Top 5 Facts: Helicopters

Find out more about these flying machines right here.

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Top 5 Facts: Helicopters

Da Vinci

The first reference to a rotor system is credited to inventor Leonardo da Vinci, who designed an ‘aerial screw’ in 1480. No full-scale variant was constructed during his lifetime.


The word ‘helicopter’ was coined by French inventor Gustave de Ponton d’Amécourt, who used it to name his small, steam-powered rotorcraft.


The first helicopter to achieve completely untethered flight was the Cornu in 1907, which managed to hover one foot above the ground for 20 seconds.


The record for the fastest helicopter in the world is held by the Sikorsky X2 which, during a flyby over Florida, United States, clocked 258mph (416kph).


The current world record speed for an eastbound round-the-world helicopter trip is 85 mph (137 kph). The record was set by Edward Kasprowicz in an Augusta A109S Grand.

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  • Nigel Watson

    Wonder what Top Gear thinks about it? Something ‘Mexican’ I assume.

  • Angela Boxwell

    We had the opportunity to test drive a Tesla in a few months back. The acceleration of this car is amazing, with 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, which is achievable nearly every time. The car looks fantastic and drives like a real sports car.

    The Tesla which we drove was collected from the West Midlands in the UK and then charged up on the ferry and taken back to Amsterdam. The Tesla is to be used as part of a group to promote electric cars in Holland.

    We have used electric cars on an everyday basis since 2006 including the G-Wiz, Mitsubishi i MiEV and TATA Vista Indica EV. None of them compares to the performance and handling of the Tesla.