Sikorsky R-4

“My dad as a structural engineer, designed the stand for the helicopter, and one of our volunteers who had a steel shop built it. But my dad had to figure out the stress because of the thing sitting on its side. It wasn’t just plopped there, it was angled. And he had to make sure it was built with the right stress.”

- Charles "Chuck" Horner, former Operations Director

After the success of his VS-300 helicopter, Igor Sikorsky adapted the design into the R-4 helicopter. First flown in 1942, the new helicopter was popular with various military branches, The Army Air Corps, Coast Guard, and Navy all acquired the R-4, as well as the British Royal Navy. The aircraft was highly successful, and became the world’s first production helicopter.

The Sikorsky R-4 at the New England Air Museum was a test aircraft at Sikorsky. Today, it sits high above the visitors as if it is flying through the hangar. Surrounded by exhibits about the aviation pioneer himself, the R-4 shows the talent and success of Igor Sikorsky.

An R-4 at the Langley Research Center wind tunnel, 1944
R-4 in flight, 1944


CAHA Founding Member Igor Sikorsky, Jr. speaks about his father, aerospace pioneer Igor Sikorsky.

Click HERE to learn more about the New England Air Museum's Sikorsky R-4.

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