USPS Airmail via Gyrocopter

The gyrocopter uses the forward propulsion of motor-powered propellers and the lift of rotary blades to gain altitude into the sky. These unique aircraft were popular with various militaries in past engagements to fly reconnaissance.

It was the hovering capabilities of helicopters that helped them become safer and more efficient; basically a way to shuttle people short distances through the air. The gyropcopter was and still is popular with hobby pilots who build and fly ultralight models. Yet in the past gyrocopters were used by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver mail.

Due to their agility, gyrocopters were sometimes the fastest way to get mail from one urban center to another. In the 1930s, the postal service regularly used gyrocopters for several routes in the Northeast and as well Los Angeles. The above short film shows mail being delivered between the Philadelphia post office rooftop and Camden, N.J.; a flight was made in about six minutes.

Gyropcopters (nicknamed “flying tractors”) have not seen official mail action since the 1940s. Recently there have been inventors claiming  them as ‘an environmentally responsible path to a flying car.’ Yet it’s unlikely that the postal service is going to return gyrocopters to the skies anytime soon.