The Helicopter you could hear Seven or Eight Miles Away

AH-64 Apache

Thirty years before reaching the pinnacle of helicopter technology with the design of the legendary AH-64 Apache, the Hughes Aircraft Company first ventured into the emerging industry of rotorcraft by attempting to develop a helicopter colossal as 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 plane with the world’s largest rotor, with a diameter of 130 feet. The pilot knew that despite engineering efforts, the huge hollow rotor blades were under enormous stress and could break at any time during takeoff. Media crews from across the country gathered to witness the event, and even Howard Hughes was on the front line. Suddenly, the jet engines ignited fiercely and flames shot from the tips of the rotor blades, with the Los Angeles Times later reporting: (QUOTE) “The whoosh-whoosh of the roaring blades sounded like hundreds of shells of artillery in flight. You could hear it seven or eight miles away.” What happened next would forever go down in aviation history…

Credit Dark Skies

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