The VS-300, the world's first functioning helicopter, was invented by Igor Sikorsky. The patent was granted to Sikorsky on March 19, 1935, following his initial application on June 27, 1931.
It was constructed by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation, and successfully piloted by the inventor himself on May 13, 1940, following an initial tethered test of only a few seconds in September of the previous year.
Following its successful free flight, the VS-300 became the standard for helicopter manufacture around the world. Earlier versions of the helicopter, all unsuccessful, had included Thomas Edison's, which had a volatile gun cotton-powered engine, and Louis Charles Breguet's Gyroplane #1, which was likened to a bunch of windmills lashed together.