Ukrainian aircraft designer who realized Leonardo Da Vinci’s dream: today is the 129th anniversary of Igor Sikorsky birthday


The talented person of Igor Sikorsky will always be in the history of world aviation. Indeed, he was the one who realized the idea of Leonardo da Vinci to create an “iron bird”. Igor Sikorsky was one of the first who developed projects of multi-engine airplanes, and also – the first who created a helicopter.

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Igor Sikorsky is a world-known aircraft designer whose invention has changed this world. Born on June 6 (May 25th by an old style) in 1889 in Kiev in a wealthy family. His dream to fly appeared because of the Leonardo da Vinci sketches and the novels of Jules Verne.

He has got an education in prestigious educational institutions – firstly in the First Kyiv Gymnasium, then in the Marine Cadet Corps in St. Petersburg. After that he got the opportunity to study at Paris Technical School, but later, during the studying, it didn’t bring him a pleasure: Sikorsky returned to his homeland and entered the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

After that, in 1908, the student began to design his first helicopter. But the future inventor has got a problem: to build a powerful helicopter, he had a lack of a high-power engine, which, unfortunately, he couldn’t find in the homeland. So in 1909 Igor Sikorsky went to Paris to buy the necessary engine for his future helicopter.

Later, he designed another helicopter, however, no one of them was able to get up in the dream-sky. Sikorsky said about this: “The first of these ships refused to break away from the ground, and the second could raise itself, but refused to raise me.” But the future aircraft designer, whose projects gained the world significance, confidently headed for his goal.

Being the Chief Designer of the Russian-Baltic Carriage Plant, Sikorsky designed one of the first in the world multi-engine airplanes. Creation of the “Grand” (“Russian Knight”) and “Ilya Muromets” aircraft became the beginning of two directions of multi-motorized aviation – passenger and bomber.

Most of his life Igor lived in emigration. In February 1918, he moved to Paris. After that, he headed to the United States, where founded the Aeroengineering Corporation in 1923, the achievement of which was the creation of a four-engined amphibian airplane S-40.

But the dream to create a helicopter never left his thoughts. So, in September 1939, Sikorsky tested his newly created helicopter VS-300 (S-46), which practically became the first modern helicopter. The American troops was amazed by invention so they immediately offered Sikorsky $ 50,000 to create a helicopter for the US Air Forces. Helicopter XR-4 (VS-316) has brought Sikorsky’s the biggest success and fame.

Igor Sikorsky is considered to be a “father of the helicopter” and his inventions are using today.

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