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helicopter training was a dangerous process of trial and error, using
real, flying helicopters. It relied on pilots with experience in
fixed-wing aircraft (airplanes).
Fixed-wing experience, however, was not particularly relevant to
helicopter flying, as fixed-wing aircraft are essentially projectiles over
which the pilot has control over the direction. Helicopters are completely
free to go in any direction and pilots require control over six axis of movement,
each affecting the other. A helicopter is thus a much more delicate,
touchy aircraft to fly than an airplane, and helicopters at certain
training locations were crashing on an almost daily basis in the 1950s.
Jaycopter was originally conceived as a training device for helicopter
pilots. The idea of a safe, captive helicopter training device came to Peter
Jacobs while recovering in the hospital from knee surgery. He remembered
seeing a childrens toy helicoptera battery-operated helicopter on a
boom, pivoted from a central post, its two D batteries powering the rotor
and acting as counterbalanceand thought the principle could be extended
to something life-sized.
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