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Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky is a very important person in history. He was the first person to design and build a helicopter. His inventions made it possible for future generations to hover in mid air. This ability opened up new possibilities for construction, transportation, medicine and others. Besides these inventions who was Sikorsky? What was his story? Let’s find out.
The pioneer of aviation was born on the 25th of May in 1889 in Kiev, Ukraine. His father was a doctor and a professor of psychology. His mother studied in the field of medicine bit she never worked as a doctor. Igor was inspired by his mother’s stories of Leonardo DaVinci’s concept helicopter. He was told such a thing is impossible. But at the age of 12 Igor created a model helicopter which was powered by rubber bands. This model flew and Igor now knew that his dream was capable of becoming a reality.
His first models had bad controls and couldn’t lift much weight. In 1911 Sikorsky received a license which allowed him to take flight in his machines. This very year the engineer took flight in his new model the S-5. The flight lasted only 30 seconds. The next model was the S-6 and it was success. The army took the S-6 and used it for military purposes. After the army took the S-6 in 1912 Sikorsky became the lead engineer at “Russo-Balt” aviation factory.
In 1913 at the factory Sikorsky realeased a new model the S-23 “Ruskiy Vityaz”. This model had 4 engines and could lift up to 600 kilograms. This model became the base for future bomber the “Ilya Muromec” which was used by the military from 1914 until 1917.
Despite his success in the field of building planes. Igor never forgot about his childhood dream. He started working on building a practical helicopter. In 1939 he managed to make a draft of a helicopter. But the machine had a flaw. To solve this flaw Igor would have to completely devote his life to building helicopters. In spring 1939 he began construction using the ideas he has gathered during the planning phase of this project. At the beginning of fall the machine was ready. It had two rotors: a main rotor which provided lift and the rear rotor which countered the main rotor’s inertia. The main rotor had a unique system which allowed the helicopter to yaw. The blades of the rotor would tilt at certain points which would create uneven lift. This was the Vought-Sikorsky.
After the changes to his aircraft Sikorsky managed to break the world record for the longest flight. The flight lasted 1 hour 5 minutes and 14 seconds. After 2 days the machine was equipped with buoys which allowed the aircraft to land on water.
These creations were and still are very important for aviation today. Who knows when we would have come up with a working helicopter device if it weren’t for Sikorsky.
Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky after living out his life in the USA died on the 26th of October in 1972. This man was incredibly important for aviation and human history. But like other important people of the USSR he was seldom recognized and wasn’t given the funds to pursue his inventions.
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