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played a big part, it is significant that Sikorsky has been able to maintain a place as one of the industry leaders over the last 50 years. There may be a secret to it but I’m not sure what it is. To me it has been the engineering honesty. Sikorsky has never accepted a contract in which they thought that they were being asked to do too much. We’ve gone up to edge of technology yes, but when we’ve thought it couldn’t be done we’ve said so and people have taken notice of that. This has really helped build Sikorsky’s reputation. I am very happy that the company continues to be at the front of the industry.


RPM: Over the years you’ve been involved in many helicopter projects in many different coun- tries. What has been your most memorable heli- copter moment? SS: My most memorable helicopter


moments are two, one as a pilot and one in my professional career. One of my most memorable moments was many years ago when I was still current in the


S-58/H-34. I had one of those flights where you are red hot and you know it. It was a great day and I was leaving the Sikorsky factory and the helicopter and I were fused into one. Pilots just know when they’re having one of these flights and you maybe get a handful in a life- time. I had one of those flights were the pilot and helicopter are bonded and it was just great to be flying like that. The other would be when we were advised by the German government that Sikorsky had won an eight year evalua- tion and the German government had decided to build the Ch-53 under license. It was a highly competitive process not only financially but also at very high diplomatic levels. There were several solid competitors including a French helicopter and Boeing was also involved. I headed the marketing cam- paign for about eight years in Germany and the United States so this was a big win both for me personally and for the company. abcd


Writer’s Note:


I first envisioned the Rotorcraft Pioneers Series as a few articles that would showcase some of the work done by the early pioneers. It grew into a yearlong series that gave me the chance to tell some tremendous stories of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity. The series was never intended to be all inclusive and there are others who were not profiled that have made significant contributions to the rotorcraft world. I’d like to thank all the people who have made the


Rotorcraft Pioneers Series possible. The many aviation museums, historical societies, individuals and companies who supported my research and provided the documents and pictures that made allowed me to tell these stories. Without the time that these individuals gave to my endeavor these articles would not have been possible. I also appreciate the efforts of Ron Whitney and Dana Maxfield for encouraging me to do this and for always making my stories look so good. Lastly I couldn’t have done this without my biggest supporter and number one proof reader, my wife Monica.


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