The first-ever world helicopter championships are being held this weekend (16-19 September) at Buckeburg, near Minden, in West Germany.
The first-ever world helicopter championships are being held this weekend (16-19 September) at Buckeburg, near Minden, in West Germany. The competition, organised by the German Aero Club at the request of the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale), attracted entrants, including co-pilots, from eleven countries.
By the end of the second day, when this film was shot by Gerhard Medoch, the West German champion, Otto Brauer, in an Alouette, was leading the competition, followed by two other entrants from the West German armed forces. British army Staff Sergeant Nike Green, in a Scout, was fourth, with competitors from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the United States making up the field.
The 37 entries represent 72 fliers, of whom 12 are women. Among them is Hanna Reitsch, who was a jet test pilot in Hitler's Germany.
The organisers had hoped to attract entrants from Eastern Europe, but were disappointed in this respect.
SYNOPSIS: The first-ever world helicopter championships have been taking place this weekend at Buckeburg in West Germany. The four-day event organised by the German Aero Club attracted 72 pilots and co-pilot from eleven countries, including 12 women.
West German champion Otto Brauer, in an Alouette, was leading the field after this run over the slalom course, guiding a 5-kilogram weight through ten gates on an area the size of five football pitches.
Former jet test pilot Hanna Reitsch, another Wester German competitor, watched as Staff-Sergeant Mike Green took his British Army Scout helicopter round the course. Green was lying fourth on Saturday night, behind three West German forces competitors.
The little Hughes 300 - this one was piloted by Mike Smith of Britain, one of the leading civilian competitors. The 300, from the company owned by mystery American tycoon Howard Hughes, made a striking contrast with the big military helicopters.
Hanna Reitsch, in another Hughes 300, dropped several places when she missed a gate in the slalom, but still showed the manoeuvrability of her machine.
Another event in the competition was designed to stress the helicopter's rescue role - here's how a British Army Scout drops a weighted sack through a small window. Not all the competitors managed this precision flying test first time. The organisers were disappointed that no Eastern European countries took part, but it was still a successful start to a new international event.