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Sikorsky's surname always stood in the top ten of a hit parade of surnames which were hated by the Soviet regime. After all, this Kiev nugget, leaving the Russian Empire, did not follow the example of thousands of other immigrants of the first wave and instead of the rest of the days to sweep the dusty Berlin cafe or famously drive a taxi through the streets of Paris, became one of the most successful aircraft designers in the world.
It got to the absurd: in children's books as an example of the achievements of the Russian aviation cited the world's first four-engine airplane "Russian Vityaz", which was built by Igor Sikorsky at the age of 24 years, and never took to the air bomber "Svyatogor" nesterkova authorship. While the censors, yielding to the call of "Down with Starshine!", diligently crossed out the name of the designer from all available documents and textbooks, Sikorsky himself received awards for his contribution to the development of aviation from the hands of Eisenhower, corresponded with Sinatra and condescendingly patted on the shoulder of astronaut Neil Armstrong. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. It is better to run back to the childhood of the designer.
Igor's father, Ivan Alekseevich Sikorsky, was a psychiatrist. A native of the family of a provincial Orthodox priest, he made a dizzying career in medicine, the peak of which was the title of Professor at the Department of mental and nervous diseases of the University of Kiev. The popularity of Sikorsky-doctor was so great that when on may 25, 1889 he had his fifth and last child, son Igor, the family has already developed a good tradition, according to which the godfather of each newborn was a representative of the Royal dynasty. The godparents of Igor were Grand Duke Peter Nikolaevich (cousin of Emperor Alexander III) and his mother Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna.
Igor's childhood was full, happy and calm. He was a favorite of his mother, a very educated woman. It was she who told little Igor about Leonardo da Vinci who once lived in Italy. Of all the inventions of the Italian future designer is most interested in the drawing of the aircraft — helicopter. Soon he had a wonderful dream. It was as if he was standing inside an elongated room with walnut doors and small Windows, on the walls of which hang beautiful lamps, illuminating the room with a bluish light. The boy felt a slight vibration under his feet, and then it dawned on him: the room is in the air!
Having studied the example of his older brother Sergei in the Marine cadet corps for three years, Igor left the walls of the institution with a comment: "Not mine." Safely learn naval science prevented him appeared in the Newspapers reports about the flights of the Wright brothers. In 1906, 18-year-old Igor with the blessing of the father is sent to a technical school, Duvignau de Lanno in Paris.
After studying for six months, Igor returned to Russia to bury his mother and enter the Kiev Polytechnic Institute.
Study was given to Igor easily, even despite the fact that he was actively playing, whiling away the time in a makeshift home Studio. Igor's first "craft" — a steam motorcycle — made him a legend in the ranks of his classmates and teachers. But the coveted helicopter still worked.
Igor gathered the family Council. He intends to return to Paris, which is currently the aviation center of the world, and for this he needs money. The family was worried. His older brother Sergei doubted that a 20-year-old boy with a large amount of money in merry Paris is a good idea.
But Igor persisted. In the end, the money from the family budget was allocated, and after a few weeks Igor introduced himself to the pioneer of aviation Ferdinand Ferber, who said on the move enthusiastic Sikorsky that invent a flying machine is easy, harder to build, and make it almost impossible to fly.
Indeed, after six months of construction and several months of testing the helicopter, which was able to lift its own weight, but not the pilot, Sikorsky returned to Kiev with two engines with a capacity of 25 and 15 horsepower and the idea of building an airplane. And that the screws invented for the helicopter, in vain did not disappear, Igor strengthened them on an aerosani of own design which demonstration on the snow-covered wasteland before officers of the General staff was widely covered by the Kiev press. Sikorsky's fame grew stronger.
"Knight" and "Muromets»
1913 was for a young designer to be surprisingly happy.
Completed the construction of the world's first aircraft with four engines — "Russian knight". It was made Sikorsky is not in Kiev, and the Russian-Baltic wagon factory, head of the aviation Department which has been