Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky
Award Name : National Medal of Science
Year of Award : 1967
Award for : Engineering
Location : Kievtsi, Gabrovo, Bulgaria
Igor Ivanovich Sikorsky was a Russian American aviation pioneer in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. He was born on May 25, 1889 in Kiev, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire. In 1903 Sikorsky entered the Naval Academy in St. Petersburg, with the intention of becoming a career officer, but his interest in engineering led to his resignation from the service in 1906. After a brief period of engineering study in Paris, he entered the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. Following a reasonably successful academic year, however, he concluded that the abstract sciences and the higher mathematics as then taught had little relationship to the solution of practical problems, and he left the school, preferring to spend his time in his own shop and laboratory. He received the National Medal Of Science in 1967. Sikorsky’s Recollections and Thoughts of a Pioneer (1964) reviews his own career and accomplishments and includes his views on the future trends of aviation development. The Story of the Winged-S: Late Developments and Recent Photographs of the Helicopter, rev. ed. (1967), an autobiography, includes a detailed account of his life and work through 1938, with supplementary chapters on his first helicopter experiments of 1939–40 and later work. He died on October 26, 1972 in Easton, Connecticut, United States.