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1924 Berliner Helicopter No.5

1924 Berliner HelicopterIn the center of the museum's main gallery is a unique aircraft representing the spirit of experimentation that pervades the history of College Park Airport. The Berliner Helicopter, on loan from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, is the culmination of the experiments in vertical flight by Emile Berliner and his son Henry. On February 23, 1924, this helicopter achieved an altitude of 15 feet (at College Park Airport) with a maneuvering radius of 150 feet, while maintaining a speed of about 40 mph. This flight, in front of U.S. Navy officials and media, was acclaimed as the first controlled helicopter flight. The helicopter was reassembled and preserved by staff of the National Air and Space Museum's restoration facility.

Number Built:
38 feet, 0 inches 
Length of fuselage:
18 feet
7 feet approx.
Rotor Diameter:
13 ft
Empty Weight:
641 lbs.
 Powerplant: 220-hp BR-2 Bentley rotary (used for all known tests; installed is a 150 hp AR-1)