A six-foot helicopter powered by microwaves beamed from the ground climbed 50-feet into the air Wednesday (28 October) in the first public exhibition of the apparatus.
Men working on model
Man holding model
CU of model
Men holding model
Model starts to rise
Man with model in front of him
Man watches model rising
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Background: A six-foot helicopter powered by microwaves beamed from the ground climbed 50-feet into the air Wednesday (28 October) in the first public exhibition of the apparatus.
The device was developed by the Raytheon Company for the U.S. Air Force.
Microwave energy, similar to that used in radar, is beamed from a saucer-like transmitting antenna on the ground upward to the small helicopter. Mounted under the helicopter is a special rectifying antenna, consisting of an array of thousands of tiny diodes, each less than a half-inch long. When the diodes are hit by the microwave energy, an immediate flow of direct current electricity results. This electricity runs the motor that turns the rotor blades of the helicopter.
In the demonstration, the helicopter flew up and down vertical guy wires that kept it positioned over the microwave beam. Raytheon scientists hope to develop a helicopter that will keep itself over the microwave source, eliminating the guy wires.