The year is 1710: The Germans have developed Steam Power, and have created the first war machines to utilize it. Following the success of the hot air balloon in 1690, and the development of Steam Power, comes the Uberkopter: The world's first steam powered airship.
About this creation
Luckily for the rest of the world however, it's a failure. The machine is capable of powered flight, is relatively speedy, and carries a hefty cannon with a nicely sized firing arc. The one thing that was left out, was the concept of stability. The new pilots are unable to handle their machines, as they are rather ungainly. Within a month, three of original production run of six are lost to piloting. The next, to the failing of a single propeller, dropping it into the sea. The last two are retired before any more pilots can be lost. The Luftkappe has since had to not only apologize to the families of the pilots, but to one Heinrich Von Austerlitz for destroying his garden and the killing of one lawn gnome. The gnome's burial was actually a very touching ceremony.
Despite it's failure, future Autogyros gain valuable information from the catastrophes.
For example, the power increase system will not be modeled after that of a balloon, but will be a new system known as the throttle.
The gyros will not lean forward so as to increase speed. A second set will be added at the rear to allow for forward movement.
The boiler systems will not depend on complex sets of tubings to bring power to the engines. Instead, a wiring system will be used. Along with tubes, for aesthetic effect.
An interesting feature of the Uberkopter is it's power delivery system. The tubes insulate electrical wiring, which delivers power to the batteries shown here. The batteries are used to keep the motors turning. However, the batteries have a very small charge capacity, and require a constant flow of power. Thus, the boiler is constantly working. Many believe the fourth 'kopter's boiler exploded from such constant use.
A second set of batteries is stored at the front, to aid in power storage. Again, this doesn't really help.
The pilot shown here is a member of the then newly formed 'Luftkappe', or 'Air Helmets'. They were referred to as such because of the heavy protective helmets they wore. Nowadays, the helmets have been done away with and the name seems quite silly.
The rotary cannon mounted below the 'kopter is capable of rotating in a 180 degree arc, but can only stop at 10 degree intervals. While 18 firepoints is still quite a few, this made hitting targets awkward and difficult. Thus, the issues of clockwork came to the fore...
It should also be noted that, in a bizarre crossover universe the author has yet to come up with an explanation for, the Uberkopter is not only more successful, but serves as a spotter for Frogpunk Knights.
Fourth Wall: I tried being serious with this one, I really did... I just can't do it anymore!
Thanks for stopping by, and leave me a comment if you can!
@John: It took a little longer to come up with my explain-away-the-problems backstory.
@Waffles: Yes. They're just so bloody useful. This originally didn't have one, but it just fit. Same with the Guilded Lobster.