Sergei I. Sikorsky
Born in New York City, Sergei I. Sikorsky grew up in Connecticut, watching the design and construction of the Sikorsky flying boats. He remembers the development of the famous Sikorsky “Clipper Ships” which pioneered the trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes for Pan American.
Sergei remembers visits to the Sikorsky home by the Lindbergh family, Gen. “Jimmie” Doolittle, Roscoe Turner, Capt. Rickenbacker and many other aviation personalities. In the late 1930’s, he followed the design and development of the first successful Sikorsky helicopter, the VS-300, and actually flew in the machine as a passenger, with his father at the controls.
During World War II, he served with a joint U.S. Coast Guard/Navy Helicopter Development Squadron; he participated in the development, test and qualification of the first helicopter rescue hoists, medevac litters and a variety of other projects. In addition, he was involved in setting up training courses for pilots and mechanics from U.S. and Allied Forces (RAF, RNZAF, Fleet Air Arm) being sent through the squadron for helicopter training, and participated in several of the earliest helicopter Search and Rescue missions.
Following World War II, he graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Florence, Italy. He then joined United Aircraft (now United Technologies) and began a series of foreign assignments in Europe and the Far East, which lasted for some 20 years and concluded with the coproduction of the Sikorsky CH-53G transport helicopter for the German Armed Forces.
He returned to Sikorsky Aircraft in 1975, and assumed a series of assignments in areas associated with domestic and international marketing programs. He retired from Sikorsky Aircraft as Vice President, Special Projects, in mid-1992 but remains active as a consultant.
He is a member of numerous aviation-oriented associations, a guest lecturer at a number of European Universities, and recipient, among other awards, of the Italian Institute of Navigation’s medal, Sweden’s Royal Aeronautical Society’s Thulin Bronze Medal and an Honorary Doctorate of Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He speaks a number of foreign languages and his hobbies include flying, boating, occasional scuba diving and classical music.