75 years of Innovators: Igor Sikorsky

Jan. 8, 2004
Russian-born Igor Sikorsky is responsible for the first helicopter, the VS-300.

In the 75 years since Machine Design began publication, here are some of the people who have changed the way we live.

Igor Sikorsky
Father of rotary-wing aircraft

After failing with an early concept of the helicopter, Sikorsky focused his talents on fixed-wing aircraft. He created the first multiengine plane, the four-engine "The Grand." This led to the design of an even larger aircraft called the "Ilia Mourometz," named after a legendary 10th Century Russian hero. More than 70 military versions of the Mourometz were built as bombers during World War I.

Sikorsky came to America and, together with help from his emigrant friends, founded the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corp. This venture produced the S-29-A, a twin-engine all-metal transport plane that later became the modern airliner. Other planes included the twin-engine S-38 amphibian used for routes to Central and South America; the Flying Clippers that pioneered commercial flight across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans; and finally the S-44, which delivered the fastest trans-Atlantic passage for years.

Sikorsky eventually turned back to creating the helicopter and, in 1939, got the concept VS-300 a few feet off the ground. In 1943, with military contracts flowing in, large-scale manufacture of the R-4 made it the world's first production helicopter.

Sponsored Recommendations

MOVI-C Unleashed: Your One-Stop Shop for Automation Tasks

April 17, 2024
Discover the versatility of SEW-EURODRIVE's MOVI-C modular automation system, designed to streamline motion control challenges across diverse applications.

The Power of Automation Made Easy

April 17, 2024
Automation Made Easy is more than a slogan; it signifies a shift towards smarter, more efficient operations where technology takes on the heavy lifting.

Lubricants: Unlocking Peak Performance in your Gearmotor

April 17, 2024
Understanding the role of lubricants, how to select them, and the importance of maintenance can significantly impact your gearmotor's performance and lifespan.

From concept to consumption: Optimizing success in food and beverage

April 9, 2024
Identifying opportunities and solutions for plant floor optimization has never been easier. Download our visual guide to quickly and efficiently pinpoint areas for operational...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!