Science: Vertical Flight

Big drawback of the airplane for private use is that it must have broad, obstacle-free fields for take-offs and landings. To compete with the automobile, air transport needs a machine that takes off straight up, lands straight down, remains under control at any speed or no speed. Beginning with Leonardo da Vinci, air designers have tinkered with vertical-lift machines. They wound up definitely nowhere until famed German Designer Heinrich Focke built a practical helicopter that is said to be working with German troops.*

Another famed modern helicopter man is a shy, voluble, fringe-haired...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!