As early as 1860, M.A.Rykachev, a Russian, began investigating "aerial propellers able to propel themselves horizontally and vertically".

In 1871, after becoming Director of the Central Physical Laboratory, he conducted experiments concerned with the behaviour of, and the lift produced by, a small four-bladed rotor, which was made to turn through the combined effect of a falling weight and a clockwork spring placed on the pan of a balance.

P.Lambermont "Helicopters and Autogyros of the World", 1958