L.Opdyke French Aeroplanes Before the Great War (Schiffer)
In 1905 Maurice Leger had Ouviere from Marseille build a huge ill-fated helicopter at Monaco; Leger means light and the machine was sometimes erroneously ascribed to a builder named Light, with contemporary English captions showing this name. A half-scale model was built first, with a 140-volt 40-ampere electric motor on the ground, and a connecting cable. At a power setting of 5.6 kw, it lifted first 85 kg as a test-load, and then later it lifted Dr Richard, manager of the oceanographic center at Monaco. The spoon-bladed aluminum propellers were 6.5 m in diameter, and the empty weight of the model was 110 kg.
The full-scale machine appeared shortly after, an enormous construction for the period. A 4-legged pyramid stood on 2 huge skis, the 2 coupled Antoinette engines mounted on the top, driving 2 contra-rotating propellers made of fabric-covered frames. The pilot and his passenger sat on the base with twin steering wheels. A biplane tail unit was fixed within the diameter of the rotors. This monument to human great expectations was destroyed on its first test.
(Length: c 12.5 m, same as rotor diameter; height: 10 m; chord of rotors at tips: 3.5 m)