Friday, April 13, 2012

A Helicopter In Every Home

Back in the 1950's, when I was in school, people fully expected that everyone would have a helicopter by the 1980's. I can remember several school books we read that predicted by the 1980's everyone would commute to work by helicopter. The above photo is from 1951

Miracles You'll See in The Next Fifty Years - Popular Mechanix Feb 1950
This extension of aerial transportation has had the effect of distributing the population. People find it more satisfactory to live in a suburb like Tottenville, if suburb it can be called, than in a metropolis like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Cities have grown into regions, and it is sometimes hard to tell where one city ends and another begins. Instead of driving from Tottenville to California in their car—teardrop in shape and driven from the rear by a high-compression engine that burns cheap denatured alcohol—the Dobsons use the family helicopter, which is kept on the roof. The car is used chiefly for shopping and for journeys of not more than 20 miles. The railways are just as necessary in 2000 as they are in 1950. They haul chiefly freight too heavy or too bulky for air cargo carriers. Passenger travel by rail is a mere trickle. Even commuters go to the city, a hundred miles away, in huge aerial busses that hold 200 passengers. Hundreds of thousands make such journeys twice a day in their own helicopters.

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