From The Archives: 100 Years Ago In Aviation Week - Pateras-Pescara Model 3

The rotorcraft industry’s latest models will be on display at this month’s HAI Heli-Expo show in Atlanta. One hundred years ago, another cutting-edge helicopter was showcased on our cover of Feb. 12, 1923.

The Pateras-Pescara Model 3, the brainchild of Argentinian rotorcraft pioneer Raul Pateras Pescara, featured two sets of powered, coaxial biplane rotors that contained 16 lifting surfaces.

Our cover showed it on display at the Paris Salon, the forerunner to the Paris Air Show. Six months later, the magazine reported “marked success” in Pateras’ tests of the craft outside of Paris. “He is now practicing straight and circular horizontal flights, with a view to qualify for the 10,000 francs prize offered by the Aero Club of France,” we wrote in our Aug. 27 edition.

“Some noteworthy performances include a straight flight of 200 m. length, another of 460 m. and a circular flight of 650 m. circumference, which the machine landing in a circle of 10 meters diameters from which it took off.” 

Despite Pascara’s efforts, limitations made the Model 3 helicopter impractical. But his work paved the way for the more useful Focke-Wulf Fw 61 13 years later, and the Sikorsky VS-300 in 1939.

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