‘A person who can drive an automobile can fly a helicopter’
Igor Sikorsky was nothing if not optimistic about the idea of a personal helicopter for everyone (an idea that should now send any reasonable person to the brink of terror) in this 1942 article in The Atlantic.
A question certain to trouble you is this: With hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of helicopters flying in all directions at once, what about sky congestion and air traffic problems?
This problem has been foreseen and already a certain amount of planning has been done. While air traffic problems will not be at all comparable to what we now have with the motorcar, there must certainly be one-way air lanes within the limits and in the neighborhood of big centers of population. There will be “slow” and “fast” altitudes and you will choose the one that suits your temperament. Naturally, all helicopter highways will be at a safe distance from the airplane levels.
All helicopters, of course, will remain at a reasonable altitude over thickly populated centers. But there need be no such “flight plan ” as airplanes now must often submit to before undertaking a long journey. Helicopter owners will fly at will, bound only by their common sense and some general traffic rules which are easily obeyed in the vast reaches of the sky.
Nor will the strict physical examination that now might prohibit many thousands from flying an airplane be necessary. A person who can drive an automobile can fly a helicopter; and a man or woman with middle-aged reflexes is just as safe in one as in the other because the helicopter, as a rule, is always moving slowly when close to the ground. The helicopter owner will have to pass no stricter examination than is—or should be—necessary for driving a motorcar. He should not be color-blind, his vision should be normal with or without glasses. A man or woman with a heart ailment should not drive a helicopter—nor an automobile.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 at 7:21 am and is filed under Cities, Commuting, Congestion, Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.