Vietnam War and also brought the concept of helicopters to many future pilots.

 

· AH-1 "Cobra"

The first idea of a dedicated attack (AH) helicopter and also showed the idea of in-line seating over side by side piloting.

 

· AH-64 "Apache"

Developed some of the first larger scale radar and weapons combinations which put the "Hunter Killer" missions into a single aircraft.

 

· R-22

Made rotary wing aviation affordable and practicallybrought it to anyone interested in helo flight

 

· Sea King "HMX-1 Division" (Marine 1)

The shuttle of the most powerful man in the World, a statement of power, and of total overall, now sporting many totally classified defense technologies.

 

· Piaseki H-21 "Flying Banana"

The development of the counter-rotating blade design, paved the way for the CH-47 and allowed for larger and more substantial lifts to be performed by helicopters.

 

· OH-1 "Cayuse"

Began the "Hunter Killer" mission in Vietnam and, in turn a new ideal of helicopter warfare.

 

· SH-34J "Choctaw"

The first use of a specific military branch helicopter, in this case the U.S. Marines, also developed the idea that helicopters must be designed for war, not adapted as it was. (sported many association with high crash to flight ration)

 

· CH-47 "Chinook"

The true work horse of many militaries and governments, a sign of both power and relief across the globe

 

K-Max Heavy Lift Helicopter

Proved Bigger is not always better, pushed the limits of what helicopter - engineers could think of and where they would go next.

 

Bell 206

"Brought turbine power to the civil arena, made it affordable." -Eric Hunt

Edited by Auto-Rotation-Nation
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I choose the The German Focke-Wulf Fw 61 for the obvious reason that it was the first functional helicopter. It proved that the theory was possible.

 

As far as most influential or historical helicopter goes, I would have to give that one to the huey, it is one of, if not the best known helicopters throughout the United States.

 

Great poll to get the brain spinning, maybe I should have voted for the Da vinci drawing, he came up with the concept. My thought is, if somebody had not proven the possibility, there would not be rotorwing aviation.

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As things continue to be suggested, I will contine to add them to the poll so check back often to post your vote.

Edited by Auto-Rotation-Nation
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Chinook twice but no Blackhawk?

 

What makes an aircraft the most influential? I think it is a combination of how early it was placed in service, the number placed in service, the years in service and the part it played in major events in the world.

 

While the UH-1 is more influential (I voted for it), the service life on the Blackhawk is now over 30 years. I believe it will soon be more identifiable to the general public than the UH-1 Huey. Off the top of my head I think the Blackhawk has been in more conflicts than the Huey.

 

I know the Chinook has been around longer than the UH-60, but the shear number of Blackhawks in service weighs heavily.

 

I'll keep my vote for the UH-1 even if the Blackhawk was included, but I think the Blahawk is going to have a very high place in the ranking in the next 10 years.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Juan de le Cierva solved all the practical problems of the helicopter. He is mostly remembered for his autogyros, and sadly was killed in a DC-2 crash in 1936 and never saw an actual helicopter fly as a result. He invented and patented the rotating and stationary swashplate, cyclic controls, and collective controls. Without his inventions controlled helicopter flight was not possible. He sub-licensed his patents to Pitcairn Autogiro in the US and Focke-Wulf in Germany before his death. As a result the Germans flew the first functional helicopter, and Pitcairn gave the designs to the US government for the war effort. Arthur Young (Bell) and Igor Sikorsky in the US were able to proceed with Cierva's designs released.

 

So Juan de le Cierva designed the original helicopter.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Beg to differ, because the maple seed is an autogyro. Which would make the dragon fly and hummingbird the natural prototypes for powered hovering and vertical flight.

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  • 3 years later...

I voted for the model 47. It's introduction to both the civilian & military markets in the late 40's and early 50's paved the way for the helicopter industry as we know it today. The equipment we have today all evolved from the concepts the 47 pioneered in the early days. oil exploration,survey, HEMS. ENG,tours, ag & utility all started with the 47. It may not have been the best machine out there but it's introduction in large numbers certainly makes it the most influential.

