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World's Smallest Helicopter Ready For a Spin

The GEN H-4 helicopter during desert testingThe GEN H-4 helicopter during desert testing

 

Those of us who've been dreaming of cheap personal air travel in the Buck Rogers, sci-fi jet-pack mode should turn their eyes towards Vinci, Italy on May 25. That's when Gennai Yanagisawa, inventor of the tiny GEN H-4 personal helicopter, will be taking his lightweight 165-pound whirly-gig on a demonstration flight.

Why Vinci? According to the 75-year-old Yanagisawa, "Since the concept of our helicopter came from Italy, I always wanted to take a flight in the birthplace of da Vinci."



Yanagisawa's inspiration: da Vinci's 1493 ornithopterYanagisawa's inspiration: da Vinci's 1493 ornithopter

 

Indeed, Leonardo's famous notebook drawings from 1493 show an "ornithopter" with a screw-like rotor. Like da Vinci's pioneering design, Yanagisawa's GEN H-4 has no tail. Instead, twin counter-rotating propellers cancel out the torque that requires single-rotor helicopters to have a perpendicular tail rotor.



GEN H-4 -- the cheaper chopperGEN H-4 -- the cheaper chopper

 

The GEN H-4 personal helicopter is actually available for purchase now, though Yanagisawa's company (located in the Japanese city of Matsumoto) has so far sold only six (2 in the USA).

The cost for one is a reasonable $58,250 and once airborne, the GEN H-4 can fly at a somewhat sedate speed of 31 mph - slow yes, but probably faster than rush hour traffic. Veni, vidi, volanti!

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Steve Levenstein
J A P A N O R A M A
InventorSpot.com

Comments
May 15, 2008
by Anonymous

lol

Nice

May 15, 2008
by Anonymous

hrrrmmmm

Drop the price a good 50k and EVERYONE can have one! Then we can ALL flood the sky and crash into each other... Woohoo natural selection at it's best..

May 15, 2008
by Gloria Campos
Gloria Campos's picture

My husband would love this

Just forwarded it to him :)

May 15, 2008
by Anonymous

interesting, i wonder what

interesting, i wonder what the MPG works out to be, and what the range of the thing is.

May 16, 2008
by Anonymous

lmao it will certanly get

lmao it will certanly get the most dangerous vehicle award

May 16, 2008
by Anonymous

RE: My husband would love this

Hey, that's great sweetheart. What were you married, like, three weeks ago or something?

May 19, 2008
by Anonymous

A preemptive strike at the Darwin award?

Humas dreams towards flight just might have taken a step in the wrong direction.
This is great for (stunt) shows, but I can't imagen this in the private sector.

May 19, 2008
by Anonymous

Sold

I will buy 25 of these for my resort. This will be great for the paying customer; the right price. Good luck!

May 25, 2008
by Anonymous

Cost and Method of this Helicopter

Sir You have made a excellent helicopter but I think there is reqmt to develope this helicopter sothat it can be cheeper to buy everyone. Please send me the hole method to make this helicopter and the current cost of this helicopter.

My email address is nikku30d@rediffmail.com

May 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Fantastic Idea but..........

This is a fantastic invention but not everyone has the guts to get on this baby to fly. When you think about it only about 2% of the world's population are pilots. More people need to be exposed to the safer aspects of flying instead of "Seconds From Disaster". It's definitely on my christmas list this year. With the proper marketing and selling points this product could make everyone's life easier. There would have to be proper legislation in place to ensure public and private safety. With all that said it's the sweetest invention since choclate.

May 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Imagine Drunk Hovering?????

Let's hope no one decides to have one too many before getting on this whirly-gig.

May 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Correction not quite 2 %

Not quite 2% even from the start. It's a lot less than that sir but I agree it's a fantastic invention.

May 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Closest......

Closest thing to Tony Stark's IRON MAN suit I've seen so far. YYYYYAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jun 14, 2008
by Anonymous

JUST WHEN OIL GOT SO EXPENSIVE

Man, might as well drive a V8.

Jun 14, 2008
by Anonymous

sure behbeh

your thinking of your husband are you now? drop me a line and I will fly you around my rotor.

Aug 18, 2008
by Anonymous

face

id buy it and smuggle crack!!!

Aug 28, 2008
by Anonymous

i already bought one

no i havnt no i have . wateva.. but if i own one or not, one thing i can say, this is not a comfortable one