The Helicopter you could hear Seven or Eight Miles Away

AH-64 Apache

Thirty years before achieving the pinnacle of helicopter technology with the design of the legendary AH-64 Apache, the Hughes Aircraft Company ventured into the emerging rotor aircraft industry for the first time by attempting to develop a colossal helicopter like the world had never seen before.As the Hughes XH-17 prototype prepared for its maiden flight on October 23, 1952, pilot Gale Moore was visibly anxious. He was about to test the aircraft with the most oversized rotor in the world, with a diameter of 130 feet. The pilot knew that despite the engineering efforts, the massive hollow rotor blades were under tremendous strain, and they could snap at any moment during takeoff.Media crews from around the country gathered to witness the event, and even Howard Hughes was first in line. Suddenly the jet engines ignited ferociously and flames shot from the ends of the rotor blades, with the Los Angeles Times later reporting: (QUOTE) “The whoosh-whoosh of the whirring blades sounded like hundreds of artillery shells in flight. You could hear it seven or eight miles away.”What happened next would be forever recorded in the history of aviation…

Credit Dark Skies

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