3. okt. 2002

Igor Sikorsky's 1942 futuristic vision

From the Atlantic Monthly, September 1942 issue:

"The time is 1955; the place a lovely meadow surrounded by deep woods on a hilltop overlooking a beautiful lake in the Catskill Mountains 120 miles from New York. It is quarter past eight in the morning, and you are about to commute to your office in the city. Yet there is no paved highway nearer than fifteen miles, and it is fifty to a railroad station. Now you hear a low hum, and over the horizon appears a flying machine. You press the button of a box near by and a radio signal flashes to the machine. The aircraft, looking oddly like a horizontal electric fan, drones toward you. When the pilot is directly overhead, all forward movement of the machine ceases and it descends vertically until the cabin door is within a foot of the ground."

(...)

"Once again let us peer briefly at 1955 and see how your wife handles a typical family helicopter as she flies fifty miles to spend an hour with a friend. She opens the doors of the helicopter hangar that is only slightly larger and higher than your old two-car garage. She pushes the starter, the motor purrs. Seated in the two-place cabin, she presses a clutch that applies the engine power to the wheels. For this is a roadable model; she does not have to push or pull it to the lawn. The helicopter drives itself out of its garage to a suitable space near your badminton court. Here she disengages the wheel-clutch and applies the power to the overhead rotor blades. Your wife is now ready to ascend."

Igor Sikorsky: The Coming Air Age

Great pic: Sikorsky at the controls of an early VS-300 helicopter.