The concept has been around for 1,500 years. Da Vinci famously drew a model of a helicopter. However a practical model of a helicopter wasn’t “invented” until the 1930s. Juan De La Cierva built the first helicopter/fixed wing aircraft hybrid in 1923. Louis Breguet built the Gyroplane-Laboratoire in the late 1930s, and although it was the first helicopter, it wasn’t practical and barely flew. Heinrich Focke is credited as inventing the first practical helicopter, “Model 61” in 1936. It didn’t get world-wide fame until 1938, when it was flown in an enclosed sports arena. It was flown by Hanna Reitsch, a famous female test pilot.
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