During the early days of the helicopter, engineers began dreaming of a new age of regional and commuter air transport. They imagined inner-city heliports where large 30-50-seat helicopters or even hybrids such as the rotor tip-jet-powered Fairey Rotodyne could take passengers from the middle of London or Paris to other major cities faster than even the speediest rail service. At a time when fuel prices were low and cities were enjoying major investment, the idea of helicopters operating ...

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