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Inventors The Helicopter

One of aviation's greatest designers, Russian born Igor Sikorsky began work on helicopters as early as 1910. By 1940, Igor Sikorsky's successful VS-300 had become the model for all modern single-rotor helicopters. He also designed and built the first military helicopter, XR-4, which he delivered to Colonel Franklin Gregory of the U.S. Army.

The very first piloted helicopter was invented by Paul Cornu in 1907, however, this design was not successful. Another Frenchman, Etienne Oehmichen built and flew a helicopter 1 kilometer in 1924. An early practical helicopter that flew for a decent distance was the German Focke-Wulf Fw 61 invented by an unknown inventor.

Igor Sikorsky is considered to be the "father" of helicopters not because he invented the first. He is called that because he invented the first successful helicopter, upon which future designs were based.

General Helicopter History
Helicopter History Site
Chronicle of the evolution of rotary wing aircraft, many helicopter pioneers and inventors profiled.

Igor Sikorsky
Helicopter - Igor Sikorsky
Historical archives of Igor Sikorsky, the inventor of fixed winged and multi-engined aircraft, transoceanic flying boats and helicopters.
Igor Sikorsky and the Helicopter
Igor Sikorsky invented the "Direct-Lift Aircraft; Helicopter and Controls Therefore."

Paul E. Williams  (U.S. patent #3,065,933)
On November 26th, 1962, African American inventor, Paul E. Williams patented a helicopter, Lockheed Model 186 (XH-51). It was a compound experimental helocopter and only 3 units were built.

Army Helicopters

SH-60 Seahawk
The UH-60 Black Hawk was fielded by the Army in 1979. The Navy received the SH-60B Seahawk in 1983 and the SH-60F in 1988.
HH-60G Pave Hawk
The Pave Hawk is a highly modified version of the Army Black Hawk helicopter which features an upgraded communications and navigation suite that includes an integrated inertial navigation/global positioning/Doppler navigation systems, satellite communications, secure voice, and Have Quick communications.
CH-53E Super Stallion
The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion is the largest helicopter in the western world.
CH-46D/E Sea Knight
The CH-46 Sea Knight was first procured in 1964.
AH-64D Longbow Apache
The AH-64D Longbow Apache is the most advanced, versatile, survivable, deployable and maintainable multi-role combat helicopter in the world.

Related Innovations

©Mary Bellis

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