The Simcopter: A Unique Blend of Innovation and Automotive Engineering
In the world of unconventional and imaginative inventions, the Simcopter stands as a testament to human ingenuity and a passion for all things aeronautical. Designed and created by David Dobbins, this remarkable machine seamlessly combines the elements of a helicopter and an automobile, offering a glimpse into a future where commuting to work at 100 mph was envisioned to be a breeze.
At the heart of the Simcopter’s design are its impressive 42-foot rotor blades, the powerhouse behind the machine’s ability to take flight. However, what truly sets this invention apart is its automotive component—a 1948 Simca Topolino. David Dobbins believed that this unique fusion of automotive and aeronautical technology could revolutionize the way people travel.
David Dobbins, the mastermind behind the Simcopter, led a life as extraordinary as his invention. Born in China, he was raised in a family deeply rooted in academia, with his father serving as the Dean of Engineering at the University of Tientsin. It was this early exposure to academia and aeronautics that ignited David’s lifelong passion for airplanes, boats, and helicopters.
The Dobbins family later relocated to San Francisco, where they resided on Mason Street, right across from what is now known as the Mark Hopkins Hotel. In this vibrant city, David continued to nurture his fascination with all things flying and mechanical.
In the 1950s, the family embarked on a new adventure, moving to Guadalajara, Mexico. David took on the role of a math teacher at the American School while simultaneously devoting his time and energy to the creation of the famous Simcopter. It was in August 1957 that David achieved a significant milestone when he piloted his creation to a height of four feet for a duration of five seconds—an accomplishment that garnered local attention and was duly reported by the newspaper “El Occidental.”
After four years in Mexico, the Dobbins family returned to San Francisco, where David found employment with Westinghouse, a company that matched his passion for innovation and technology. He continued to work on various helicopter-related projects until his retirement.
Even in retirement, David’s passion for helicopters never waned. He and his wife eventually settled in Palm Desert, California, where he continued to tinker with and refine his inventions until his passing.
The Simcopter, created by the visionary David Dobbins, is a testament to the boundless creativity and unrelenting pursuit of one’s passions. It serves as a reminder that even in the world of conventional transportation, there is always room for groundbreaking ideas and innovations that can change the way we view our daily commutes and the world of engineering itself. David Dobbins’ legacy lives on through his remarkable invention, and his story is a testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and invention that drives human progress.