Focke-Wulf Fw 61

The First functional helicopter- Focke-Wulf FW 61


For starters let me clear that the Focke-Wulf FW 61 was built in 1936 and the VS-300 built by Igor Sirkosky first flew in 1939. So I have just established that the FW-61 was the first functional helicopter ever built.

The FW 61 was founded by the German company Focke Achgelis under professor Henrich Focke. It was inpired by the Focke-Wulf Fw 186, which is a one man gyro, which he had built earlier.

The FW 61 first flew in June 1936 for a mere 10 seconds piloted by Ewald Rohlfs. Later on it was enhanced and worked upon. On 25 June 1937 the FW- 61 piloted by Ewald Rohlfs flew upto an altitude of 2439m. It also showed an impressive endurance of 1 hr. 20 min. 49 sec. and covered a distance of 80.604km in a straight line and 122.553km in a closed circuit. The helicopter was further enhanced in the next few years. Only 2 of them have been built in total.

Specifications- Focke-Wulf Fw 61

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The following topic can be a very debatable one. Just like airplanes, helicopters too have multiple inventors. But I would still say that the FW-61 built in those days with limited technology is a marvel.

I hope you found this article helpful and educative. If you find that I’m missing out on something, do Kindly uprise me(we all are learning!!). Incase of any doubts feel free to contact us. You can also mail to me at

Thankyou for your time!!!

One thought on “The First functional helicopter- Focke-Wulf FW 61”

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