Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Used To Build Helicopters

I stood in the Executive Suite, looking over plans for the new Sikorsky S-64 Sky Crane, with Igor Sikorsky himself at my side. There were a few design changes I thought would make this huge beast work better, perhaps an aerodynamic feature which would help the lift and carrying capacity.

=poof= End of dream. I was back in the mail room sorting inter-office envelopes and preparing to make the second run of the day through the engineering wing and the production department. The first run was the toughest; the mail cart was long and the load was heavy; some days it was all I could do to get it rolling.

In actual fact, the original Sky Crane was out back in several pieces. It went up on its test flight, turned over and landed wheels-up. Igor was devastated, as this was his design, his baby, his hope for containing a mobile “ambulance” unit for use in remote areas and war zones, or a lifting platform for extra-large objects (which it did well for many years).

Jack Erickson bought the rights from Sikorsky Aircraft 18 years ago and it’s still up there, doing its job as Igor envisioned it back in 1960 when I was there.

I figured anyone who worked in the factory was actually building helicopters. Rosie the Riveter on the final assembly line, my friend who was always stuffing suggestion box in the hopes of making $$, or yours truly in the mailroom, we all made the place work. Then I’d go home at night and head over to WICC which was my true love.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean kinda like a "Sikorsky S-64 Sky-Crane?"

March 23, 2010 8:40 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Erickson bought the rights to the S-64, calling it the "Aircrane" and keeping the numerical designation.

March 25, 2010 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Igor Jr. still lives near there. Want his address? Lives in Shelton I think. My cousin lives inthe same building.

I worked on the assemlby line for six weeks...dullest job I ever had!

Ms. Victoria Lawn

March 25, 2010 9:30 PM  

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