Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
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Master Of The World (1961) - this classic sci-fi movie, based on two novels by Jules Verne, begins with a b&w prologue of archive footage showing various attempts by madcap inventors and pioneers to get airborne.

These include Etienne Oemichen's helicostat, an experimental (winged) ornithopter, and Douheret's helicoplane.
helicostat in Master of the World

ornithopter in Master of the World
helicoplane in Master of the World

sky-ship in Master of the World
Conquering hero/ international terrorist Robur (Vincent Price) travels around the world in his 150-feet-long helicopter airship Albatross, a fantastical piece of aeronautical engineering that flies via several towering rotors, a forward propeller, and tail fins for steering.

Albatross in Master of the World

The Albatross emerges from a volcano and fires rockets to bring down a hot-air balloon, bringing a message of 'peace' to darkening skies in Pennsylvania.

In one stunt sequence, a couple of people are lowered on ropes from the belly of the sky-ship during an interrogation subsequent and rescue.

Later the madman's utopian intentions (ambitious plans to end national capabilities for warfare by using a minimum of lethal force!), and his demands for a global disarmament, prompt battles with Americans, and the Albatross sinks a warship - sails, cannon, crew, and all!

Can the unlikely heroes (led by Charles Bronson) escape their comedy-relief roles to sabotage one eccentric man's dreams of air supremacy?


Although the special effects (by Gene Warren and others) are just shaky miniatures by today's creative standards, the vivid cinematography and witty technological ideas ensure the Albatross is rarely less than a spectacular vehicle.