Up, Up, and Away

An intriguing concept, this 1921 balloon/rotor helicopter designed by French engineer Etienne Oehmichen failed to establish a trend (Popular Mechanics, July 1921, p. 255). His later designs dispensed with the air bag, and he went on to develop a prize winning machine that set a circuit flight record of 1 km. He did return to powered blimps in the 1930s, with his remote controlled Hélicostat.

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