This Helicopter-Car Flies Over Traffic! (Nov, 1941)

This Helicopter-Car Flies Over Traffic!

JESS DIXON, of Andalusia.

Ala., got tired of being tied up in traffic jams, so he designed and built this novel flying vehicle. It is a combination of automobile, helicopter, autogiro, and motorcycle. It has two large lifting rotos in a single head, revolving in opposite directions. It is powered by a 40 h.p. motor which is air-cooled. He claims his machine is capable of speeds up to 100 miles an hour.

11 comments
  1. Hirudinea says: May 10, 20116:34 pm

    Coolest rascal EVER!!

  2. M.S.W. says: May 11, 20116:28 am

    I wonder how many times he dared to hit the 100 MPH mark in that open cockpit?

  3. Scott B. says: May 11, 20116:59 am

    I’d love to know whatever happened to Mr. Dixon and his invention. Did he use it safely for years? Did he quit using it after a while? Did it kill or cripple him? My cursory internet investigations revealed nothing.

  4. Mike says: May 11, 20118:58 am

    The old joke about a flying car… seems quite a few have been invented. Looking back through the Transportation > Aviation category there have have been numerous attempts.

  5. Anton says: May 11, 20111:03 pm

    Scott B.: I share your curiosity. I have found a Jessie Earvin Dixon that was either born or issued a patent June 19, 1917. Jack House wrote an article in the Birmingham News March 16, 1941 about him: “Andalusia Man has Patented Helicopter That Is Queer Apparatus”. Patent Number: 1,230,686 Class 172. I was not able to find a Social Security death record by that exact on him so I reason he either died before he or a spouse was eligible from years of paying into SS to draw from it. It is possible I guess he’s still living or listed in SS departed files without his middle name. Hope I don’t have to travel to Birmingham, Alabama to find more on Mr. Dixon.

  6. Scott B. says: May 12, 20118:21 am

    Anton — Dixon doesn’t look like a young man in that photo. I’d be surprised if he’s still among the living. Funny how someone and something like that can have 15 minutes of fame, and then completely disappear! A one-off home-built contra-rotating chopper like that just amazes me! Who was this fellow that he could scratch-build and fly something that complex? And in Alabama, no less!! (I say that, as a native Georgian, with affection).

  7. Anton says: May 13, 20115:13 pm

    Scott B.: Looked at Dixon’s Patent 1,230,686 mentioned with information listed on him at Birmingham Library online concerning the article by Jack House (1941 Helicopter). The patent number listed is his but other than on a helicopter. It is one he applied for May 12, 1915 and granted June 19, 1917 entitled “Sweep Shoe and Blade” for an “attachment to the ordinary type of shovel or plow”. Hence, I know you are correct about his age in 1941. As far as Alabama technology prior to 1941, steel mills and industry related to heavy industry like locomotives was there prior to the build up of Fort Rucker Army Aviation, Redstone Arsenal and Anniston Army Depot. Remember Dayton, Ohio industry was mostly known for cash registers and steel prior to the bike shop brothers that attached motors and themselves to strange kites. Library link http://www.bham.lib.al….
    I used.

  8. Anton says: May 13, 20116:12 pm

    According to http://www.aerofiles.co… this was flown in 1936 and although a picture was taken of it in the air which Jess Dixon flew, “no test results were found” of the “Roadable helicopter” described there.

  9. Bailey says: April 27, 20137:19 pm

    Anton- I just wanted you to know that Jess Dixon was my great-great uncle and he lived well into his 90s. This was one of his crowning achievements. He was also a very well known man in Auburn University along with his brother Solon Dixon (hence “the Solon Dixon Forestry Center”). I never personally knew him. I found all of this out through my grandmother who grew up in Andalusia, AL. Everything I found out about him was through her. She also informed me he was a very wealthy man. He owned a timber Industry. But sadly, he and his wife have been dead for almost fourth years now. I hoped I answered some of your questions.

  10. thehawkandbuzzard says: July 21, 201311:18 am

    Bailey. Wow. That is an excellent response. Now that the who is solved, I would love to know more about the machine and how and when it was used. And where it ended up.

  11. Anton says: August 1, 201311:05 am

    Bailey: I saw on the 1940 Census for Jess he was 53 then and had 4 years of college and Solon was 37 having completed 5 years of college. For the on-line 1940 Census for Jess it is: Alabama ED 20-3B, image 7 (sheet 4A) line 28 and for Solon it is: Alabama ED 20-3A, image 14 (sheet 7B) line 48. Other details are given that align with the history you provided on both individuals. Your family has good reason to be pround of them. Hope this saves you some time in looking for those page images if you want to navigate to them by starting at http://www.archives.gov… .

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