ISHIMASA

'Ducks' hovercraft.

Japanese manufacturer of RC cars with a number of successful models and also radio controlled hovercraft.  From this it was a natural progression to use this expertise in electric cars to start development of an electric powered RC helicopter; this was to prove successful and so the Sky Lark EH1 became the first commercially available electric 'non-tethered' radio controlled helicopter.

Whilst the execution proved to be sound, unfortunately the world was not ready to take on the concept of an electric helicopter.  Whilst there were a number of positives, namely quiet operation and zero 'mess', the downsides of limited flying envelope when using the tether or short flights when using the onboard batteries coupled with long recharging times and the need for a lot of extra equipment; meant that it was only bought in small numbers.

Ishimasa then took a step sideways and produced a small glow powered helicopter which looked very much like a small Kalt but was equipped with the Ishimasa head, unfortunately they had "missed the boat".  Although they were tested by importers around the world, it was only marketed in a few countries and did not sell to any great extent so Ishimasa pulled out of helicopter manufacture.

  1980 - Sky Lark EH-1
  1983 - Playboy

 

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