Sikorsky And Other
Pioneering Aviation Families Support Lindbergh’s LEAP Program
By Eddy Metcalf
April 17, 2011 - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Lindbergh
Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) organization
representatives announce details of a joint initiative
that continues the historic relationship between the
Sikorsky and Lindbergh namesakes, during a press
conference on Thursday at the AERO
Sergei Sikorsky, son of company founder Igor Sikorsky,
was among the representatives of aviation’s “first
families” that participated in promotional events to
benefit Erik Lindbergh’s nonprofit group, LEAP. Other
participants included members of the Wright, Zeppelin,
Piccard, and Dornier families.
Sikorsky Innovations, the company’s technology development organization charged with tackling the toughest problems in vertical flight, along with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, were co-sponsors of the LEAP forum at AERO.
|Sergei Sikorsky, son of company founder Igor Sikorsky.|
Lindbergh, grandson of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh,
founded LEAP to promote solutions to social, technical, and
environmental challenges through prize philanthropy and
education. LEAP awards the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize to
recognize those who are leading advances in electric aircraft
technology, which this year was awarded during the AERO show as
part of the E-Flight symposium.
foundation is also responsible for the LEAP education program,
in which student teams identify a problem in aviation and work
collaboratively to investigate the issue and solutions.
excited by Erik’s work to promote solutions to aviation’s
toughest challenges through education and awareness,” said Chris
Van Buiten, director, Sikorsky Innovations. “As Sikorsky
Innovations continues to recognize and enable innovation, we
applaud Erik’s unique and creative approach to inspire students
to a lifelong passion for problem solving.”
Sergei Sikorsky, along with members of the Sikorsky Innovations team, was on site to promote the advanced technology research occurring within Sikorsky Innovations. This included the Firefly all-electric helicopter, introduced in July 2010. The Firefly demonstrator is an S-300C helicopter equipped with a high-efficiency, 190-horsepower electric motor, digital motor controller, battery system, and cockpit controls.
and Erik Lindbergh discussed the history between the Sikorsky and
Lindbergh families during the AERO press conference. Sikorsky provided
details on the company’s drive for product innovation as it aligns with
the LEAP Foundation’s initiatives. Sergei Sikorsky recently was inducted
as an honorary lifetime member of the Helicopter Association
International (HAI) by its Board of Directors. Through the years, he has
followed in his father’s footsteps to promote the advancement of the
grew up watching his father build the famous Sikorsky flying boats and
“Clippers” for Pan American Airways and other customers around the
world. He remembers his first flight, at age 8, seated on his fathers’
lap in the copilots’ seat of a twin-engine S-38 amphibian.
During World War
II, Sergei served in a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter development squadron,
and participated in the testing and demonstration of the earliest
helicopter rescue hoists and flew in some of the first helicopter search
and rescue missions. In 1951, he joined Sikorsky Aircraft (then known as
United Aircraft) and held international marketing and manufacturing
assignments for the next 41 years before returning to the Sikorsky
Aircraft plant in Connecticut. He retired in 1992 as Vice President,
Special Projects, and remains active with the company as a consultant.
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