H-2During the month of May, 2009, Russia and Ukraine celebrated the 120th anniversary of the birth of Igor Sikorsky. The scale of these events indicate the growing stature of Igor Sikorsky in both countries. This year also marks the Centennial of Igor Sikorsky’s entry into aviation with the construction of the first helicopter, the H-1 in 1909 and the H-2 in 1910.

- On May 9th, the Russian Government staged a military parade and “fly-by” over Moscow’s Red Square. However for the first time in Red Square history, the official narrator-announcer mentioned the name of Igor Sikorsky as one of Russia’s great aviation pioneers.

- On May 24th in Moscow, the Alexander Sozhenitsyn Foundation sponsored a formal reception and symposium honoring Igor Sikorsky and his achievements. Reportedly, it was well attended by senior Moscow personalities.

- On May 25th, the Academy of Civil Aviation in St. Petersburg (Russia’s biggest civil aviation training center) also hosted a “Sikorsky seminar”, where it was planned to open the proceedings with the “Recollections of a Pioneer” video.

-In Ukraine, on May 25th, the Kiev Polytechnic Institute (Igor Sikorsky’s Alma Mater) formally opened the revised and enlarged Sikorsky exhibit, which had been totally reworked with the help of the Igor Sikorsky Historical Archives, which gathered much of the material on display. Mr. Stanley Prusinski, Director, Sikorsky Europe, spoke at the event. He noted the attendance of some 400 academic, industry,media and church representatives, and many students Schedule and activities at the events was provided by Sergei Sikorsky.. In a letter to Sergei Sikorsky he wrote “...I have never before witnessed the level of respect, pride and interest which accompanied the aforementioned events.”

-On Friday, June 5th, the Ukrainian “Inter TV” camera crew was guided through the Igor Sikorsky office and the Heritage Center by Mr. Dan Libertino, President of the Sikorsky Archives. the TV team photographed background material to be used in a documentary film on the life and achievements of Igor Sikorsky. The film will also include material from a previous interview with Sergei Sikorsky.IGOR SIKORSKY STATUE

.The accomplishments of Igor Sikorsky in Russia are monuments to his genius. They established him as (very probably) the leading aeronautical engineer and test pilot in pre-revolutionary Russia. He designed and flew, in Russia, the world’s first four-engined aircraft just nine and a half years after the Wright Brothers first flew. His subsequent accomplishments in aviation as a citizen of the United States served to further demonstrate and confirm his unique talents, both in fixed-wing and later, in rotary-wing aviation.

Igor Sikorsky’s Russian aviation career started in 1909 with his first helicopter, the H-1. His Russian career included the design, manufacture, test-flying of basically some 27 designs before the Russian Revolution of 1917 stopped his work. Many of the designs were pure research aircraft, of which only one or two prototypes were built. The S-21 “Grand” is an example of one experimental prototype leading to the production of the S-22 “Ilya Muromets”. Subsequent I.M. models S-23 to S-27 of the basic four-engined design would growin gross weight from 9,000 lbs to 17,000 lbs

Statue of Igor Sikorsky in front of yhe Museum
of the Kiev Polytecnic Institute