A one-of-a-kind Homebuilt combined a Simca car with a 300hpLycoming aircraft engine and crude welded structure to create a helicopter-car. The Simcopter was designed, constructed, and Piloted by David Dobbins in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mr. Dobbins flew his creation to a height of 5 feet as reported by the local newspaper, "El Occidental", on August 15, 1957.
When Stanley Hiller (Hiller aviation museum) viewed the Simcopter while on a tour of our museum, he commented that the builder, David Dobbins, once worked for Hiller aircraft and that the rotor assembly (not visible in photo) was a Hiller design.
David Trowbridge Dobbins June 22, 1916 to May 6, 2010
David had a rather unique life. It all started when he was born in China where his father was the Dean of Engineering at the University of Tientsin. Shortly afterwards his family moved back to San Francisco where they lived on Mason St., opposite what is now the Mark Hopkins.
All his life David loved airplanes, boats and helicopters. He was employed by various aeronautical companies which included, Hiller, Hughes, and North American. In the 50's the family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico where David taught math at the American School and worked on his famous Simcopter, a flying car, which is now in the Wings of History Air Museum in San Martin, CA. The Dobbins family eventually returned to San Francisco after 4 years where David worked for Westinghouse until he retired. He and his wife moved to Palm Desert, CA in 2002 while he continued to work on helicopters until his death.