Introduction - I INTRODUCTION Helicopter has many...

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I. INTRODUCTION Helicopter has many definitions, some of them very unflattering. One individual defined helicopter as a vehicle that generates lift by beating air into submission. A very precise definition of the helicopter is given by Wayne Johnson as a vehicle that depends primarily on its rotor to generate lift, thrust and control forces. The evolution of helicopter may be classified into three phases - early developments, autogiro, and modern helicopters. See Johnson (Chapter 1) for chronological discussions. The early devices were simple - rotor attached to a mast, with no significant method of control. The Chinese top is a prime example of such an early device. Some of these rotors were powered by springs, or even tethered to a steam engine. Because of the lack of light-weight power plants, and controls for operating these early devices, they did not substantially impact the development of modern helicopters.
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