Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky - inventor of helicopter
Igor Sikorsky was born on May 25, 1889 in the family of Ivan Alekseevich Sikorsky, a well-known Kiev psychiatrist. Igor studied in a grammar school, then in the Marine military school where he finished the basic course only. In 1906 he went to France, home of aerostation, where he studied in Technical College for six months. In 1907 he entered the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, working a lot in the improvised air workshop, reading about flights of Zeppelin and brothers Wright. In 1909 he went to Paris again. Igor Sikorsky watched the flights of machines created by brothers Wrights, Farman, Bleriot. He studied at Ferdinand Ferber, the known designer and the verifier of airplanes, who was shortly killed at tests of one of his designs.
Having returned to Kiev, Igor Sikorsky started independent design activities. However, he began not with an airplane, but from the helicopter - opposite to everything said around about hopelessness of helicopter designs. The helicopter was able to raise its own weight (180 kg), but did not take off with a pilot. Having convinced of failure, Sikorsky started to be engaged in designing of the airplane closely.
Shortly after beginning of the First World War the first Russian heavy bombers were created under direction of Igor Sikorsky. The designer spent a lot of time on the battlefield, observing capabilities and lacks of airplanes, and not less time in the workshops of "Russo-Balt" (Petersburg) and other air workshops.
After October Revolution (1917) "Avia-Balt" factory where Igor Sikorsky worked had to stop the production. Other enterprises of the Russian air industry were in the same situation. In the beginning of 1918 "Avia-Balt" managed to get a small order for completion of some airplanes for needs of Red Army. But Igor Sikorsky already left Russia. Igor Sikorsky left the native land in March 1918, sailing from Murmansk and landing in Newcastle (England). He spent some weeks in London. In March 1919 Sikorsky left for New York.