This is a wonderful collection of black-and-white newsreel footage, assembled by the company that invented the newsreel, showing a montage of early helicopter prototypes in all their wacky and frequently-terrifying glory. It’s a highlight reel, about two minutes long, and the various clips that went into it are indexed, annotated, and available for watching in their entirety at the link below, which is a level of background detail we don’t often see in online video. [Thanks, Laura!]

The History of the Helicopter: Early Helicopter Footage

Centuries of cranks vindicated by human-powered ornithopter flight