Born in New York City in 1925, he grew up in Connecticut, watching his father, aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky, building the famous Sikorsky flying boats or “Clippers” for Pan American Airways and many other airlines around the world. He remembers his first flight, about eight years old, on his father’s lap in the copilot seat of a Sikorsky S-38 amphibian. He remembers visits to the Sikorsky home by the Lindbergh family, by Jimmy Doolittle, Roscoe Turner and many other aviation personalities. In the late 1930’s, he followed the development of the VS-300, the helicopter that created n industry. He flew in it several times, with his father at the controls. During World War II, he served as a mechanic in the Coast Guard Helicopter Development Group at Floyd Bennett Field, NY. He was involved in the development and demonstration of the first helicopter rescue hoists and associated equipment. Near the end of the war, he also participated in some of the earliest search and rescue missions. After the war, Sergei studied at the University of Florence, Italy, then joined United Aircraft (now United Technologies) in 1951. Due to his language adaptability (he speaks French, German, Italian, Russian as well as English) foreign assignments followed. They included the start of S-55 helicopter production by Mitsubishi in Japan, the introduction of the S-58 (H-34) helicopter into the German and Israeli Armed Forces, the prototype S-64 helicopter program, and many other programs cross Europe and the Near East. He participated in the early U.S. aviation industry missions into the Soviet Union and into Eastern Europe. While in Europe, he flew both for business and pleasure; holding, at one time or another, Italian, Swiss, French and German Pilot Licenses, in addition to his PPL. After completion of the German CH-53G co-production program in 1975, he returned to Sikorsky Aircraft headquarters in Stratford, and continued traveling world-wide for the company. He retired from Sikorsky in 1992 as Vice President – Special Projects, but remains active as a consultant. He is married to Dutch-born Elena van Mechelen. His hobbies include aviation history, flying and classical music.
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