The Boat Helicopter Might Be The Most Dangerous Thing We Have Ever Seen!

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Oh what might have been…

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Looking at this footage, vintage film from the 1960’s, we can’t help but think how ridiculously awesome it would have been if this trend had caught on and became a “thing” that evolved through the decades. I think the world of towable lake fun would be drastically different today.

Best I can figure, what we’re looking at here isn’t actually a helicopter, it’s what would be called a gyro boat. The huge overhead rotor on the small boat being towed isn’t powered by it’s own engine, but is instead simply spinning in the wind like a massive pinwheel. The spinning blades work to stabilize the boat and, if towed fast enough, provide enough lift to cause the boat to take flight.

If a helicopter loses power in mid-flight and begins to fall, its rotors will do the same thing, catching the air and continuing to rotate, albeit in the opposite direction. Of course, since there is nothing towing the helicopter, they won’t provide lift like we see here, but they will stabilize the aircraft enough to give the pilot some measure of control and in many cases, allow him to perform a relatively safe landing. You can google the term “helicopter autorotation” for a more thorough explanation.

This also bring to mind those crazy towables that were designed to take flight at certain speeds. These tubes would fly high in the air behind boats, giving the riders an amazing thrill. However, a few of them proved to be incredibly unstable and slammed back to the water, causing severe injuries that eventually led to them being banned. If those tubes had some kind of overhead rotor like this, they may have been stable enough to safely carry riders for miles at a time without sending them crashing back to the water below. If only…

Gyro Boating (1961)

Gyro Boating (1961) was invented to add an exciting element of certain death to a fun day on the lake.

Posted by Silodrome on Friday, December 29, 2017

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