The “Helicopter” interview with Arthur M. Young consists of 10 video clips, of which the most interesting ones have been starred and marked in orange. Recorded February 14, 1980.

01. “The question is why did I take up the helicopter rather than something else…” (1:13)

Helicopter took a long time to develop, giving me a chance to catch up with the competition. New ideas in radio would quickly show up in the magazines.
Helicopter, Radio days

02. “The power of model building I did not fully appreciate until later…”

Using medium size models was an expensive and time consuming process but allowed the study of stresses. Meeting Sikorsky at Rotary Wing meeting. Sikorsky’s reasons for using the tail rotor. I always assumed that the models would fly. Small models allowed for flight testing. The teaching value of crack ups.
Helicopter, Model building, Igor Sikorsky, Flight testing

03. “As the helicopter took off…” (4:23)

Attempting to use a pendulum to regulate the rotor. The stabilizer bar can distinguish between acceleration and gravity – it uses an artificial horizon. It uses the absolute nature of rotation. In general, stabilization can only be achieved with reference to the universe. The local situation won’t suffice.
Helicopter, Stabilization, Pendulum, Stabilizer Bar, Rotation

04. “The model building process is very sacred to me now…” (1:00)

Model building is like the scientific method of trial and error.
Model building, Scientific method

05. “The helicopter rotor, looking down on it you can think of it as a circle…” (2:30)*

With a helicopter rotor, control is at right angles to the direction you want to go. This played a large role in developing the theory of meaning. The meaning of any opposition is at right angles to the opposition.

Helicopter Rotor, Control, Right Angle, Meaning, Physical/Mental

06. “As I said at that cybernetics conference…” (2:22)

Cybernetic control involves stability. Fugoid oscillation due to proper feedback. Positive feedback leads to catastrophic instability.
Cybernetics, Stability, Feedback

07. “My first thing was “the sky’s the limit” kind of thing…” (2:30)

Development of the helicopter as an example of a seven stage process.
The Stages, Helicopter

08. “I arrived at Bell on the morning of September 3…” (6:08)

Story of the first demonstration of the helicopter model for Bell. Meeting Larry Bell. Bart Kelly and AY were installed in Bob Woods’ office. Other anecdotes from first days at Bell.
Helicopter, Anecdotes, Arrival at Bell

09. “I thought that when I arrived at Bell the engineers and experts in various subjects would immediately start building this full scale helicopter…” (2:52)

Initial days at Bell. First plan was to make drawings. AY convinced them to shift budget to build a working model – provided the engineering dept. had nothing to do with it.
Helicopter, Anecdotes, Bell

10. “We didn’t try to solve the production problems…” (3:35)

The problems with the production line. It took less time for a team to assemble a machine than for it to be done on an assembly line. Story of the attempt to modify the bearings has implications for evolutionary theory.

Helicopter, Bell, Production, Evolution


The Yoga of Thinking: Arthur M. Young Video Archive is a project of Anodos Foundation. All video material is copyrighted by Hypersphere and is licensed to Anodos for this Archive.

  • Producer/interviewer: Arthur Bloch
  • Principle camerawork: Mike Shedlin
  • Additional camerawork: Randy Elliott