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Igor Sikorsky

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Igor Sikorsky
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Igor Sikorsky

Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky (May 25, 1889October 26, 1972) was a Russian pioneer of aviation who designed the first four-engine aeroplanes and the first modern helicopter.

Igor Sikorsky was born in Kiev, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) and studied at the Naval War College in St. Petersburg. His early work included the construction, as chief engineer, of the first four-motor aircraft. He was also the test pilot for its first flight, on May 13, 1913. Sikorsky's planes were used by the Russia as bombers in World War I (see Ilya Muromets) and he was decorated by the Cross of St. Vladimir.

In 1919 Sikorsky emigrated from Russia to the United States seeing little opportunity for himself as an aircraft designer in Europe, torn by the war, and, particularly in Russia, ravaged by the Revolution and Civil War

In the US he first worked as a school teacher and a lecturer looking for an opportunity in aviation industry and in 1923, helped by several former Russian army officers, formed the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Company, which in 1929 was purchased by and became a subsidiary of United Aircraft, itself now a part of United Technologies Corporation. The company manufactured flying boats such as the S-42, used by Pan Am for trans-atlantic flights and known as Pan Am Clippers.

Sikorsky had experimented with helicopter-type flying machines while in Russia. He brought his work to fruition on 24th May 1940 with the first successful helicopter flight in the Vought-Sikorsky 300, a machine with a single three-blade rotor powered by a 75 horsepower (56 kW) engine.

Biography to be continued

The Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation continues to the present day as one of the world's leading helicopter manufacturers.

Further reading

  • Sikorsky's autobiography, The Story of the Winged S. (originally published 1938; updated editions, various years up to 1948)
  • Frank J. Delear, Igor Sikorsky: His Three Careers in Aviation (New York, 1969) - described as "the only biography"[1] (http://www.ctheritage.org/encyclopedia/ctsince1929/sikorsky.htm)

External link

de:Igor Iwanowitsch Sikorski he:איגור סיקורסקי ja:イゴール・シコルスキー pl:Igor Sikorski ru:Сикорский, Игорь Иванович uk:Сікорський Ігор Іванович

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