After building the evil autogyros under license, Professor Henrich Focke decided that even more evil could be unleashed on mankind. What if we powered the rotor! We could create a flying machine so dastardly, it would take six years before a human would be able to harness the evil into a producible and, therefore, not-as-likely-to-kill-you machine.
Focke-Wulf had been building autogyros for years when, in 1932, Professor Focke and one of his unwitting employees began development of the world’s first true helicopter. The Fw 61 began as a scale model with a 2-cycle engine. This allowed the design team to fine tune their design while only suffering flesh wounds, rather than the full out assault on the human body later machines would unleash.
By 1935, Focke had his design subdued enough to receive an order for a prototype. Eventually, two prototypes would be developed. Both would be destroyed
by God himself during WW2.
The most troublesome aspect of a helicopter is the torque reaction. With a giant, spinning blade up top, Newton’s 3rd Law came into affect. That giant, death-seeking blade would cause the aircraft to spin the opposite direction. To solve this, Focke used two blades spinning opposite each other. These were driven off the same radial engine. The small forward propeller was
an attempt to trick everyone into thinking this was just as safe as an airplane to cool the engine during vertical and hovering maneuvers and provided very little forward thrust. Instead, the rotors would beat the air into submission, allowing the beast to fly.
The special type of insanity it takes to create this zany machine would go on to infect others and, eventually, the evil would be harnessed and put to productive use. A lot like taming a snake.
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