A quiz on helicopters

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on June 26, 2021


On this day in 1936, the first practical helicopter, the Focke-Wulf FW 61, took its first flight piloted by Ewald Rohlfs. This quiz is about helicopters

Flying machines

1. Who is regarded as having designed the first helicopter, often described as an ‘aerial screw’ in the late 15th century? The drawings are in his notes, and he apparently made small flying models but none survived.

2. With the NATO code name ‘Hip’ and more than 17,000 built around the world, which is the world’s most produced helicopter, still a workhorse in the Indian Air Force?

3. In which film would you come across an attack on a village by a group of helicopters set to the music of Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries? It is regarded as one of the most famous sequences in cinematic history.

4. The Boeing CH-47 helicopter, also known as the Chinook, is one of the workhorses of the US Airforce. What makes the Chinook very distinct compared to other helicopters?

5. On January 26, 2020, which sporting legend lost his life when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying him, his 13-year-old daughter and her teammates crashed outside Calabasas, California, while they were headed to a basketball tournament?

6. The Mi V-12 is the biggest and heaviest helicopter ever built, first flown in 1968 and capable of carrying a load of over 45,000 kg. However, it never went into proper production, because the main reason for its design was no longer necessary. What was it originally meant to carry?

7. Which Indian film director’s sister was born on a helicopter flight from an Indian Airforce Base as his mother was being flown to a base hospital? Akashi, nicknamed Heli, is one of the reasons for the director’s fascination with helicopters, which appear in two of his films Yahaan and Madras Café.

8. Which Russian helicopter, extensively used in the Soviet Afghan campaign and a workhorse of the Indian Air Force is nicknamed the ‘flying tank’ because of its heavy armour and is regarded as the world’s only ‘assault helicopter’ in that it can both attack the enemy and carry troops into attack?

9. What is the name of the utility helicopter developed by HAL, which is used for both combat and observation and the Indian helicopter aerobatics team, Sarang?

10. Which famous pilot, the centre of a major incident during the Cold War, finally passed away on August 1, 1977, when the helicopter he was piloting for KNBC Channel 4 crashed over the San Fernando Valley, killing him and his cameraman. He was flying a reporter for the channel.


1. Leonardo Da Vinci, when he was employed as a military engineer for the Duke of Milan.

2. The Mi-8, in use in over 50 countries along with its variant, the Mi-17.

3. Apocalypse Now. Director Francis Ford Coppola took a year just to edit that sequence.

4. It has two main rotors in tandem in the front and back compared to the single one in most choppers.

5. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gigi and seven others lost their lives in the tragedy.

6. The Mi V-12 was meant to carry Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles during the Cold War. As the missiles became smaller and more efficient, other methods of delivery emerged and the Mi V-12 was no longer thought necessary.

7. Shoojit Sircar.

8. The Mi-24 ‘Hind,’ a staple of video games, can also be spotted in films such as Air Force One, A Good Day to Die Hard and Blood Diamond.

9. The Dhruv.

10. Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of the U-2 plane shot down in Soviet airspace in 1960. He was later exchanged for a Soviet spy.

Joy Bhattacharjya   -  Business Line


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on June 26, 2021

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