One-Man Helicopters Give Soldiers Wings (Mar, 1940)

One-Man Helicopters Give Soldiers Wings
Soldiers hurling themselves across wide streams at a single leap, charging over battlefields at high speeds, flying across wide trenches and gaping shell holes in a series of broad jumps—that is the picture envisioned by George de Bothezat, of New York City, inventor of a curious one-man helicopter. Consisting of two propellers mounted on a vertical axis and driven horizontally in opposite directions by a lightweight gasoline engine, the apparatus is anchored in a framework over the head of the user, who wears a special belt-and-harness support. The machine, controlled in the air by body, arm, and leg movements, might also be used by sportsmen.

9 comments
  1. Blurgle says: June 8, 20087:22 am

    Has anyone ever perfected this? Because whoa…

    Although I’m not sure about the “lightweight gasoline engine” part. Running out of gas is an inconvenience these days, but running out of gas at 800 AGL…

  2. jayessell says: June 8, 20088:13 am

    I’m wondering how you would:
    Start
    Launch
    Steer
    Land
    Stop

  3. JeffConn says: June 8, 20088:15 am

    So what happens when the user hits the ground? That apparatus lands on top of him? *yikes* OR what if the user, still strapped in, leans forward to put the apparatus on the ground and the propellors haven’t completed stopped rotating? This one could get UGLY!

  4. Bob says: June 8, 20088:34 am

    Where is the gas tank?

  5. jayessell says: June 8, 20089:10 am

    Bob, the cover illustration shows landing/takeoff legs and what could be a fuel tank over the ‘pilot’.

  6. Eliyahu says: June 8, 20089:42 am

    A sniper’s dream… slow-moving aerial targets that aren’t in a position to shoot back…

  7. Repack Rider says: June 8, 20084:46 pm

    What sort of “sportsman” would be using one of those?

  8. Greg says: June 8, 20086:23 pm

    It’s not as compact as what they describe, but it looks like the general idea is plausible: http://www.ultralightfl…

  9. KHarn says: June 9, 20085:45 pm

    I can’t stop thinking of this as a “Far Side” comic with the caption “It was then that Bob realized that he hadn’t mailed his last insureance payment”!

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