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Sikorsky Aircraft
     The Russian Revolution of 1917 had a dramatic impact on the life of  Igor Sikorsky.  He believed that he would not enjoy the freedom to pursue his aviation goals under the communist government, so he immigrated to the United States, arriving in March 1919.  He made several attempts to re-enter aviation without success.  Airplanes and motors built for World War I were available at extremely low prices and aviation was described to him as a "dying industry." Soon his money was running out and he resorted to teaching Russian immigrants 
mathematics,  "later astronomy and aviation lessons were included. He also started to lecture to various groups which brought him in contact with people who shared his enthusiasm for aviation and convinced Sikorsky to start his own company.  
     Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation was founded on March 5, 1923.  Sikorsky began creating a series of increasingly successful aircraft which gained for America numerous world records for speed, range and payload.  
      Sikorsky designed the world's first successful multi-engine airplane.  The famed Sikorsky flying "Clippers" helped pioneer trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific commercial passenger services and they are the subject of this section.  See the S-42, the S-43 and the S-44
Despite the success of the flying boats, Sikorsky continued studying the helicopter. His U.S. Patent 1,994,488, filed June 27, 1931, marked the crucial breakthrough. In late 1938, United Aircraft management (now United Technologies) approved his experimental helicopter, and on September 14, 1939, the VS-300 made its first flight. In January 1941 the U.S. Army Air Corps issued a contract for an observation helicopter designated the XR-4. The new aircraft flew one year later. Within months of the delivery of the first units, the R-4 established the helicopter's humanitarian tradition of life-saving missions in military and civil emergencies. Sikorsky received many other patents, including patents for helicopter control and stability systems. His single-rotor design, a major breakthrough in helicopter technology, remains the dominant configuration today.  Today the Sikorsky Company makes only helicopters.  Many of its aircraft are listed in our Helicopter Section.
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