Unlike today's helicopters, this machine was constructed from a Nieuport 23 fighter fuselage and triplane wings. On February 23, 1924, this helicopter achieved an altitude of 15 feet with a maneuvering radius of 150 feet, while maintaining a speed of about 40 mph. This flight, in front of U.S. Navy officials and media, was acclaimed as the first controlled helicopter flight. Though unable to perfect a safe and smooth landing, the Berliner helicopter was a step forward in the field of vertical flight.
The Berliner Helicopter is on loan from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
- Number Built: 1
- Wingspan: 38 feet, 0 inches
- Length of fuselage: 18 feet
- Height: 7 feet approx.
- Rotor Diameter: 13 feet
- Empty Weight: 641 lbs.
- Powerplant: 220-hp BR-2 Bentley rotary (used for all known tests; installed is a 150 hp AR-1)