Video: Why RUSSIAN GENIUS brought GLORY TO AMERICA? Undeservedly forgotten FOUNDER OF AVIATION Sikorsky
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
Sikorsky's surname has always been in the top ten of the charts of surnames that the Soviet regime hated. After all, this Kiev nugget, having left the Russian Empire, did not follow the example of thousands of other emigrants of the first wave, and instead of sweeping a dusty Berlin cafe for the rest of the days or dashingly driving a taxi through the streets of Paris, he became one of the most successful aircraft designers in the world.
It got to the point of absurdity: children's books cited not the world's first four-engine Russian Knight aircraft, built by Igor Sikorsky at the age of 24, as an example of the achievements of Russian aviation, but the Svyatogor bomber of non-Nikorsky authorship that never took off. While the censors, yielding to the call "Down with sikorshchin!", Diligently crossed out the designer's name from all available documents and textbooks, Sikorsky himself received awards for his contribution to the development of aviation from the hands of Eisenhower, corresponded with Sinatra and condescendingly patted astronaut Neil Armstrong on the shoulder. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'd better run back - to the childhood of the designer.
Igor's father, Ivan Alekseevich Sikorsky, was a psychiatrist. Coming from the family of a provincial Orthodox priest, he made a dizzying career in medicine, the peak of which was the title of professor at the Department of Mental and Nervous Diseases at Kiev University. The popularity of Sikorsky the doctor was so great that when on May 25, 1889, his fifth and last child, son Igor, was born, a good tradition had already developed in the family, according to which a representative of the royal dynasty was the godfather of each newborn. Igor's godparents were Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich (cousin of Emperor Alexander III) and his mother, Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna.
Igor's childhood was well-fed, contented and calm. He was the favorite of his mother, a highly educated woman. It was she who told little Igor about Leonardo da Vinci, who once lived in Italy. Of all the inventions of the Italian, the future designer was most interested in the drawing of an aircraft - a helicopter. Soon he had an amazing dream. It is as if he is standing inside an elongated room with walnut doors and small windows, on the walls of which there are beautiful lamps that illuminate the room with a bluish light. The boy felt a slight vibration under his feet, and then it dawned on him: the room is in the air!
After studying following the example of his older brother Sergei in the Naval Cadet Corps for three years, Igor left the walls of the institution with the comment: "Not mine." He was prevented from calmly mastering naval sciences by the reports that appeared in the newspapers about the flights of the Wright brothers. In 1906, 18-year-old Igor, with the blessing of his father, went to the technical school of Duvigno de Lanno in Paris.
After studying for six months, Igor returned to Russia to bury his mother and enter the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. Studying was easy for Igor, even though he was actively skipping, whiling away the time in an impromptu home workshop. The very first "hack" Igor - a steam motorcycle - made him a legend among fellow practitioners and teachers. But the coveted helicopter still didn't work out.
Igor gathered a family council. He intends to return to Paris, which is currently the aviation center of the world, and for this he needs money. The family got excited. Older brother Sergei doubted that a 20-year-old boy with a large amount of money in cheerful Paris was a good idea.
But Igor persisted. In the end, money from the family budget was allocated, and after a few weeks Igor introduced himself to the aviation pioneer Ferdinand Ferber, who immediately declared to the enthusiastic Sikorsky that it was easy to invent a flying machine, harder to build, and almost impossible to make it fly.
Indeed, after six months of construction and several months of testing the helicopter, which was able to lift its own weight, but not the pilot, Sikorsky returned to Kiev with two motors of 25 and 15 horsepower and the idea of building an airplane. And so that the propellers invented for the helicopter did not go to waste, Igor fixed them on a snowmobile of his own design, the demonstration of which on the snow-covered wasteland in front of the officers of the General Staff was widely covered by the Kiev press. Sikorsky's fame grew stronger.
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