Designs by Maurice Leger, Jacques and Louis Breguet, and Paul Cornu all got off the ground in 1907--just barely, and for just a very few seconds. These earliest machines also tended to require steadying from people on the ground. Cornu's craft, shown here, got airborne in November of that year for as long as 20 seconds at an altitude, if you can call it that, of somewhere between knee-high and eye level. It featured two rotors at opposite ends of the airframe that turned in opposite directions to balance out the torque.
Caption text by Jonathan Skillings, staff writer, CNET News.com
September 3, 2007 6:00 AM PDT
Photo by: Branger/Getty Images
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