Posted by: Helicop Aviation | September 23, 2011

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

If you looked back on the history of aircraft, one name would stand out above the rest: Sikorsky.

Sikorsky S-61Igor Sikorsky entered this world on May 25, 1889 in Russia.At the tender age of eleven, Igor was already conducting experiments with model aircraft, and one year later, he created a miniature helicopter powered by a rubber band. When he began taking courses at Saint Petersburg Imperial Russian Naval Academy, he decided to dedicate his life to the field of engineering. Later on, when he was aware of the Wright brothers and all they had accomplished in America, he changed his mind about engineering and persue a career in aviation.

Igor founded Sikorsky Aero Engineering Company in 1923 with the aid of some former officers in the Russian army. The first helicopter he designed was damaged during a test flight; however, Sikorsky managed to persuade his investors to continue investing in him. With those funds backing him, he created the S-29. It can be attributed to the performance of the S-29, a twin-engine airplane, that Igor’s company was on its way to aeronautic success.

Igor became an American citizen in 1928 and began designing not only planes but helicopters as well. On September 14, 1939, the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 helicopter flew for the first time, although it was tethered. The accomplishment of the VS-300 catapulted into the R-4, the first mass-produced helicopter the world had ever seen. And Igor’s VS-300 rotor setup set the standard for helicopters to come. Today, the majority of helicopters use the same configurations.

Igor Sikorsky passed away on October 26, 1972 while laying in his home in Connecticut. However, his legacy still lives today. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation based in Connecticut continues to be one of the world leaders in developing rotorcraft. Sikorsky has a deep history and has done much for the development of helicopters, and owns a long list of records:

1912: first Russian aircraft that has the ability to loop
1913: first airplane powered by four engines
1916: the largest plane ever manufactured
1924: first twin-engine airplane that could fly on one engine if needed
1931: the largest airliner ever created.
1936: the altitude record
1937: commercial aircraft with the greatest range
1939: first helicopter with a single main rotor to work successfully
1944: first helicopter rescue while in combat
1945: first helicopter to rescue a civilian
1949: first helicopter rescue in the Navy
1949: first helicopter with the ability to fly in a loop
1952: first helicopter to fly across the Atlantic Ocean
1953: first helicopter to have a primary rotor with five blades
1957: first helicopter designed for the President of the United States
1961: first helicopter to recover astronauts
1962: first helicopter that can fly greater than 200 mph

The accomplishments on Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s résumé speak for themselves. The excellence in which Igor performed is still being practiced today, yet, there was one achievement that gave Igor a tremendous amount of joy: the use of helicopters as rescue vehicles. Today, over 1,000,000 people have been given a second chance at life because of a helicopter and that number continues to grow steadily.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s fingerprints can clearly be seen on the early development of helicopters, and it continues to be a major contributor even today.

Source: www.helicopterwise.com/sikorsky-aircraft-corporation/

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