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QI mentions a Chinese "helicopter"

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  • JL Badgley
    Okay, I really would love a source for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbpikTuoLB0&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=F1D42AFEA1ED4451&index=1 They make the claim
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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      Okay, I really would love a source for this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbpikTuoLB0&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=F1D42AFEA1ED4451&index=1

      They make the claim that the first "helicopter" was a Chinese toy from
      well within our time frame. Anyone know of a source for such a thing
      (it would be a fun toy to play with at an event).


      -Ii/Jing
    • Cowan Jeremy
      It sounds to me like they are talking about this: http://www.plimoth.com/kids-corner/toys-games/whirligig.html I cannot speak to the accuracy of the claim.
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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        It sounds to me like they are talking about this:
        http://www.plimoth.com/kids-corner/toys-games/whirligig.html

        I cannot speak to the accuracy of the claim.

        Jeremy

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: JL Badgley
        > Okay, I really would love a source for this:<BR>>
        > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbpikTuoLB0&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=F1D42AFEA1ED4451&index=1
        >
        > They make the claim that the first "helicopter" was a Chinese
        > toy from
        > well within our time frame. Anyone know of a source for
        > such a thing
        > (it would be a fun toy to play with at an event).
        >
        >
        > -Ii/Jing



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • sekinakagawa@aol.com
        Knowing how unreliable some sources are the only thing I could find was this. _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo-copter_
        Message 3 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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          Knowing how unreliable some sources are the only thing I could find was
          this.

          _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo-copter_
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo-copter)

          It even shows some pictures. It's a start.

          Humbly,
          -Sukeie

          To ask a question may be a moments' shame,
          But not to ask and remain ignorant, is a life long shame.


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jeanel Walker
          http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/11Kaleidoscope1053.html ... From: JL Badgley Subject: [SCA-JML] QI mentions a Chinese
          Message 4 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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            http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/11Kaleidoscope1053.html





            --- On Thu, 9/10/09, JL Badgley <tatsushu@...> wrote:

            From: JL Badgley <tatsushu@...>
            Subject: [SCA-JML] QI mentions a Chinese "helicopter"
            To: sca-china@yahoogroups.com, sca-jml@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, September 10, 2009, 10:20 AM






             





            Okay, I really would love a source for this:



            http://www.youtube com/watch? v=wbpikTuoLB0& feature=SeriesPl ayList&p= F1D42AFEA1ED4451 &index=1



            They make the claim that the first "helicopter" was a Chinese toy from

            well within our time frame. Anyone know of a source for such a thing

            (it would be a fun toy to play with at an event).



            -Ii/Jing





























            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • sekinakagawa@aol.com
            Principles of helicopter aerodynamics / J. Gordon Leishman. Main Author: _Leishman, J. Gordon._
            Message 5 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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              Principles of helicopter aerodynamics / J. Gordon Leishman.
              Main Author: _Leishman, J. Gordon._
              (http://newton.lib.cam.ac.uk:7903/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?SC=Author&SEQ=20090910191050&PID=60qjiZ8ggPcyeliMLmH5tJ2odq
              sSt9f&SA=Leishman,+J.+Gordon.) Title: Principles of helicopter
              aerodynamics / J. Gordon Leishman. Edition: 2nd ed. Published: Cambridge :
              Cambridge University Press, 2006. Description: xxxvii, 826 p. : ill. ; 27 cm.
              ISBN: 9780521858601 0521858607 Series: Cambridge aerospace series ; 18.
              Series variant: Cambridge aerospace series ; 18

              Humbly,
              Sukeie
              To ask a question, may be a moments shame,
              but not to ask and remain ignorant, is a life long shame.


              In a message dated 9/10/2009 8:21:39 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
              tatsushu@... writes:




              Okay, I really would love a source for this:

              _http://www.youtube.http://wwwhttp://www.yo&<WBR>feature=Ser<WBR>f&p=p=<WBR>
              F1D42AFEA&index=1_
              (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbpikTuoLB0&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=F1D42AFEA1ED4451&index=1)

              They make the claim that the first "helicopter" was a Chinese toy from
              well within our time frame. Anyone know of a source for such a thing
              (it would be a fun toy to play with at an event).

