The engineer who conquered the sky: Who is Igor Sikorsky?

Inventor of the helicopter: Have you ever thought about who was the person who lifted the once impossible helicopters into the sky? That name is Igor Sikorsky, who wrote his name in golden letters in world aviation history...

By Stephen McWright Published on 7 Haziran 2024 : 13:18.
The engineer who conquered the sky: Who is Igor Sikorsky?

He dreamed of the impossible with rotary-wing helicopters and achieved it.

He went down in aviation history as a successful scientist, good engineer, pilot, and entrepreneur.

Igor Sikorsky, of Russian origin, was born in 1889 and his education life began at home school. His mother was the biggest influence on his success and imagination. He saw Leonardo da Vinci, whose mother said "Be an artist like him", as his road map.

Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky (25 May 1889 – 26 October 1972) was a Russian–American aviation pioneer in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. His first success came with the Sikorsky S-2, the second aircraft of his design and construction. His fifth airplane, the S-5, won him national recognition and F.A.I. pilot's license number 64. His S-6-A received the highest award at the 1912 Moscow Aviation Exhibition, and in the fall of that year the aircraft won first prize for its young designer, builder and pilot in the military competition at Saint Petersburg.

He had a great creative mind and was interested in aviation. Da Vinci's "flying screw" work was the biggest source of inspiration. Memorizing this design in his mind, he designed his first model airplane at the age of 12, powered by a rubber band made from bamboo and tissue paper. He was also influenced by the stories of French writer and traveler Jules Verne, known as the father of science fiction.

Sikorsky's education life began at the St. Petersburg Naval Academy in Russia, but his interest in engineering convinced him to leave the academy after 3 years. He went to Paris, which is the center of aviation research in Europe, and continued his engineering education there.

During his trip to Germany, the American Wright Brothers, who flew a powered airplane for the first time in history, and the German inventor and aircraft manufacturer Ferdinand von Zeppelin determined the path of his future career.

Obstacles did not deter him from his path

By mid-1909 Sikorsky had completed its first helicopter. However, even though its twin rotors rotating in the opposite direction were violently thrown into the air, the vehicle could not take off from the ground. Sikorsky, who later started working on fixed-wing designs, also tried to build his first airplane, the biplane S-I.

He achieved many successes in aircraft and won awards. His signature was on the first four-engine aircraft to fly, as well as the first aircraft with a closed cockpit and cabin. However, he always dreamed of producing a vertical flight vehicle.

Each failed attempt brought him step by step closer to becoming an unforgettable name in aviation history. He was never discouraged because he had learned a lot about helicopters and knew he was close to success.

Engineers of Russian origin, skilled workers, pilots, and experts who had no experience in aircraft but had good technical knowledge gathered around Igor Sikorsky in 1923.

In 1938, Sikorsky pursued his dream of vertical flight again. He founded his own company to bring his ideas to life. The VS-300, which bears his surname, was the first helicopter that could fly, and the world's first helicopter was produced in 1942. Following the successful flight of the VS-300, Sikorsky's helicopter designs evolved rapidly.

Sikorsky has designed and produced increasingly complex and capable helicopters that are used for different purposes such as attack, combat transport, and heavy load carrying, as well as reconnaissance and search applications.

Sikorsky helicopters, the inventor of which is heard by almost everyone, continue to be used all over the world.