The very first self-propelled model of a lifting airscrew seems to have been the spring-driven device constructed and flown by a Russian, Mikhail V. Lomonosov, in 1754. Lomonosov, the "Father of Russian Science", was a pioneer physicist, chemist, astronomer, geologist, and geographer as well as a researcher in aeronautics Ч another universal genius intrigued with the dream of helicopter flight. In July, 1754, he demonstrated his model to the Russian Academy of Sciences. The proceedings of the Academy had this to say of the device, which the scientist intended for use in lifting thermometers and other small instruments into the air: "The honorable Advisor Lomonosov demonstrated his invention called "Aerodynamic" to be used for the purpose of depressing the air by means of wings rotated horizontally in the opposite directions by the agency of a spring of the type used in clocks in order to lift the machine into the upper layers of the air." It appears that, during the course of this demonstration, the model was not actually in free flight but was suspended from a string.
C.Gablehouse "Helicopters and Autogiros", 1969