A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forward, backward, and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters to be used in congested or isolated areas where fixed-wing aircraft and many forms of VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft cannot perform.
The English word helicopter is adapted from the French word hélicoptère, coined by Gustave Ponton d’Amécourt in 1861, which originates from the Greek helix (ἕλιξ) “helix, spiral, whirl, convolution” and pteron (πτερόν) “wing”. English language nicknames for helicopter include “chopper”, “copter”, “helo”, “heli”, and “whirlybird”.
Helicopters were developed and built during the first half-century of flight, with the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 being the first operational helicopter in 1936. Some helicopters reached limited production, but it was not until 1942 that a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky reached full-scale production, with 131 aircraft built. Though most earlier designs used more than one main rotor, it is the single main rotor with anti-torque tail rotor configuration that has become the most common helicopter configuration. Tandem rotor helicopters are also in widespread use due to their greater payload capacity. Coaxial helicopters, tiltrotor aircraft, and compound helicopters are all flying today. Quadcopter helicopters pioneered as early as 1907 in France, and other types of multicopter have been developed for specialized applications such as unmanned drones.
An aircraft that is borne along by one or more sets of long rotating blades which allow it to hover, move in any direction including reverse, or land; and typically having a smaller set of blades on its tail that stabilize the aircraft.
“We flew over the city in a helicopter.”
a powered troweling machine with spinning blades used to spread concrete.
a winged fruit of certain trees, such as ash, elm, and maple
(slang) A dragonfly; so named because of its resemblance to a helicopter.
To transport by helicopter.
To travel by helicopter.
To rotate like a helicopter blade.
“helicoptering his jacket, helicoptering his arms”
To overprotect one’s children.
a type of aircraft which derives both lift and propulsion from one or more sets of horizontally revolving overhead rotors. It is capable of moving vertically and horizontally, the direction of motion being controlled by the pitch of the rotor blades.
transport by helicopter
“he was helicoptered out with a bleeding ulcer”
fly somewhere in a helicopter
“they were helicoptering daily between Bath and London”