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Entries for December 2010

By Lyn Burks - Recently while in Kona Hawaii on helicopter related business, I swerved off my intended course and popped into a local helicopter operation called Paradise Helicopters. Compared to some of the larger tour operators I have visited over the years, this operation had a true “mom and pop” look and feel. I later found that the outward image of quaintness mixed with a smidge of “Leave it to Beaver” family values was by design. However, scratching through that facade revealed a thriving, hardworking, all around skids-meet-the-ramp helicopter shop.

Interview by Brad McNally, Contributing Editor - As we wrap up the Rotorcraft Pioneers Series I was lucky enough to have a chance to talk with one of the few people who have been involved with helicopters in North America from the beginning, Mr. Sergei Sikorsky.  He’s crossed paths with more than few of the people profiled in the Pioneers Series and I had the chance to ask him about helicopters, his father’s legacy and his encounters with some of the people I profiled.

One name more than any other is synonymous with helicopter development, Igor Sikorsky.  Often regarded as the father of the helicopter, Sikorsky was actually an incredibly talented aeronautical engineer who twice established himself as one of the world’s greatest designers of fixed wing aircraft before he built a successful helicopter.  After designing, building and flying the first successful North American helicopter, Igor Sikorsky led the company which still bears his name through over forty years of helicopter innovation.

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