PKZ-2 OBSERVATION HELICOPTER (1918)
About the Design
During the waning months of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Army's Major Stephan Petrochy -- along with Theodore von Karman and Vilem Zurovec -- designed a radical motorized flying machine to replace the dangerous hydrogen-filled balloons then being used to observe enemy positions. Their odd, spider-like contraption with counter-rotating propellers ultimately made 30 successful tethered test flights before the project was cancelled. Although never operational, the PKZ-2 was, in fact, the world's first helicopter.
About the Kit
Released in 2001, this 1/48-scale PKZ-2 was a fascinating oddity from Eduard Models, a Czech company specializing in otherwise mainstream WWI-era aircraft . A 1/72-scale version -- which was nearly impossible to build because of the fragility of its delicate plastic parts -- was released that same year by Roden Models of Ukraine.
This model was built from an original issue.