|Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport and Site of Vought - Sikorsky Aircraft Plant To Be Designated
A Historic Aerospace Site
Stratford, Conn. Site Birthplace of the American Helicopter Industry
September 27, 2013 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will designate Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport, formerly Bridgeport Municipal Airport, and the former Vought – Sikorsky Aircraft Plant site, adjacent to the airport, as an aerospace historic site. A historic marker will be unveiled on September 27, 2013, at a 3:00 p.m. ceremony at the Volo Aviation Hanger, 900 Great Meadows Road, Stratford, Conn.
Igor I. Sikorsky, engineering manager of the Vought – Sikorsky Division of the former United Aircraft Corporation, used the Stratford, Conn., sites to design, build, and test his innovative helicopter designs. Sikorsky’s VS-300 model helicopter was the world’s first design which used the now industry-standard single main rotor with an auxiliary anti-torque tail rotor. With the success of the first demonstration flight of the VS-300 on May 13, 1940, Sikorsky turned his attention to the design of his XR-4 prototype, which flew for the first time on January 13, 1942. The XR-4 became the first helicopter to enter military service when the U.S. Army Air Corps ordered 29 in January of 1943. It was also the first mass produced helicopter in the world, with the Vought – Sikorsky plant being the primary production site. Sikorsky’s success in demonstrating the helicopter as a viable design for commercial and military transport kicked off America’s “helicopter craze” in 1943, with hundreds of entrepreneurs seeking to imitate his designs.
AIAA established the Historic Aerospace Sites Program in January 2000 to promote the preservation and dissemination of information about significant accomplishments made by the aerospace profession. Among the other sites recognized by the AIAA History Technical Committee include Lunken Field, Cincinnati, Ohio; Pitcairn Field #2, Willow Grove, Penn.; Bell Aircraft’s Wheatfield, N.Y. plant; Pearson Field, Vancouver, Wash.; Bremen Airport, Bremen, Germany; Getafe Airfield, Getafe, Spain; the site of T.S.C. Lowe’s first balloon reconnaissance demonstration on the National Mall; the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory/CALSPAN Facility; the St. Petersburg Yacht Basin; the Honeysuckle Creek, Tidbinbilla, and Orroral Valley Tracking Stations in Australia; the Downey Industrial Site, Downey, Calif.; NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.; and Tranquility Base on the moon. For more information about AIAA’s Historic Aerospace Sites Program, contact Emily Springer at 703.264.7533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.