“Here was someone who was a teenager when he learned the Wright Brothers had flown, and lived to see, on television, man walk on the moon. And in that one lifetime, devoted his life to aviation.”
- Igor Sikorsky Jr., CAHA Founding Member, speaking about his father Igor Sikorsky.
The New England Air Museum has a robust collection of manuals, drawings, blueprints, and other aviation related materials, located in the John W. Ramsay Research Library. In that collection sits the original patent drawings for the VS-300, the first successful single lifting rotor helicopter in the United States. Built by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky, the experimental helicopter first flew in 1939. Within two years, Sikorsky added pontoons to the aircraft, performing a water take-off and landing in 1941 to make the VS-300 the first practical amphibious helicopter. Sikorsky used developments from the VS-300 to go on to design the R-4 helicopter, the first mass produced helicopter.
Sikorsky had been working on the design of the VS-300 for many years prior to its initial flight. In 1931, he acquired the patent for the helicopter design. Many years later, in 1963, Igor Sikorsky donated those original drawings to the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Association, the parent organization of the New England Air Museum. Today, those patent drawings are preserved in NEAM’s research library as a testament to the early ingenuity of Connecticut’s aviation pioneers.
Click HERE to view images of the original patent drawings.