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SKYCRANE: Igor Sikorsky's Last Vision by John A. McKenna

flateric

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SKYCRANE: Igor Sikorsky's Last Vision
John A. McKenna
Library of Flight Series
Published by AIAA, © 2010, 115 pages, Paperback
ISBN-10: 1-60086-756-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-60086-756-9

USD 39.95

The Skycrane was the last creation of aircraft design pioneer Igor Sikorsky. In SKYCRANE: Igor Sikorsky's Last Vision, former Sikorsky Aircraft Executive Vice President John A. McKenna traces the development of this remarkable helicopter from original concept and early sketches to standout performer for the military and private industry.

Responsible for building the first S-64 Skycrane in 1961 and for supporting its Army and commercial programs, McKenna has written a comprehensive history chronicling a radically designed helicopter that many thought would not succeed. Indeed, initial versions generated no orders. But General Harry Kinnard’s vision and advocacy resulted in the Skycrane’s support of combat operations in Vietnam as part of the groundbreaking concept of supporting Army troops with helicopters rather than trucks.

In 1971 Erickson Lumber Company acquired the first Skycrane intended for commercial use to move timber deep in American forests. Owner Jack Erickson later acquired the world manufacturing and support rights to the aircraft creating Erickson Air-Crane Inc. A half century after its first flight the Skycrane continues to save lives, provide essential services, and earn daily profits worldwide.

Beautifully illustrated with scores of historical photographs, SKYCRANE features interviews with engineers who designed and tested the helicopter and with Army pilots who flew it during combat in Vietnam. This engagingly written work is the definitive history of a unique and important aircraft.
Here's what the reviewers are saying:
SKYCRANE is the incredible story of the dogged pursuit of a vision. Told here in-depth for the first time is an inside look at the continual innovation and perseverance required for the creation and development of one of the world’s most unusual helicopters.--Michael J. Hirschberg, Managing Editor, Vertiflite magazine

Jack McKenna tells a captivating story. This excellent story makes one wonder why industry and its customers cannot return to the days when prototyping was rapid and affordable, specifications were achievable with modest technology stretch, and risk-taking was a normal business attitude. --Ray D. Leoni, author of Black Hawk: The Story of a World Class Helicopter

Table of Contents:
Igor Sikorsky Defines the Crane Helicopter
The S-60 Experimental Crane Proves the Concept
Development of the S-64 Production Skycrane
West German Military Verifies S-64 Performance
Development of Army Cranes and Vietnam Success
Sikorsky Develops Commercial Markets
Erickson Expands Markets and Buys all S-64 Rights
Future Cranes
Index


Also available in eBook format
 

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vstol

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This book is probably the book written written on the Skycrane, but unfortunately not as good as AIAA"s "Black Hawk" book that it tries to emulate.

I was a reviewer for the manuscript and spent countless hours fixing typos and correcting errors. I had them actually get a new proofreader. The end product is pretty good, but the photos not high quality and tend to be too small.

There are a few drawings of early concepts of the S-60 experimental Crane (attached) drawn by Sergei Sikorsky, and some later Skycrane derivatives (attached), but the "Future Cranes" chapter just talks about the author's idea that Sikorsky could make a crane out of the CH-53K (no graphics).

See also the review on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Skycrane-Sikorskys-Vision-Library-Flight/product-reviews/1600867561
 

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Stargazer2006

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Wow... I mean, W-O-W !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You've really made my day! The S-64 has been a lifelong love of mine, and these early drawings by Igor Sikorsky himself are just priceless! I have always regretted that the Skycrane concept was not developed any further and that the S-64 remained unreplaced (the Kaman K-MAX sort of took the niche, but their performance is not quite comparable).
 

vstol

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these early drawings by Igor Sikorsky himself are just priceless!
Just to clarify, these are contemporary (1955) drawings by his son, Sergei I. Sikorsky: "...they were used by Igor Sikorsky to 'sell' the concept of a Crane using S-56 [Mojave] components. The helicopter in the sketches would become the S-60, which first flew in 1959."
 

Stargazer2006

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Oops, you're right, it said "Sergei" and I thought "Igor". Thanks for clarifying! This doesn't make the images any less worthy though, thank you so much for sharing!
 
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