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(Morris, C. L., 1945). Following the successful delivery of the XR-4, Morris spent considerable time giving additional demonstrations and pas- senger flights to Army personnel. There was a level of excite- ment around the helicopter that had never been reached before.


Soon Les Morris was back in Connecticut helping


develop the next group of Sikorsky helicopters. In May of 1943 Morris made the maiden flight in the XR-5 followed by the first flight in the XR-6 in October of the same year (Morris, C. L., 1945). Morris also continued test flying the VS-300. The VS- 300 was used to test a variety of new concepts including a two bladed main rotor, pontoon landing gear and an improved tail rotor. In addition to testing new configurations on the heli- copter, Morris pushed the envelope of helicopter operations. He was one of the first people to fly a helicopter at night, in fog and made many confined area landings to his own backyard to demonstrate how little space was actually needed to land a heli- copter. During this time, Les Morris also received what is thought to be the first commercial helicopter rating in the United States (Morris, C. L., 1945).


Along with playing an important role in developing and delivering the XR-4 and subsequent models, Les Morris was instrumental in instructing new helicopter pilots. Morris’s list of students includes both civilian and military pilots from the United States and Great Britain.


From this list of students came several prominent helicopter pilots. One student was


Above: Les Morris is shown flying the Sikorsky XR-5, his passenger is Bernard L. Whelan then the Vice- President of United Aircraft and the General Manager of the Sikorsky Aircraft Division Photo: Courtesy of the collection of Mr. Charles G. Morris


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