The World’s First Quadcopter
Today’s Quadcopter’s are looking a lot like the U.S. military’s first attempt at creating a helicopter. George de Bothezat, a Russian American engineer and businessman, created the first helicopter that the U.S. military took seriously, leading them to giving him a contract for $20,000 in 1921.
As part of this contract, he had to “design, construct and supervise flight tests of a helicopter”. He had seven months to do this. “The machine he built was a quadcopter, 10 feet high and in the shape of a cross, each one 65 feet long, with a six-bladed rotor on either end. The engine went in the middle, with the pilot. It took much longer than seven months—it did not fly until December of 1922”.
Unfortunately, the Air service lost interest in Bothezat’s helicopter after a few years and it wasn’t until two decades later that another Russian engineer, Igor Sikorsky, designed the first helicopter that the military would actually use.