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Watch the First Live News Helicopter's Maiden Voyage in 1958

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In 1958, the world was treated to the inaugural flight of the KTLA 5 Telecopter, the first helicopter "that actually transmits a picture onto your screens while it is in actual flight." The helicopter's maiden voyage, posted on Facebook by the National Helicopter Service (via Hans Laetz and LAObserved), was all captured in a TV broadcast as an announcer explains to viewers, in his most dramatic and serious voice, that this news helicopter "will render a service to this community of which we can all be justifiably proud." (How could he have known that we'd mostly use it for aerial coverage of car chases?)

This feat was "previously unthinkable," the announcer explains, and in order to give at-home watchers an idea of how the chopper fits into the news team, the broadcast shows the department performing the entire process of getting the Telecopter out into the field (for a simulated news story): the head of the news department gets a hot tip, checks it out, then dispatches the chopper. The transmission isn't that bad at all considering this is 1958 and they're in a helicopter. The retro Telecopter also looks significantly flimsier than today's modern versions, making the whole run all seem so much more daring.

Looking thru the archives and found this video of the original KTLA Telecopter.

Posted by National Helicopter Service on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

· KTLA news copter test run in 1958 (video) [LAO]
· 1958 Telecopter Presentation [Facebook]