Early Roots

  • Nature, in the form of maple seeds spinning as they gently descend and hummingbirds hovering in mid-air have been a source of inspiration since the dawn of mankind.
  • The idea of vertical flight aircraft can be traced back to early Chinese tops, around 400 BC
  • Leonardo Da Vinci sketched an “aerial-screw” or “air gyroscope” in 1483, but it is not published until 300 years later
  • In the 1880s Thomas Alva Edison experimented with small helicopter models in the United States. His efforts focused on the areas of rotor design and engines research.
  • European development of the rotary wing aircraft concepts flourished during the first two decades of the 20th century, as a precursor to the autogiro and ultimately the modern helicopter.
  • In 1907, only four years after the Wright brothers first successful flight at Kitty Hawk, Louis and Jacques Breguet and Paul Cornu of France independently construct and test rotating wing aircraft that introduce key technical concepts that would enable future autogiros and helicopters.  Their machines however, are incapable of sustained flight. 
  • Igor Sikorsky and Boris Yur’ev independently and without knowledge of each other’s efforts begin the design and fabrication of vertical lift machines in Russia around 1912. Both vehicles lack sufficient power to fly, but resemble modern helicopters using a main rotor and tail rotor.

No runway, no problem—have helicopter, will travel! Igor Sikorsky (1889–1972), father of the modern chopper, had no doubt at all about the brilliance of this amazing, flying machine, which he said was the closest thing to "fulfillment of mankind's ancient dreams of the flying horse and the magic carpet." Jet planes are wonderful for screaming us from one side of the planet to the other. But when it comes to tricky rescue missions—plucking stranded sailors from the sea, hurling tubs of water onto forest fires, plucking engineers off wind turbines, dashing the critically injured to hospital—nothing beats a chopper. According to science historians, inventors had been trying to develop flying machines with spinning rotors for over 2000 years before Sikorsky finally built the world's first practical helicopter in 1939. Why did it take so long? Because helicopters are incredibly complex machines—miracles of intricate engineering that take real skill to fly. How exactly do they work? Let's take a closer look!

Helicopters in the military perform a variety of roles. Some are built specifically for speed and attack while others offer transport and support functions. What are some of the best-known advanced military helicopters and what types of operations are they used for?

There are a total of twenty-seven military attack helicopters in the world from origin to present day. But, which one is the best attack helicopter in the world right now? Which is the greatest and most advanced amongst these and why? Here, we come up with a list of top ten most advanced attack helicopters in the world. Our analysis is based on the combined score of performance, speed, protection, agility, firepower capabilities and avionics. It includes only best attack helicopters that are currently in service. All the helicopters mentioned here are incredibly powerful and devastating.

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