helicab n.

a helicopter serving as a taxi

In the 1943 quotation, referring to a small helicopter for personal use.


  • 1943 N.Y. Times 5 Aug. 17/2

    The ‘helicab’, a streamlined helicopter for family service…will have all the advantages of Igor Sikorsky’s helicopter for vertical ascent, the capacity to hover, and landing in a very small space.

  • 1950 J. Weston Heli-cab Hack in Amazing Stories June 146/2 page image John Weston bibliography

    I'm a hack, and I'm looking for a new helicab—something in fair condition. What have you got?

  • 1953 R. A. Heinlein Starman Jones (1975) xxii. 251 Robert A. Heinlein

    The helicab was parked in front of the house.

  • 1964 K. Laumer in If Nov. 7/1 Keith Laumer

    It was ten minutes past high noon when I paid off my helicab, ducked under the air blast from the caged high-speed rotors…and looked around at the sun-scalded, dust-white, mob-noisy bazaar of the trucial camp-city of Tamboula, Republic of Free Algeria.

  • 1974 A. Nourse Bladerunner (1991) 65

    One moment he and Billy were stepping from the elevator onto the darkened rooftop of the Merriman’s apartment and walking across to board the waiting heli-cab.

  • 1999 P. Gotlieb Violent Stars vii. 283 page image Phyllis Gotlieb bibliography

    After a few more deep breaths she took the bullet train to London, Ontario, a helicab to Chatham, and a hoverbus where she got off at the end of an avenue lined with gnarled fruit trees, and walked a long way to a big old brick house with a veranda halfway around it.

  • 2009 S. J. Bounds Eden Mystery iii. 35 page image Sydney J. Bounds bibliography

    Overhead, the whirring of rotor blades suddenly drowned out the hunters’ cries. He jerked his head up to see a helicab swooping down and thought petulantly: it wasn’t fair, using a helicab to hunt him from the air—it ought not to be allowed!

Research requirements

antedating 1943

Earliest cite

N.Y. Times

Research History
Fred Galvin found a reference in the ISFDB to a story, "Heli-cab Hack", by John Weston in the June 1950 Amazing Stories: Derek Hepburn confirmed this with a cite from this story: the word was hyphenated in the title, but not in the story itself.
Simon Koppel submitted a 1943 example from a student newspaper; Jesse Sheidlower found an article from the same day in the New York Times that came from the same press release.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1999 cite from Phyllis Gotlieb.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2009 cite from Sidney Bounds.

Last modified 2021-10-18 20:43:50
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.