From unstable and frightening machines, helicopters have evolved into incredibly sophisticated aircraft that can fly forward, backward, sideways and, of course, hover. This fully illustrated volume explores the history and evolution of these fascinating aircraft, from the earliest pioneers to the powerful machines of today. Topics include helicopter visionaries, World War II, Air Sea Rescue, gyrodynes, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and US presidential helicopters. The book also examines technical features such as the cockpit, rotor systems and night vision. With over 200 superb photographs accompanying the lively text, this volume is a must for all aircraft enthusiasts.