His Aviation Firsts


Igor Sikorsky, Sikorsky Aircraft and its products have compiled an impressive list of "Aviation Firsts" over the years. Some of the more significant achievements are listed below, however this list is not to date:


1909 H-1, Igor constructed his First helicopter "This machine was a failure to the extent that it could not fly. In other respects it was a very important and necessary stepping stone."

1910 S-2, Igor Sikorsky Flew for the First time

1911 S-5, Igor's First pilot license issued from the Imperial Aero Club of Russia

1912 S-6A won First place in the Moscow Aircraft Competition, pilot Igor Sikorsky

1913 S-9 First monocoque fuselage constructed in Russia

1913 S-10 establish a Russian Aviation Record flying 500 kilometers in 4 hrs and 56 min

1913 S-12 First Russian designed aircraft capable of a loop

1913 S-12 Established a Russian Altitude Record of 3,680m

1913 Igor Sikorsky flew the S-21 "Grand" the World's First successful four-engine plane

1913 S-21 set a World's Record for duration and literally set one World's Record after another for a four-engine plane with each fligh

1913 S-10 & S-11 won First and Second place in the Petrograd Military Competition

1914 S-27 set two World Records for payload and flight duration

1914 S-27 with pontoons was the largest seaplane built in the World

1916 S-27G with 880 horsepower was the largest plane produced in the World



1923 Igor founded his Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation

1924 S-29A the First twin-engine airplane capable of flying on one engine and First all metal aircraft

1925 S-29A the World's First airplane to broadcast a radio musical program in-flight

1926 S-29A the World's First airplane to show a motion picture in-flight

1929 S-37 First airplane to fly over the Andes Mountains

1929 S-38 extensively used in pioneering Central and South American air routes by Pan American Airways

1929 S-38 Piloted by Charles Lindbergh inaugurated air mail service between the United States and the Panama

1931 S-40 "American Clipper" was the Worlds largest airliner produced

1934 S-42 First production aircraft with wing flaps which allowed high flight speeds and low landing speeds.

1934 S-42 Established ten World Records, of which eight were set on one flight. This flight of August 1st vaulted the United States into First place holder of World Aviation Records

1935 S-42 inaugurated the First transoceanic air service, flying the first airmail from Honolulu to the mainland.

1937 S-42 made the First regular airline crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean and pioneered the transpacific route to Asi

1936 S-43 Established four World Altitude Records

1937 S-44 (XPBS-1) long range military patrol bomber first flown on August 13, 1937. It had a maximum range of 4,000 miles and superior perfomance but lost out to a lower cost competitor.

1942 VS-44 was a civilian version of the S-44 military version first flew in January 1942. It was the wold's longest range commercial aircraft and the only aircraft to have flown commercial scheduled non-stop across the north and south Atlantic. This was the last fixed wing aircraft built by Sikorsky.




1939 VS-300 First single main rotor helicopter successfully produced in the World and literally set one World's Record after another with each flight .

1940 Igor Sikorsky is awarded Connecticut Helicopter License No. 1 1941 VS-300 breaks the World helicopter endurance record, 1 hour, 32 minutes and 26.1 seconds

1941 VS-300 fitted with rubber floats was the World's First practical amphibian helicopter

1942 Igor Sikorsky's book, The Message of the Lord's Prayer, appears in print

1942 XR-4 World's First production helicopter is delivered and this is the first cross-country flight of a helicopter in the United States

1943 R-4 First mass produced helicopter

1943 R-4 First helicopter to land on a ship - Bunker Hill

1944 XR-4 First helicopter Mercy Mission piloted by Commander Frank Erickson

1944 R-4 First Combat Rescue using a helicopter piloted by Lieutenant Carter Harman

1945 R-5 First helicopter equipped with armament

1945 S-51 First Civilian Rescue using a helicopter piloted by Dimity "Jimmy" Viner

1945 R-4 is the only helicopter to serve in World War II

1947 S-51 piloted by Jimmy Viner performed the First Navel Rescue

1947 S-51 Los Angeles Airways started the World's First helicopter airmail service

1948 S-51 First amphibious assault with a helicopter

1949 S-52 established a World Helicopter Speed Record of 129.5 mph

1949 S-52 First helicopter to perform a loop

1949 S-52 World's first production helicopter with metal rotor blades

1950 S-51 First helicopter to be equipped with a three-axis automatic flight-control system

1950 S-51 first helicopter to be air-towed by an airplane

1950 S-51 holds all the World recognized international helicopter records

1951 S-55 First helicopter to retrieve an aircraft

1952 S-55 First anti-submarine warfare helicopter

1952 S-55 First helicopter to fly across the Atlantic Ocean establishing a World Record

1952 S-55 First helicopter equipped with pre-tracked interchangeable rotor blades

1953 S-56 established World Speed and Altitude Records

1953 S-55 is the only transport-type helicopter certified by the Civil Aeronautics Administration for commercial operations

