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Early in 1961 General Maxwell Taylor who was then Military Advisor to John F Kennedy went out to Southeast Asia to find out just what was happening there During his visit to Vietnam he noticed the lack of good roads inhibited the movement of government troops in fighting the Viet Cong His reports to the president motivated Kennedy to help the South Vietnamese in their struggle against communism Although he quickly decided to help out the president knew that new army techniques and weapons would have to be administered to combat in the dense jungle terrain still new to the United States Army Kennedy proceeded to send in a newly improved military innovation to help American troops fight the rising Vietnamese War This innovation was the Helicopter On December 11 1961 the US aircraft carrier Card carried the first Army H-21 helicopters to South VietnamGregory 12 During the Vietnam War the helicopter proved to be a necessity in being able to combat the power of the Viet CongThe helicopter is a member of a very versatile group of airplanes known as vertical takeoff and landing craft The main advantage in the jungles of Vietnam was the helicopters ability to takeoff and land in a small area without the use of a runway In 1100 the Chinese were the first to invent the concept of the rotating blades with a helicopterlike top In 1843 Sir George Cayley built a steam driven helicopter that rose a few feet but was too heavy to be practical In Spain Juan de la Cievera built the first Autogiro in 1923 The autogiro was the father of the helicopter Although the Autogiro is not at all fast it requires no fuel and flies on the concept of autorotation Autorotation was adapted to modern helicopters in case of power loss where the helicopter could land safely without crashing The first practical flight of a helicopter in the United States took place in
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