Search for "helicopter" on a popular Web browser and you’ll get more than 37 million Web links. Search for "helicopter history" and your browsing is limited to 4.5 million sites. Do not worry. Out of those 4.5 million links, a worthwhile one to click on is the first site: www.helis.com. helis.com. Web hit counters indicate 2.5 million visits to Gazzola’s site. Helis.com is a must-see site for any helicopter fan and Web researcher. — By Todd Vorenkamp
Jorge Gazzola, a software programmer in Buenos Aires, saw his first helicopter as a child and fell in love. He saw a void on the Internet and created the site in 1996 as a hobby to collect information on the history of rotary-wing flight. With the help of visitors from around the world, he has worked to fill that void, and his site has become popular. A quick surfing session to other helicopter history Web sites shows scores of links to
The home page has a well-organized table of contents linking to the site’s different pages. You can get anywhere on the site from the front page, yet you won’t feel intimidated by the wealth of information within.
Click on a manufacturer’s name and you are taken to a chronological, picture-book style history of that company. Another screen has a list of helicopters and photos. Some of the more prominent helos are hyperlinked to their own individual pages. User friendliness defines the site.
The site has a decidedly vintage feel. This is not a criticism. The early Web feel makes navigation easy, as your browser is not bombarded with Java script features, multimedia light shows, or extraneous graphics that so many sites today seem to employ.