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Father of the "Phrog" dies

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  • Father of the "Phrog" dies

    FRANK NICHOLAS PIASECKI

    Obituary







    Frank Nicholas Piasecki, a pioneer in the vertical aviation industry, and one of the original inventors of the helicopter, died at his home in Haverford, PA on Monday, February 11th 2008. He was 88-years old.



    Mr. Piasecki was born in Philadelphia on October 24th 1919 and was the only son of Polish immigrants, Nikodem and Emilia Piasecki. He graduated from Overbrook High School, and went on to study mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, before earning his Bachelor of Science degree from New York University in 1940. It was that same year, that the then 21-year-old Piasecki and other young engineers from the University of Pennsylvania founded the PV Engineering Forum which eventually evolved into what is today the Rotorcraft Division of the Boeing Corporation.



    In 1943, Piasecki developed and flew this Country's second successful helicopter (the PV-2), and in 1945 invented the world's first tandem rotor helicopter (the XHRP-1). The XHRP-1 was capable of carrying three times the payload of any helicopter flying at the time. It was Piasecki's innovative tandem rotor design that is largely credited with transforming the helicopter from a small aerial observation platform into an aircraft with broad military, commercial and humanitarian applications. Piasecki's signature tandem rotor designs led to the development of the Marine Corp's primary assault helicopter (the CH-46), and the Army's primary cargo helicopter (the CH-47) which continue to play critical roles supporting US Armed Services around the world.



    In the late 1950's, Mr. Piasecki founded the Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC), and for the next half-century served as the company's Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board. PiAC pioneered numerous, highly-innovative rotorcraft designs including the Aerial Geep flying cars, the Pathfinder Ring-Tail High-speed Compound Helicopter, the Sea Bat Unmanned Helicopter Drone, and the Heli-Stat, heavy lift hybrid aircraft. Most recently, PiAC has been flight testing the X-49A SpeedHawk VTDP Compound Helicopter, and various unmanned aerial vehicle designs for the United States Department of Defense.



    During his 67-year career, Mr. Piasecki was the recipient of 24-patents for his pioneering work, and numerous honors. He was given the nation's highest technical award--the National Medal of Technology-by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.



    Mr. Piasecki served on numerous corporate, and charitable boards. He was a director of Crown, Cork and Seal Company (Crown Holdings, Inc.), The American Helicopter Society, The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), The American Helicopter Museum, The Foreign Policy Research Institute, The Kosciusko Foundation and the Piasecki Foundation. His life was also enriched by relationships with other aeronautical pioneers, including Louis Breguet, and Giovanni Agusta.



    His personal interests included a passion for music, dancing, photography and sailing. As a student he was a concert violinist, serving as the concertmaster of the University of Pennsylvania Orchestra, and was famous at parties for spontaneously serenading friends and family with his violin. He was an avid amateur photographer, an avocation which he shared with many of his children. While known as an intense worker, his most relaxed moments were shared with family on board his sailboat, Tandemeer.



    Mr. Piasecki is survived by his wife, the former Vivian O'Gara Weyerhaeuser of St. Paul, MN; two daughters: Lynn Piasecki Cunningham, and Nicole Piasecki Heymann; five sons: Frederick, Frank, Michael, John, and Gregory Piasecki; and thirteen grandchildren.



    A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 2pm at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, Philadelphia, PA at 1723 Race Street off Logan Circle with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

    "Frank Piasecki Memorial Fund", 1220 American Boulevard ,West Chester, PA 19380; or the "Piasecki Fund for Math and Science Education", St. Malachy School, 1419 N. 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122.





    Photos Attached

  • #2
    Flyin' High

    Thanks, Larry. Now Frank and Igor can fly together as heaven gets rotorblades/rotorheads!
    Last edited by Joe Reed; 02-14-2008, 13:40. Reason: sp.
    Semper Fidelis
    Joe


    Phu Bai tower:
    YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
    Remember, These are "A" models!
    YW-11 BuNo-151939
    '65 Model CH-46A

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