Early German Helicopters
Presented by Phil Gioia
Saturday, February 15
11 am – 12:00 pm
Germany was far ahead of other nations in the early development of rotary-wing aircraft.
Focke-Wulf’s Fw-61, the world’s first practical helicopter, flew in 1936, three years before Igor Sikorsky demonstrated his prototype in America. German designs also negated the effects of rotor torque, which requires constant pilot correction.
During WW II the Germans developed and deployed heavy-lift, reconnaissance, light-attack, and towed rotor-kite designs.
Germany’s helicopter designers and pilots included Heinrich Focke, Georg Wulf, Gerd Achgelis, Anton Flettner, and Hannah Reitsch, the world’s most accomplished woman aviator, test pilot, and holder of multiple flight records.
Phil Gioia will take us through this little-known and fascinating chapter of aviation history, with commentary and pictures of the designers, pilots, and German rotorcraft, developed and deployed from 1933 to 1945.