Science: Hybrid Aircraft

The helicopter used to be the airplane's eccentric poor relation. It could do a few odd jobs (sea rescues, short-range shuttling), but its high cost and its lack of range and speed weighed heavily against its advantages. The Korean war turned Cinderella into a fairy princess. The helicopter's ability to take off from anywhere and to land almost anywhere made it just the thing for evacuating the wounded, supplying isolated positions, carting specialists and brass around. Most recent and spectacular helicopter mission: landing a full battalion of marines with their weapons on a mountainous front-line sector (TIME, Oct. 22).

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