UNBELIVEABLE: THIS DRAWING IS FROM 1946!
No, this is not a joke! Instead, this authentic cartoon is taken from American Helicopter magazine, February issue 1946. These were still the very early days of the helicopter, and engineers had been happy that the standard configuration as pioneered by Sikorsky had been in the air at all. Naturally a cool magazine had to follow! Well, some things obviously never change throughout history 🙂
Amazingly, even though this rather complex technology had just been mastered, both the idea and the dream of going inverted had been there. Right from the start! Truly remarkable. And maybe this tells us that the lot of heli people hasn’t changed much during all those decades either 🙂 We all still like challenges and are super-early adopters. R/C pilots in general, and the same probably goes for HeliGraphix even more.
How long did it take until the first (model) helicopter flew inverted? Mike Mas, the long-time publisher behind Rotory Modeler magazine, is commonly referred to as the one who peformed the first switchless inverted hover back in 1977. Heli was a Schluter Heli-Boy – NO gyros back then! Given the fact there of course weren’t any simulators around either, this was (and is) certainly a remarkable achievement. Sure, lots of experience with fixed wing models was helpful. But thinking such a feat was simply would be a most severe underestimation. So kudos to both the guys who thought that helis should in theory be able to fly inverted, and to those who first did it!