Igor Sikorsky
A recent picture of Igor Sikorsky
with one of his whirlybirds

     The achievements of EB Igor I. Sikorsky are so extensive in the field of aviation that is is difficult to single out any one as most important to his career. Yet, at the same time, you instinctively connect him most solidly with the helicopter field, and he well deserves the title of "Mr. Helicopter."
     Modest and unassuming, he's a truly great scientist and can be officially called "Doctor" as the result of many honarary degrees awarded him by as many colleges and universities. Today he is Engineering Manager of Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Aircraft Corporation and one of the best loved figures in aviation where his interest never cools. He is in great demand as a speaker.
     Born in Kiev, Russia in 1889, he was attracted to aviation as a schoolboy. Following graduation from Petrograd Naval College, he studied engineering in Paris and at Polytechnical Institute in Kiev, and then returned to Paris to study the new field of aviation. Back to Kiev, he built his first helicopters, but power was lacking, so he turned his attention to fixed-wing aircraft. What happened after that is history, and his early planes won him national recognition as well as F.A.I. License Number 64. Sikorsky developments during that period are well known, such as the first multi-engined airplane. So, too, are his developements since that time, such as the Pan Am amphibians and other flying boats.
     While his many aircraft developements brought new luxury, new ease of handling in bigger and better planes, his work in more recent years has been extensively in the helicopter field. In fact, Igor gave America its first successful helicopter in 1939 when his ship, the VS-300, lifted a few feet off the ground. Developement after that was rapid, and today's Sikorsky helicopter creations are making history in military and civilian circles, with unlimited possibilities for the future. Unquestioned leadership in rotary-wing aeronautics, plus his many other contributions, have won for him a list of honors that in abbreviated form would take an entire page of the CHIRP.
     His fellow EB'S hail him and wish him many more years of successful work in the field of aviation.
This from The EARLY BIRDS CHIRP, JULY, 1956, Number 54

Miss Grayson's Plane      July 1927
     The photo was probably taken at Curtis Field in New York. My mother is seen in the picture.
Photo & caption from Peter Durdaller, 10-31-06
via email from Gregory Powers, 10-31-06
     This SIKORSKY S-36, The Dawn, belonged to Miss Frances Wilson Grayson, a real estate broker turned aviatrix in the late 1920s New York City.
     She was lost with her crew after her new Sikorsky S-36 took off from New York City for New Foundland in Dec 1927 on the first leg of an attempt to be the first woman to successfully fly the Atlantic. They were never found.
A more comprehensive story may be found in Wikipedia by clicking on:

Frances Wilson_Grayson

About her navigator, Brice Herbert Goldsborough, see in Wikipedia:

Brice Herbert Goldsborough

About her pilot, Oskar Omdal, see in Wikipedia:

Oskar Omdal

     If you search for "Igor Sikorsky", using the Google search engine, (11-1-06), you will find about 206,000 links!! I have selected a few, almost at random, to demonstrate the materials which are available.


     To visit his entry on this site, first click on National Aviation Hall of Fame to go to the homepage. Next, highlight and click on "Enshrinees List" at the lower left corner of the page. You will find an alphabetical listing of all enshrinees on this page. Then highlight and click on his name.
Use your "BACK" button to return to this site.


     "This Foundation is dedicated to acquiring, preserving and protecting the historical materials that chronicle the aviation careers of Igor Sikorsky, the companies he founded and the accomplishments of its employees. The collection dates from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the present. It consists of approximately 5,000 cubic feet of Sikorsky historical documents, blueprints, photographs, engineering windtunnel and watertest models of Sikorsky's three different aeronautical accomplishments; fixed winged and multi-engined aircraft, transoceanic flying boats and helicopters. Also included are several books that Mr. Sikorsky authored and many personal artifacts"

     This introduction was excerpted from the website of the Igor I. Sikorsky Historical Archives, inc. To access this very valuable resource you can click on the title above.

     You will find a delightful anecdote by Igor on the AEROFILES website. It is one of a collection of remembrances which come from the July 1953 Aero Digest You can visit his story, and those of several other EB's by clicking on:
Igor Sikorsky
     You may want to use the "Find" function on "Igor" to locate the entry.


The Russian Aero-Marine
The Russian Aero-Marine

  Product Details - Book
Hard cover: 324 pages
Price: $60 postpaid
Product Details - CD
Files: Adobe PDF and MS Word
Price: $30 postpaid
     I invite you to visit the homesite of this book by clicking on the title above. You will find a comprehensive description of the book, and the CD, as well as a number of sample pages which will demonstrate the depth of information which is available, as well as presenting some of the many illustrations which accompany the text. You will also find complete ordering instructions.

  Igor Sikorsky, who revolutionized flying in both war and peace with the developement of the helicopter, died Thursday October 26, 1972 of a heart attack at his home in Connecticut.
     He first built a crude helicopter in his native Russia in 1909. It failed for lack of suitable engine and engineering know-how and Sikorsky became involved with fixed wing aircraft. His multi-engine "Illia Mourmetz" bomber, produced in 1914 was the world's first.
     But the helicopters remained dominant in his thoughts and in 1938 he built his model VS-300. It was powered by a four cylinder, 75 hp air cooled engine. Its three bladed main rotor was 28 feet in diameter. On September 14, 1939 it lifted a few feet off the ground to record the first successful flight of a direct lift aircraft.
     Although retired from Sikorsky AirCraft division of United Aircraft Company, he continued actively as a consultant, making an outstanding contribution when he developed the Skycrane.
January 1973, Number 79
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