The Planes: 1939 Sikorsky VS300A Helicopter
Length: 27' 10" (including tail rotor tip)
Rotor Diameter: 28';
Weight (empty): 1,290 lbs.
Construction Materials: Welded steel tube fuselage with fabric
Builder: Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Company,
a division of United Aircraft Corporation, Stratford, Connecticut
Number Built: 1
Engine Type: Franklin, 50-horsepower,
horizontally-opposed, air-cooled internal combustion engine
Engine Builder: H.H. Franklin Manufacturing
Company, Syracuse, New York
Configuration: 1-pilot, single-rotor helicopter
Maximum Speed: 60 m.p.h.
Important Feature: First helicopter to
use a practical single-rotor design
The One and Only
During a demonstration in 1940, Sikorsky flew the helicopter backward, sideways,
up and down – he even spun around. But he didn’t fly forward. “That
is one of the minor engineering problems we have not yet solved.” By
1941, Sikorsky solved the problem.
Sikorsky donated this plane to the Museum in 1943. "With suspiciously
moist eyes, he turned to Henry Ford and said, 'You know, she was a good ship,
she was a sweet, sweet little ship,'" according to his son, Sergei.