Berliner Helicopter

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Berliner Helicopter 1924
Photo Courtesy of Mary Catherine Adams

It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane. No, it’s a helicopter? In 1924 at the College Park Airport this strange looking apparatus took to the skies. What looks like a unique airplane was actually the first helicopter to make a controlled flight. It soared 15 feet above the ground and traveled 200 yards at 40 miles per hour. Okay, maybe soared is a bit of an exaggeration, but it did make history. The Berliner Helicopter of 1924 was constructed by Emile and Harry Berliner. The father and son duo added a third wing to an existing airplane model in order to increase lift when moving forward.

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