The idea of rotary wing aircraft has been around since 400 B.C., when children in China would play with bamboo flying toys. The concept can be found in nature, as some trees have seed casings that take on a propellor shape to disperse seeds in the wind.
Crude helicopters powered by springs were built in the late 1700s. The first flight of a manned helicopter took place in 1907, when Jacques and Louis Breguet piloted the Gyroplane No. 1. The Gyroplane hovered two feet above the ground for about one minute. Although the Gyroplane was not considered a “free” flight, it is considered the first successful manned helicopter flight.
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