Celebrate aviation’s fixed-wing designed aircraft with these helicopter checks. Four check series features some of the choppers that have played major roles in US combat missions.
Unlike a fixed-wing aircraft (ie, an airplane), helicopters are rotary-wing aircraft because their rotor blades turn around fixed mast. This design gives helicopters the ability to take off and land vertically.
The idea behind the rotary wing design is an amazingly old idea. Since approximately 400BC, children in China have played with a toy that provided a vertical take off. There are also references to vertical flight in ancient Chinese manuscripts that describe ideas and principals inherent in a rotary wing aircraft. Drawings from Leonardo da Vinci show a machine that conceived that is best described as an “aerial screw”. These drawings date to approximately 1480. As with most good ideas, the concept developed over time.
In the late 1700s and through the 1800s there was a lot of work on this principal by people all over the globe. It was not until the 1900s that sustained flight was achieved.
The rare, if not unique, ability for vertical flight lets a chopper do some things that an airplane cannot do. For example, helicopters can operate in congested or remote areas. No run way needed. This application did not go unnoticed by the military. By 1936 Germany had the Focke-Wulf Fw 61. The Nazis used helicopters in small numbers during World War II for observation, transport, and medical evacuation.
By 1942, a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky reached full-scale production in the United States. By 1957 these aircraft had found their way into every use like mail delivery. The United States continued to develop the design and has used helicopters in every major conflict since that time.
Don’t forget about a matching checkbook cover or other items, each is available at checkout.