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Helicopter Facts for Salem, OR

In 1878 the Italian Enrico Forlaninis unmanned vehicle that was also powered by a steam engine, was the first of its type that rose to a height of 12 meters (40 ft), where it hovered for some 20 seconds after a vertical take-off.

Over 3 million lives have been saved by helicopters in both peacetime and wartime operations since the first person was rescued from the sea in 1944.

FAA - A History of Aircraft Structures Factoid for Salem, OR

More powerful engines were developed, and airframe structures changed to take advantage of the benefits. As early as 1910, German Hugo Junkers was able to build an aircraft with metal truss construction and metal skin due to the availability of stronger powerplants to thrust the plane forward and into the sky. The use of metal instead of wood for the primary structure eliminated the need for external wing braces and wires. His J-1 also had a single set of wings (a monoplane) instead of a stacked set.