The city council in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has renamed one of its international airports after Igor Sikorsky, the aviation engineer who founded Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
Born in Kyiv (formerly known as Kiev) in 1889, when Ukraine was part of the Tsarist Russian Empire, Sikorsky designed the first four-engine aircraft, the S-21 Russky Vityaz, and was the test pilot for its initial flight in 1913. He also developed the S-22 Ilya Muromets airliner, used as the world’s first four-engined bomber by the Russian military during World War II.
Following the Bolshevik Revolution, Sikorsky immigrated to the U.S. in 1919 and founded the Sikorsky Manufacturing Co. in Roosevelt, N.Y. in 1923. He relocated his operations to Stratford, Connecticut in 1929 and lived a long life as Connecticut resident, passing away at his Easton home in 1972.
The Kyiv International Airport, informally known as Zhuliany for the section of the city where it is based, serviced 130,800 passengers last month and is one of the most heavily frequented business travel aviation hubs in Europe. The newly christened Igor Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport is the second aviation venue named for the celebrated engineer – the Stratford-based Bridgeport Municipal Airport was renamed Sikorsky Memorial Airport in 1972.