A Picture Is Worth: Home Delivery By Helicopter

Sikorsky skycraneLloyd Alter/ photo from Scientific American July 1971/CC BY 2.0

We keep a lot of good reading in the outhouse behind our cabin, and this morning I was leafing through the July, 1971 issue of Scientific American when this ad caught my eye.

What you see here is housing by air. The idea of using our Skycrane helicopter to deliver factory-built houses has a log going for it. Low cost. Speed. Hope for easing the acute housing shortage.

Oh, the wonderful techno-optimism of the Space Age, two years before the oil embargo when they thought fuel was cheap enough to deliver houses by helicopter. Today, the few skycranes flying cost thousands of dollars per hour to operate; the delivery might cost more than the house.

Sikorsky copyLloyd Alter, from July 1971 Scientific American/CC BY 2.0

There were a lot of other wonderful things to come: downtown New York to Downtown Boston in one hour 11 minutes. If only.

Helicopters are being used occasionally to deliver houses, but they tend to be small and light, as in this micro-compact home delivery. But alas, the age of flying prefabs never happened.

A Picture Is Worth: Home Delivery By Helicopter
You gotta love the techno-optimism of the space age.

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