R.Mikesh, A.Shorzoe Japanese Aircraft, 1910-1941 (Putnam)
Man-powered Screw Wing Machine
The oldest heavier-than-air flying machine in Japan, for which there is a photograph, is one designed and built by Katsura Maruoka. He was a son of Kanji Maruoka, Governor of Kouchi Prefecture and was both a poet and an inventor. While living in San-ban-cho, Koujimachi, Tokyo, during 1902 and 1903 Katsura Maruoka and a friend, Daisaburo Matsushita, built a contrarotating wing device that they called a Man-powered Screw Wing Machine. The rotor-blades were made of wood and the framework structure was of steel pipe. Recognizing that obtaining sufficient power would be a major problem, and lacking a proper engine in Japan at that time, Maruoka resorted to man-power through a bicycle pedal drive system. At the handle-bar level were horizontal stabilizing wings for control. Although unsuccessful, it is worthy of note that this attempt to achieve vertical flight was made in Japan at such an early date. In appearance the craft was similar to Igor Sikorsky's 1910 engine-driven helicopter which also failed.