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Igor Sikorsky

AKA Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky

Born: 25-May-1889
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: 26-Oct-1972
Location of death: Easton, CT
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, St. John the Baptist Greek Catholic Cemetery, Stratford, CT

Gender: Male
Religion: Russian Orthodox
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Inventor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Helicopter magnate

Inspired by Jules Verne, Igor Sikorsky designed a rubber-band-powered toy helicopter when he was a boy, and tinkered with homemade helicopters in his teens. He decided on a career in aviation after seeing the Zeppelin dirigible in Germany, and reading accounts of Orville and Wilbur Wright's flight at Kitty Hawk. He thrived as an airplane maker through the 1910s, and designed the first multi-engine airplanes after surviving an emergency landing when an airplane's single engine failed in flight.

As the Russian Revolution came in 1917, Sikorsky fled to France and eventually settled in America, where, with $5,000 in seed money from his fellow Russian expatriate Sergei Rachmaninov, he established the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation. The company made its name with the S-38 amphibian and S42 "Clipper" which saw heavy use as an early passenger airliner, introduced the first workable single-rotor helicopter in 1939, and found its greatest success with the Sikorsky R-4, the first mass-produced military helicopter. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation is now a subsidiary of United Technologies.

Father: Ivan Alexis Sikorsky (psychiatrist)
Mother: Zinaida Stepanovna Temryuk-Cherkasova Sikorskaya (physician)
Wife: Olga Fyodorovna Simkovitch (div., one child)
Wife: Elisabeth Semion (m. 1924, four children)
Son: Sergei Sikorsky (Sikorsky Aircraft executive)

    High School: Imperial Russian Naval Academy, St. Petersburg, Russia (attended 1903-06)
    University: National Technical University of Ukraine

    Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation Founder & President (1923-57)
    American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    National Academy of Engineering
    ASME Medal 1963
    National Medal of Science 1967
    National Aviation Hall of Fame 1968
    National Inventors Hall of Fame 1987
    Naturalized US Citizen
    Polish Ancestry (paternal)
    Russian Ancestry
    Ukrainian Ancestry (maternal)

Appears on postage stamps:
USA, Scott #C119 (36, depicting Sikorsky with helicopter, issued 23-Jun-1988)

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