Sikorsky, Ihor

Image - Ihor Sikorsky (1914)

Sikorsky, Ihor [Сікорський, Ігор; Sikors'kyj; also Igor], b 25 May 1889 in Kyiv, d 26 October 1972 in Easton, Connecticut. Aeronautical engineer and designer and pioneer of aviation technology; son of Ivan Sikorsky. While studying at the Kyiv Polytechnical Institute (1908–12) he designed two helicopters, among the first such designs in the world, as well as a series of biplanes. He was a member of the pioneering Kyiv Society of Aerial Navigation. On 29 December 1911 he established the world speed record (111 km/hr) for a loaded plane (three passengers) in a plane of his own design, the C-6. From 1912 to 1917 he worked as chief designer of a Russian-Baltic aviation company, where he designed and built the first airplanes with multiple engines, including the Illia Muromets and the Vytiaz. In 1918 he emigrated to France, and in 1919 to the United States, where he founded a number of aviation companies and headed several design teams which constructed various airplanes and hydroplanes. In 1939 he perfected the design of the first successful helicopter in the world. His Sikorsky Helicopter Co developed military and civilian helicopters and was considered the world leader in its field.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]




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