This Week in History
Frenchman Flies The First Helicopter
13 November 1907
French bicycle maker Paul Cornu flies his home-made helicopter for 20 seconds.
In 1907, French engineer and bicycle maker Paul Cornu designed and built the first helicopter to successfully fly. Cornu himself piloted the first flight and ascended to an altitude of 1 foot. He hovered there for 20 seconds before descending and landing on the 4 bicycle wheels which acted as the helicopter's landing gear. Later improvements in design led to his record flight to a height of 5 feet.
engineer (noun): a person who finds or creates technical solutions to mechanical problems
pilot (verb): operate an aircraft
ascend (verb): go up
landing gear (noun): the wheels and supporting parts of an aircraft
Test your understanding:
Before landing his helicopter after its first successful flight, Cornu had to
Cornu made what became his record flight after he had
An aircraft's landing gear is