Helicopter Career Statistics
- There were more than 27,000 active helicopter pilot certificates issued by the FAA as of December 2004.
- Pilots held approximately 106,000 jobs in 2004, 84,000 of whom worked for commercial airlines.
- 1 in 5 pilots work at such commercial tasks as crop dusting, seed spreading, aircraft testing, and transporting passengers and cargo.
- The Bell 206 model is the most successful commercial helicopter and has flown more hours and set more records than any other aircraft worldwide, including a speed record set in 1994.
- Jan Bahyl of Slovakia invented the engine-driven helicopter in 1905.
- On November 13, 1907, Frenchman Paul Cornu lifted a twin-rotored helicopter into the air for a few seconds.
- Etienne Oehmichen, a French pioneer, was first to fly a helicopter one kilometer in 1924, a flight that lasted seven minutes, 40 seconds.
- In 1936, the German Focke-Wulf FW 61 was introduced to be the first practical helicopter.
- Igor Sikorsky invented the first single-rotor helicopter in 1939 that was used by the US Army starting in 1942.