America's Littlest Black Ops Whirlybird Is Armed to the Teeth

Operation Eagle Claw was supposed to free 52 diplomats held during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Its failure not only shamed President Carter's administration and paved the way for Reagan's successful 1980 presidential run, it also instigated the formation of the Army's Special Operations Command, and the development of… » 7/16/14 11:40am 7/16/14 11:40am

This Lovely Living Room Could End Up Inside a Helicopter

It goes without saying that the most wealthy, famous, and powerful people in the world travel in style. But expensive cars and private planes decked out with luxurious leather interiors surprisingly can't hold a candle to this gorgeous interior designed by Giopato & Coombes which you'll find in a—cottage? Nope. Try a… » 6/20/14 11:20am 6/20/14 11:20am

Using Explosives to Put Out Wildfires Is Actually a Great Idea

Picture this: a drought-fueled wildfire is heading for Los Angeles, and fast. Millions of lives are at stake, and water can't stop it. When suddenly, a helicopter—armed with what can only be described as a giant cannon—flies straight for flames and BOOM. There's an explosion, and the fire's gone. » 5/21/14 5:21pm 5/21/14 5:21pm

Every Helicopter in the US Military Could Soon Be a Drone

The MQ-8 Fire Scout might be the US military's marquee pilotless helicopter, but it's not the only one. A pair of R/C Kaman K-Max K-1200 choppers have proven their value resupplying forward operating bases in Afghanistan and, now, the DoD is developing a system to turn any helicopter into a remotely operated whirley… » 4/09/14 11:45am 4/09/14 11:45am

Jackass Who Lasered Children's Hospital Chopper Gets 14-Year Sentence

Astounding moron Sergio Rodriguez got slapped with a 14-year prison sentence earlier this month, convicted of aiming a laser pointer at an emergency medical helicopter taking a young patient to Children's Hospital of Central California. Remember folks, trying to blind pilots midair is a very, very bad idea. » 4/01/14 12:00pm 4/01/14 12:00pm

Would you travel inside these pods attached to the wing of a jet?

The Aviationist's reader Bjørn Broten found these two shots of the Exint, a pod designed to carry special forces and wounded soldiers in and out the battlefield—attached to the wing of Harrier jets or Apache helicopters. Imagine that ride. People were joking yesterday, but if you want to see how this may feel, take a… » 12/05/13 9:53pm 12/05/13 9:53pm

LED Blades Turn This RC Toy Helicopter Into an Airborne Messenger

Sometimes well-placed propaganda is the strongest weapon of all. So the folks at Brando have come across what could be the most dangerous RC toy ever devised, armed with an extra spinning rotor that displays custom messages. Because a foam arrow to the eye doesn't hurt nearly as much as the revelation that "Jason… » 12/02/13 6:20pm 12/02/13 6:20pm

Skyport One: The Airport of the Future from 1957

In the late 1950s, many people took it for granted that our skies would be filled with thousands of amazing flying machines by the year 2000. But this posed a design challenge for futurist-minded planners. Where would these flying cars and helicopters land in the cities of tomorrow? In 1957, a handful of designers in… » 12/02/13 2:27pm 12/02/13 2:27pm

Quadcopters? Please. We've Got Octodecacopters Now.

Four small corner-mounted rotors has become the most common configuration for autonomous hovering aircraft these days. But it turns out that if you're willing to add a few more rotors into the mix—like say 14—suddenly you've got yourself an octodecacopter that's strong enough to carry a couple of human passengers. » 11/22/13 9:20am 11/22/13 9:20am

​This Wacky Sci-Fi Plane-Helicopter Hybrid Was Totally Almost a Thing

By the end of WWII, the basics of helicopter technology as we know it had generally been worked out—and we'd begun to reach the aircraft's physical limitations. For the US Air Force, the solution to the issue running up against these performance walls was simple: Combine the best parts of a helicopter and jet… » 11/18/13 11:40am 11/18/13 11:40am

The First Full-Size Helicopter That Takes Off and Lands All By Itself

As if there were any doubts that the future of aviation doesn't involve humans at the controls, Boeing's Unmanned Little Bird is the first helicopter to take off and land autonomously, choosing a safe landing site using an on-board laser LIDAR—a combination of light and radar—scanner. » 9/18/13 5:43pm 9/18/13 5:43pm

A Tiny Folding RC Helicopter That Squeezes Into Its Own Controller

If there's one thing kids like more than toys, it's toys small enough to sneak and bring wherever they go. And while RC cars and choppers have gotten remarkably small over the years, this particularly tiny helicopter from Docooler one-ups them all with a clever folding design that lets you store and transport it in… » 9/16/13 3:20pm 9/16/13 3:20pm