The history of the helicopter

The history of the helicopter

The helicopters you see today are great aircraft. But just like the aeroplane and the car, this modern invention has evolved significantly since it was first introduced.

While we use luxury state-of-the-art helicopters to deliver our customers professional helicopter flights around Sydney, our fleet varies from the original helicopters that used to be flying around. In fact, the initial conception of helicopters has changed completely compared to how it is being used in the present for leisure and tourism, among other services.

Before you jump into one of our helicopters, we encourage you to learn about this specialised mode of transport and its history to truly appreciate its service. To discover the history of helicopters and how they have developed and progressed over time, read below.

Early traces of helicopters in history

Since the beginning of time, the idea of flying and getting from one place to another in little time has been a fascinating topic. To address and accomplish this concept, a helicopter is one of the many inventions drafted.

The lovechild of fast travel and vertical flying, the idea of helicopters can be traced back to 400 CE in children’s bamboo toys that would fly through the air courtesy of its propeller-like structure.

A more established milestone in the development was the earliest concept of vertical flying drawn on paper by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century. Detailing an aircraft made of starched linen and wood that featured a spiral airscrew on the top, his notes claimed it needed to be turned by men but would lift vertically off the ground, although never proven.

The invention of helicopters

A turning point in the invention, the first successful creation of a helicopter was in 1843 by Sir George Cayley. It was a steam-powered engine that established the principles of a helicopter, despite it being too bulky for a real purpose.

Fast forward through countless approaches, models and similar contraptions, the initial creation of helicopters most like the ones you see flying around the community today was in 1939 by Igor Sikorsky. Using horsepower and a single three-bladed rotor, this successful model has heavily influenced today’s designs.

Sydney Helicopters

The evolution of helicopters overtime

Over time, different versions of the helicopter have been proposed. The helicopter has evolved significantly from varying materials to different approaches in response to emerging weight, control, and stabilisation issues.

Other vertical-take-off aircraft were also invented following the development of helicopters, using similar mechanisms. Convertiplanes and autogiros are two major alternatives that offered vertical flight.

The purpose of helicopters has also been an evolving factor. There was a rapid use of helicopters for commercial purposes after World War II. Playing a role in emergency and community services, helicopters were commonly used for firefighters, police, medical assistance, evacuation, transportation, transfers and mail distribution.

Since then, it has extended its use. Not only is it still utilised for the mentioned purposes, but it is now offering a broad range of services. Delivering exceptional and exclusive photography and videography opportunities, the views it provides has been monopolised. Most notably, helicopters have had a surge in tourism purposes, providing helicopter flights to explore and offer once-in-a-lifetime tour experiences.

At Sydney Helicopters, we have proudly been servicing the city of Sydney and its surrounding regions with an array of helicopter services since our establishment in 1985. We are the longest-running commercial helicopter operator in Sydney and provide a range of professional services and helicopter flights for tours, charters and airwork.

To discover our range of helicopter services, visit our website or give our friendly staff a call on (02) 9637 4455 to learn more.