From Insect wings to Helicopter Blades


2009, France
Original language
Running time
history of science
Directed by
Stéphane Bégoin
Written by
Stéphane Begoin, Thierry Zirmheld
Produced by
Arte France / France 3 Bourgogne Franche-Comté / CRRAV / S&CO / Flight Productions

Engineer and brilliant handyman, he was the first one to make a success of a flight in helicopter in 1924. A fascinating exploration of Etienne Oehmichen's works, which spent its life to observe birds and insects to uncover their secrets. Everything begins with a roll of film found accidentally in the region of Montbéliard, images of the beginning of the XXth century. They show the first stammerings of a strange device, ancestors of the helicopter. Machine invented by Etienne Oehmichen, scholar and French engineer. He was the first one to make a success of a flight of one kilometer on a closed circuit kilometer. Brilliant handyman, test pilote, but also brilliant naturalist, Oehmichen left behind him counts of inventions and theories. And nevertheless, after his death, he disappeared.