1953 S-56 First helicopter with a five-blade main rotor

1953 S-56 First helicopter with automatic blade and tail folding

1953 S-56 First helicopter with power-operated loading

1953 S-52 First turbine-powered helicopter

1954 S-59 with turbine powered set a World's speed record of 156.005 mph and a World's altitude record of 24,500 feet

1955 S-56 First production twin-engine helicopter

1955 S-56 First radar equipped helicopter

1956 S-58 First helicopter approved by Navy for instrument flight rating

1956 S-58 First helicopter to use an automatic flight control system

1956 S-58 First helicopter with automatic hover positioning system

1957 S-58 was used by President Eisenhower to become the First American President to use a helicopter built specifically for his needs

1958 S-62 First helicopter with a amphibious hull

1958 S-61 First helicopter with energy-absorbing landing gear

1958 S-61 First helicopter CAA certified for automatic stabilization

1958 S-61 First helicopter with dipping sonar

1959 S-58 The First helicopter to be used for power-line construction

1959 S-60 First helicopter with aft-facing control station

1959 S-61 World's largest amphibious helicopter

1959 S-61 First helicopter that could both search out and destroy enemy submarines

1960 S-62 made Los Angeles Airways the First carrier in the World to use a turbine engine helicopter

1960 S-58 was the First helicopter to fire a radio-controlled missile

1960 S-61L First helicopter designed specifically for airline use

1960 S-55 First aerial recovery by helicopter of parachute

1961 S-58 First helicopter to retrieve an U.S. astronaut, Commander Alan Shephard, America's First man in space

1961 S-61L was the World's First Multi-turbine helicopter certified for passenger transport

1961 S-61 made the fastest helicopter crossing of the country (average speed of 150 mph)

1962 S-61 established a World helicopter speed record of 210.65 mph, This was the First time a helicopter traveled faster than 200 mph on a established course

1962 S-61 established five helicopter World Speed Records

1962 S-64 First production flying crane helicopter

1962 S-64 First production helicopter with aft-facing control station

1962 S-64 First helicopter with a fly-by-wire control system

1962 S-64 First six-blade main rotor.

1964 S-65 First helicopter with a suction fuel system

1964 S-65 First helicopter with a collective bias-droop compensation control

1965 RH-53D First production mine-countermeasures helicopter

1965 S-61F First experimental compound helicopter with a full complement of aircraft control surfaces

1965 S-61 First aerial refueling of a helicopter from a standard tanker airplane

1965 S-61 Rotor-Prop First helicopter to demonstrate conversion of tail rotor to propeller

1965 S-61 made the First nonstop, transcontinental, flight setting a World's record for distance of 2,105 miles

1965 S-61N made the First transatlantic crossing by a commercial helicopter

1965 S-64 claimed three World's Altitude Records

1966 S-64 First helicopter with engine inlet particle separator

1968 S-65 First large helicopter to loop and roll

1968 S-65 First titanium-spar rotor blade

1969 S-65 First helicopter with an infrared suppressor system

1970 S-65 First helicopter transpacific crossing

1970 S-67 First prototype gunship with wings and dive brakes

1970 S-67 set a World Speed Record

1970 S-67 First helicopter with swept-tip rotor blades

1971 S-70 First helicopter with a canted tail rotor

1973 S-69 First to fly the Advancing Blade Concept (ABC)

1973 S-70 First successful flight of an all composite, bearingless tail rotor

1973 CH-53E First three-engine helicopter

1973 CH-53E First seven-blade main rotor helicopter

1977 S-76 First helicopter designed for civil transportation

1980 S-70 first helicopter qualified to fly into know moderate icing conditions

1984 S-75 First all-composite airframe (ACAP)

1985 First helicopter with single-pilot research cockpit, fly-by-wire, sidearm controls, voice interaction (SHADOW)


for additional reading see NEWSLETTER JULY 2006 and JULY 2008


last update SEPTEMBER 4, 2013