July 12, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower made transportation history when he became the first U.S. president to fly in a helicopter. This aviation “first” occurred after he went on board a Bell H-13J helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House. This helicopter had been purchased by the U.S. Air Force, and it was piloted... Continue Reading →

April 15, 1941 Aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky set a new record when he made the first helicopter flight in the United States as well as the entire Western Hemisphere that lasted more than an hour. He flew a Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 helicopter in the skies above his factory in Stratford, Connecticut, and managed to keep that aircraft... Continue Reading →

November 10, 1949 The first flight of the multi-purpose Sikorsky S-55 helicopter took place in the skies above Bloomfield, Connecticut. This helicopter was built by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, which had been established by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky in 1923 and originally known as Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation. (Sikorsky Aircraft has been part of Lockheed Martin... Continue Reading →

August 11, 1986 Test pilot Trevor Egginton established a new speed record for conventional helicopters. He did so by reaching a speed of 249.1 miles (400.9 kilometers) per hour in a helicopter that he flew in the skies above southwestern England. Egginton was accompanied by flight test engineer Derek J. Clews. The helicopter used for... Continue Reading →

March 6, 1965 Commander James R. Williford and his crew took off from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet on a record-setting non-stop helicopter flight across the country. The Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King helicopter was named Dawdling Dromedary, and Williford, Lieutenant David A. Beil, and Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class Paul J. Bert began... Continue Reading →

November 13, 1907 The first flight of a helicopter that was both piloted and untethered took place near the commune of Coquainvilliers in northwestern France. The pilot was engineer and bicycle-maker Paul Cornu in a twin-rotor aircraft that he had constructed. This experimental helicopter was outfitted with a 24-horsepower (18-kilowatt) Antoinette engine and had an... Continue Reading →

Frank N. Piasecki, an engineer, made the second successful U.S. helicopter flight. In 1940, he helped form the P-V Engineering Forum to build and improve upon Igor Sikorsky’s pioneering helicopter flight over American soil the previous year. Piasecki’s company, however, was strapped for cash. He and his engineering team ended up becoming expert scroungers, searching... Continue Reading →

Henry Berliner, a Washington D.C. native, son of an inventor, and a technical genius in his own right demonstrated a prototype helicopter to the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics in College Park, Maryland. Berliner was the sixth son of Emile Berliner, and after a brief stint as an aerial photographer with the Army Air Service,... Continue Reading →

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