The helicopter industry is relatively young. While fixed-wing flight was already well established by the 1920s, it took longer to work out the principles of rotary-wing flight. Helicopters were not mass produced until 1942, as part of the military research and development carried on during World War II, and were first certificated for civilian use in 1946.
HFI is committed to capturing and preserving the history of both the machines and the men and women who started an international industry that is still going strong today:
- Trailblazers: HFI’s print interviews with helicopter industry pioneers present a compelling look at how these visionaries saw the potential of this new industrial tool
- Heritage of Helicopters: Each year at HAI HELI-EXPO, HFI displays rare vintage vertical-flight aircraft
- Virtual Museum: One of HFI’s newest initiatives is cataloguing decades’ worth of models, manuals, magazines, documents, and photographs, which will then be digitized so that students, historians, and researchers will have access to these important primary historical sources about the helicopter industry.