United States of America

From the Country that brought the world the 'man on the moon' it is interesting in many ways to delve into the first decade of RC helicopters 'American' style.  Development at the 'amateur' level was similar to elsewhere in the world however, commercial success was along a different design layout.  The first commercial American helicopter, the Du-Bro Whirlybird 505 was of the co-axial layout which had been discarded by others and also over the years provoked argument regarding its 'helicopter' status however, as it complies with the definition of a heavier than air machine that can hover and controllably move in all direction, there is no real argument.  Additionally, there is also no doubt that it was the first 'pod and boom' helicopter as can be seen from the photo's in the web site with the body removed.  One thing of note is the number of own design helicopters in the early 70's that were published and noted to be good flyers of their day.

It is also of interest that Du-bro only made a few helicopter models and then appeared to just 'stop'?  They developed the one layout as far as it would go but did not see it worthwhile developing a follow on system given the expense of research and development that would be required to match models from Schlüter such as the Heli-Baby and the range of scale machines.  In the age old tradition of if something is good then copy it, another company was formed to market what was basically a Heli-Baby clone followed by a Heli-Boy clone.  To give them their due they improved the design and from this starting point went on to produce their own range with advanced features such as Flybarless heads and autorotation clutch's.  In a similar way the next manufacturer GMP started off by cloning the Micro-Mold Lark and again improving on the design; they also teamed up with Hirobo and developed their own machines initially based on Hirobo mechanics but over the years using decreasing amount of Hirobo parts until finally bringing out there fully own design.  Unfortunately both of these companies suffered severe setbacks that brought their manufacturing runs to an early end.

 

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