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I voted for the model 47. It's introduction to both the civilian & military markets in the late 40's and early 50's paved the way for the helicopter industry as we know it today. The equipment we have today all evolved from the concepts the 47 pioneered in the early days. oil exploration,survey, HEMS. ENG,tours, ag & utility all started with the 47. It may not have been the best machine out there but it's introduction in large numbers certainly makes it the most influential.

 

The Bell 47 (H-13) was the first armed helicopter as well. The army conducted experimental gunnery tests at Rucker in the 50's. I voted for the UH-1 though, cause not only did they make gazillions of them, they were really the first armed gunship helos - which spawned the AH-1 (same airframe). Still in service in different models, the army is only now divesting itself of the UH-1.

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The Bell 47 (H-13) was the first armed helicopter as well. The army conducted experimental gunnery tests at Rucker in the 50's. I voted for the UH-1 though, cause not only did they make gazillions of them, they were really the first armed gunship helos - which spawned the AH-1 (same airframe). Still in service in different models, the army is only now divesting itself of the UH-1.

 

Like they say...when the last Blackhawk is retired the pilots will fly back in a Huey ;)

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I would have to go with the UH-1. No, the Huey wasn't the first helicopter around but it is absolutely the most widely proliferated military and civil helicopter in the world.

 

That being said, the amount of research and data that has been collected by these helicopters is without equal.

 

The AH-1 came about because of the success of the Huey gunship. Later, the UH-60 was developed with key limitations and success noted from the UH-1 model. Even the Russians noted using design features from UH-1 and lessons learned from Vietnam to develop and field their Mi-8 and Mi-24 programs.

 

The air-frame wasn't the only thing that we use today as a result of the UH-1. The way we fly, our landing techniques, formation flying, and tactics is all of a result of the pioneers of Army Aviation that were flying UH-1 Assault, Medevac and Gun missions.

 

Vietnam era UH-1s are still flying today and to note the airframe is still being deployed into combat in its modified form.

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Hmm. A question that makes ol' Nearly Retired stop and think. And it's hard enough to make me do just *one* of those things <rimshot>!

 

Sure, there are a lot of "important" helicopters in the history of our industry. The Bell 47...I mean, how can you *not* consider it for the "most..." whatever?

 

But at the end of the day since the great and wonderful (and manly!) Sikorsky S-55 is not on that list then I gotta go with Wally and the UH-1. The Huey is just filled with awesomeness. Every time I see one of these newfangled UH-1Y's I just shake my head in wonderment, especially when I think about where it came from.

 

Oh, and about that maple seed... Who was it that posted:

The maple seed. Manufacturer: Master of Creation.

 

 

Man, my internal caution panel lit up like a, pardon the expression Christmas tree over that one! I must remind you alll that not all of us believe that there was a sole Master of Creation. Many of us believe that our entire universe just sort of...you know..."happened" spontaneously with no intelligent design involved. So unless you want to incur the wrath of a certain woman atheist who flies a certain red Robby and seems always pissed-off at something or someone, I would retract that statement STAT! if'n I wuz you, which I'm not, obviously.

 

But just to reiterate, I swear to God the UH-1 Huey is the most important, influential helicopter of all time. Wait, that came out wrong.

 

Or did it?

 

Oh yeah, and one teeny-tiny correction: It's "OH-6 Cayuse," not "OH-1." You made that same mistake twice there, buddy. OH-6.

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The OH6 did the LOH (pronounced 'loach') scout mission in Vietnam, replacing various piston OH models. The LOH was the definitive scout helo there, small, fast and it crashed well, protecting it's occupants. Crash survivability is important when you're flying a future target marker...

I never heard it called anything but LOH in Vietnam.

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