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.


Popular Mechanics (April 1916) is startled by Sikh soldiers’ use of the chakram. This seems to be the most modern account of its use, other than by Xena Warrior Princess.

The chakram hasn’t really developed a wide user base–it’s more of a niche weapon.