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Under Fixed and Rotary Wing

On May 25, 1889, Russian-born scientist, engineer, pilot and entrepreneur Igor Sikorsky was born. In 1913 he built the first fixed-wing four-engine aircraft in the world, achieving speed and altitude records only ten years after the Wright Brothers flight in 1903. Learning as he worked, Sikorsky was experimenting with pontoons building seaplanes when the Russian revolution occurred and he was forced to flee Russia.

After settling in the United States, he finally achieved enough financial backing to continue building airplanes. Sikorsky produced multi-engine, passenger seaplanes or “Clippers” that supported the core of international passenger travel and became the base of his corporate success. One of these seaplanes inaugurated the first transoceanic air service in 1935.

When his days pioneering ocean flight concluded, he returned to his first love, the field of vertical lift and the design of helicopters. Once he settled on the features he considered necessary for the machine – the principal lifting screw, rear auxilliary rotor, number of blades, and size of engine – he was on to setting the endurance record (1941) by staying aloft over 1½ hours. Sikorsky continued to hone his invention to a reliable excellence because he believed it would be the perfect vehicle for rescue work of all kinds and in all areas of the world because, unlike an airplane, a helicopter requires no runway.

Sikorsky received many honours and awards during his lifetime. His Sikorsky corporation continues to build exceptional rotary and fixed wing aircraft, to further research their design and function, and to engage others in avionics and aerospace partnerships.

Some of his dream, inspiration, thought, passion, effort, and achievement –

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage