Paul Cornu was an engineer who was a native of France. He made first successful manned helicopter flight in 1907. Though the flight lasted just 20 seconds it began the development of an aircraft which can take off and land vertically. The helicopter can also hover, fly forward, backward, and laterally.
The idea of vertical flight dates back over 2500 years to the spinning top with which Chinese children played. During the following centuries various attempts were made to develop flying machines based on the toy. Leonardo da Vinci designed a flying machine in the 1480’s.
By the early 1900’s several unmanned flights were made. Manned flights were attempted but the machine was tethered to the ground. Following Cornu’s flight, development of the helicopter continued. In 1942 a helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky went into production in the United States. Cornu failed to get support for his development and devoted his time to manufacturing bicycles. He was killed in 1944 during the Allied World War II landings in Normandy.
The first successful manned helicopter flight in history was made by French engineer Paul Cornu in the year 1907 On This Day.
AW139 landing in Baldonnel at sundown by Irish Air Corps on 2011-01-17 16:30:41