              -Ii/Jing







              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Andrew T Trembley
              ... The text is iffy... I don t have a good source I can cite, but as I remember the bamboo dragonfly was inspired by the way sycamore seeds spin and fly in
              Message 6 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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                Jeanel Walker wrote:
                > http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/11Kaleidoscope1053.html
                >

                The text is iffy... I don't have a good source I can cite, but as I
                remember the "bamboo dragonfly" was inspired by the way sycamore seeds
                spin and fly in the wind, not by the flight of dragonflies (which don't
                have spinning wings the last I looked).

                General Ignorance <http://www.general-ignorance.com/ofaviation.htm> has
                a bit on the history of the helicopter, including suggestions that a 4th
                century BC Chinese text (*/"Pao Phu Tao/" of 320BC by Ko Hung of China)*
                that claims full-scale helicopter carts (not reliable) and a 15th
                century European painting shows a "bamboo dragonfly" toy (which, if
                identified, would clearly show it's a SCA-period object).

                andy
              • Solveig Throndardottir
                Ii dono! Greetings from Solveig! Well, given the uncertain nature of the sources for that British game show, I m not at all certain that it should be used as a
                Message 7 of 8 , Sep 10, 2009
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                  Ii dono!

                  Greetings from Solveig! Well, given the uncertain nature of the
                  sources for that British game show, I'm not at all certain that it
                  should be used as a source. However, there is a mingei toy in Japan
                  which consists essentially of a propeller mounted on the end of a
                  long thin stick. You launch the things by rubbing the stick between
                  your hands. Considering there is a tree with propeller like seed
                  pods, it is quite conceivable that this toy might date back far enough.

                  Your Humble Servant
                  Solveig Throndardottir
                  Amateur Scholar
                • srmalloy
                  ... Wikipedia sometimes setting new standards for questionable source ... I found another citation, with a reference that may or may not be relevant:
                  Message 8 of 8 , Sep 12, 2009
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                    --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, sekinakagawa@... wrote:>
                    > Knowing how unreliable some sources are the only thing I could find was this.
                    >
                    > _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo-copter_
                    > (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo-copter)
                    >
                    > It even shows some pictures. It's a start.

                    Wikipedia sometimes setting new standards for 'questionable source'...

                    I found another citation, with a reference that may or may not be relevant: http://www.helis.com/pioneers/

                    "The first concept of rotary wing aviation came from the Chinese in the fourth century A.D.

                    "A book called "Pao Phu Tau" tells of the "Master" describing flying cars (fei chhe) with wood from the inner part of the jujube tree with ox-leather straps fastened to returning blades as to set the machine in motion (huan chien i yih chhi chi). This is the first recorded pattern of what we might understand as a helicopter."

                    There is also the entry in the timeline below the reference above, with no trace of any citation:

                    "400 BC : Chinese tops A toy, consisted of feathers at the end of a stick, which was rapidly spun between the hands to generate lift and then released into free flight. These toys were probably inspired by observations of the autorotating seeds of trees such as the Sycamore."

                    This is different from the carved-wood designs of the Wikipedia reference, but it seems to me that a pair of feathers tied firmly to a stick would be the kind of toy a peasant could make for their child, with the more complex wooden designs being "upscale" versions. But it's still nowhere near an authoritative source.

                    The Wikipedia article on helicopters, however, has an actual reference for the 400BC date -- "Leishman, J. Gordon. Principles of Helicopter Aerodynamics. Cambridge aerospace series, 18. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 9780521858601" -- instead of just references to other web pages (of which it has two, one to http://www.vectorsite.net/avheli_1.html#m1 and the other to http://www.aerospaceweb.org/design/helicopter/history.shtml , neither of which cite any references).
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