Sikorsky Aircraft marked 75 years of modern helicopter flight that began Sept. 14, 1939, when 50-year-old chief designer and chief test pilot Igor Sikorsky lifted off the ground “to tabletop height” in an experimental helicopter designated the VS-300. That first flight began a four-year test program that “proved the efficiency of Sikorsky’s single-rotor design, gave birth to a global helicopter industry and forever changed the course of aviation history,” the company noted.
The Flight Safety Foundation’s Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) begins April 16 in San Diego, Calif. Confirmed speakers include Sergei Sikorsky, former vice president of Sikorsky Aircraft; and Chuck Aaron, chief helicopter pilot and director of maintenance with Red Bull.
Sometimes it’s the personal touch that makes the difference. Sergei Sikorsky, retired vice president of special products for Sikorsky Helicopters (Booth No. 2822) and son of the company’s namesake, Igor Sikorsky, presented an informative history of the search-and-rescue pedigree of vertical lift aircraft during Heli-Expo 2014.
“In December 1938 Igor Sikorsky presented the case to United Aircraft to develop the helicopter,” said Sikorsky. “He told United that, when developed, the helicopter would prove to be a unique instrument for saving human lives,” he continued.
In the military segment, while clearly concerned with continuing budget constraints, Sikorsky expects to achieve two milestones this year with the first flights of the CH-53K, the latest version of its heavy-lift military transport, and the S-97 Raider.
Sikorsky Aircraft highlighted its past achievements, and their influence on the company’s current direction, in introducing its theme of “Technology Meets Tradition” at Heli-Expo 2014 on Tuesday.
Want to count yourself among the likes of Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, Stanley Hiller or Alan Bristow? They are all now or have been Twirly Birds, a group of helicopter pilots formed in 1945 for camaraderie on a grand order. Twirly Birds have just one thing in common: they’ve all soloed a helicopter or vertical-lift aircraft more than 20 years ago. If you meet these qualifications, join the group for their annual meeting at 5 p.m. today, the opening day of Heli-Expo 2014, in the Anaheim Marriott Marquis Ballroom Northeast.
On June 13, Todd Reichert and the AeroVelo team (mostly students at the University of Toronto) entered the history books, winning the American Helicopter Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. The competition requires flying above three meters for at least one minute within a 10- by 10-meter space.
American Helicopter Society International (AHS International, Booth No. N6304) is marking its 70th anniversary here at Heli-Expo. With 6,100 members from 44 countries, AHS International is dedicated to finding technical solutions for vertical lift, including solving the challenge of human-powered vertical flight. AHS International is offering a $250,000 prize, funded by Sikorsky Aircraft (founded by one of the organization’s charter members, Igor Sikorsky) to the designer(s) of a helicopter that can hover for at least one minute at least 9.84 feet over a 32.8-foot-sided square.
Buoyed by several years of steady growth and a healthy $6.8 billion in sales recorded in 2012, Sikorsky is on the right track and gaining momentum, president Mick Maurer said yesterday.
With a multi-year, multi-service Black Hawk and Seahawk contract in hand valued at $89.5 billion and an S-76D backlog valued at around $700 million, the Stratford, Conn. manufacturer is anticipating a bright 2013.
In a ceremony at the Sikorsky exhibit yesterday, the company celebrated its 90th anniversary in homage to its founder and aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. The crowd of some 300 at Booth No. C5028 listened to Sikorsky’s story in his own words, words that still resonate in the industry and that included the admonishment, “In aviation, use the word ‘impossible’ with the greatest care.” Sikorsky president Mick Maurer concluded the ceremony by offering his own view of the future, saying the obligation of Sikorsky over the next 90 years is to continue to push the boundaries.
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