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"…we store information differently, reading a science fiction story, to make it make sense."
- Samuel R. Delany

Solar-Powered Electric Helicopter  
  An electric helicopter, with sun cells.  

An early mention of this idea, the first I know about.

Denn stepped on the starter, and began turning over the compact, efficient little sun-engines of the helicopter...

Power fed into the ship’s six lift propellors from hidden photo-cell storage units. Through the glass roof of the cabin he could detect the spinning blur of' the metal “props”, could catch the rising whine of the trembling engines. Then they were in the air, rising straight up from the light-jeweled darkness of the Chicago of A.D. 2163.

Technovelgy from Into the Meteorite Orbit, by James Patrick Kelly.
Published by Teck Publications in 1933
Additional resources -

Not quite enough power to get to space:

Oh, all my life I’ve thought about it, and planned — and dreamed ... To be the first to go out across space! It would be worth living for! And why hasn’t it been done? Because men have always been afraid; afraid to face the thought of going out into infinity alone ! They’ve been contenders with their rocket-ships and their ’copters and their sun-motors...

He also mentions "sun-mirrors", writing "Those miles of sun-mirrors south of Capetown..."

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Into the Meteorite Orbit
  More Ideas and Technology by James Patrick Kelly
  Tech news articles related to Into the Meteorite Orbit
  Tech news articles related to works by James Patrick Kelly

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