Tag Archives: dragonflies

Scientists Baffled: Helicopters Don’t Have Wings

This is another humor piece that I wrote for the campus humor magazine back in college. My next post will be a new piece (rather than recycled), so get excited!


Everybody knows that to fly you need a good pair of wings, right? Wrong, apparently. This week, science has made another startling discovery that is sure to leave you quivering over your morning breakfast cereal: helicopters are able to fly without the use of wings!

“I was just sitting in the park, contemplating the geese, when a helicopter flew by overhead,” explained the scientist credited with the discovery, Dr. Hock E. Puck of the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy. “I thought it was just a big, noisy goose, until I noticed that it was made out of metal and didn’t have a head. It was as I narrowed my eyes to better ponder this strange machine that I made my now-famous discovery: no wings!”

Dr. Puck claims he then rushed back to his laboratory, where he got Italian Ministress of Aviation, Ms. Vermi Celli, on the phone in minutes. In one huge, excited breath, he explained the entire situation to Ms. Celli.

“After he told me, I had to ask him to tell me again, because he kind of garbled the whole thing up the first time, trying to say as much as possible without breathing,” claims the aging, well-respected Ministress. “Once I understood what he was trying to tell me, I dropped the phone and ran to the window. I could see my helicopter in the parking lot and, sure enough, not a wing in sight! How could I not have found this odd before?”

The pair decided to go public with the discovery immediately, rather than sitting on the knowledge with the hopes of leveraging it for power at some later date.

“I’m a huge fan of the free dissemination of information to the public,” justified Dr. Puck. “Knowledge is power, and as a flower child of the 1960’s, I believe in ‘Power to the People!’”

Though our magazine was lucky enough to get the scoop on this story for general release, certain important government figures and scientists were brought into the loop early to discuss the possible implications of the discovery.

“My main concern is that the helicopters themselves don’t find out,” stated Air Force Sergeant Lou Ftwaffe. “Maybe the only reason they’ve worked all these years is that they were tricked into believing that they had wings. As soon as their delusions come crashing down to earth, so might they.” He added, “This really is a groundbreaking discovery; but hopefully not literally.”

However, others seem less impressed with the news. “It’s not actually a new discovery,” opined Soviet Physicist Rube Ixcube. “The physical basis for helicopter flight has been very well understood for years. See, you just need some duct tape, some WD-40 and a boatload of pixie dust. First you lure the pixies onto the duct tape and squirt them with the WD-40 to stop them from squeaking. Next, you form the duct tape into a wing-like shape and use the pixie dust to render it invisible. Stop shaking your head and walking away and I’ll finish explaining it to you.”

Not all doubters are as ill-informed and attention-craving as Professor Ixcube. Little Jimmy, the boy I was babysitting last Friday, said he could think of “tons of things that fly without wings.” When pressed, he said “I don’t know – dragonflies?” However, upon further review, dragonflies do, in fact, have wings.