Sergei said his father's driving belief in the life-saving potential of the helicopter was only matched by his gratitude later, to the many people who helped to design and develop the aircraft.
"Were he here today, Igor Sikorsky would like to thank not only the many engineers and technicians who made the helicopter a reality, but the air crews who flew the helicopter and helped to create this great machine," Sergei said. "Without the skills, dedication and bravery of these men and women, Igor Sikorsky's dream would never have become a reality."
Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino said Sergei Sikorsky continues to perpetuate the company's venerable history through presentations like those delivered at Heli-Expo.
"Sikorsky Aircraft has progressed far in the years since Igor Sikorsky's perfection of the helicopter," Pino said. "We are proud to have his son, Sergei, assist us in reminding the world that the success of this great pioneer was fueled by passion and a vision that we at Sikorsky today continue to embrace each day."
Sergei, who was born in Connecticut, remembers visits to the Sikorsky home by the Charles Lindbergh family, U.S. Air Force Gen. "Jimmie" Doolittle, Roscoe Turner, ace pilot Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker and many other aviation personalities. In the late 1930's, Sergei followed the development of the first successful Sikorsky helicopter, the VS-300, and actually flew in the machine as a passenger, with his father at the controls.
Sergei eventually joined United Aircraft (now United Technologies) and began a series of foreign assignments in Europe and the Far East, which lasted for some 20 years and concluded with the co-production of the Sikorsky CH-53G transport helicopter for the German Armed Forces.
Sergei returned to Sikorsky Aircraft in 1975 and assumed a series of assignments in areas associated with domestic and international marketing programs. He retired from Sikorsky Aircraft as Vice President, Special Projects, in mid-1992 but remains active as Sikorsky's goodwill ambassador.
Sergei will also present "Recollections of a Pioneer" on Friday, March 2 at 11 a.m., and Saturday, March 3, 10 a.m.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.