Profile of Igor Sikorsky
Sikorsky's helicopters could fly up, down, and
Hi I'm Christina Hartman for About.com, and today we're profiling aviation pioneer, Igor Sikorsky. Igor Sikorsky was born on May 25, 1889 in Kiev in the Ukraine. He studied engineering in Russia and Paris. But it was learning about Orville and Wilbur Wright's successful powered aircraft flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903 that inspired the future course of Sikorsky's life. In 1909, Sikorsky returned to Paris to study aviation. It was in Paris where he built — and flew — his first helicopter when he was only 21. In 1914, Sikorsky invented the first successful four-engine multi-passenger plane — planes that were later refitted and used as bombers by Russia in World War I. But the Russian Revolution effectively ended Sikorsky's aviation career in that country. After stops in France, and England, Sikorsky immigrated to America in 1919. In 1923, Sikorsky founded the Sikorsky Manufacturing Corporation, which manufactured amphibious and passenger aircraft. But the company was best known for its military helicopters. Sikorsky's helicopters could fly up, down, forwards, backwards, and sideways. They could take off or land on water. One of Sikorsky's greatest achievements was promoting the helicopter's use in military and civilian medical emergencies. Today, the Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter is used by the U.S. military in its overseas missions. Igor Sikorsky died in Easton, Connecticut, on October 26, 1972. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1987, and in 2011 a street in his hometown of Kiev was renamed in his honor. Thanks for watching our profile of Igor Sikorsky. For more information, go to About.com.