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helicopter (Young, 2004). Back at his parents’ farm in Radnor,

Pennsylvania, Arthur Young converted an old stable into a workshop and began work- ing on a tip powered model helicopter. It was made of balsa wood, tissue paper and rubber bands and flew for a modest ten seconds in February of 1929 (Spenser, 1998). He progressed to a model capable of horizontal flight and developed an ingenious system which used ailerons on the rotor blades controlled by a weather vane attached to the hub to control hori- zontal motion (Young, 2004). Realizing that he lacked a sufficient understanding of aerodynamics, Arthur Young visited libraries in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago where he conducted more research. He returned to Pennsylvania and by the end of 1930, he had finished con- struction on a stand that could test the lift- ing characteristics of propellers at varying angles of pitch. In 1931, he constructed an electric tip powered model using a vacuum cleaner motor, which was much more com-

BACK AT HIS PARENTS’ FARM IN RADNOR, PA, ARTHUR YOUNG CONVERTED AN OLD STABLE INTO A WORKSHOP AND BEGAN WORKING ON A TIP POWERED MODEL HELICOPTER.

Above: Arthur Young and his wife Priscilla test out a rotary kite that he designed near their home in Paoli, PA in 1939. Left: A model equipped with Arthur Young's groundbreaking stabilizer bar is flown in 1939, while his wife Priscilla applauds in the background.

Photos: Courtesy of the Anodos Foundation

plex than his previous ones. It had a central shaft that ran to the rotor head and smaller shafts that ran out through the rotor blades to the tips to power the tip propellers. This design required ball bearings and precision gears, many of which Arthur Young had to make himself. Although he lacked a formal engineering education, he realized that small models did not accurately describe the stresses that would be present in a full scale heli- copter. In 1933, he built a larger scale model which had a ten foot diameter rotor head that was powered by a twenty horsepower outboard boat engine (Spenser, 1998). Also in 1933, he married his first wife, Priscilla Page, and in 1936 they moved to a farm house a short distance away in Paoli, Pennsylvania (Young, 2004).

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