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Piasecki Helicopter
Founded 1940, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Headquarters Aurora, Oregon, U.S.
Key people Frank Piasecki
Industry Aerospace
Products Helicopters

The Piasecki Helicopter Corporation (later Vertol Aircraft Corporation) was a designer and manufacturer of helicopters located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 1940s, and throughout the 1950s.[1]

The Piasecki Helicopter Corporation was founded in 1940 by Frank Piasecki as the P-V Engineering Forum, first becoming known as Piasecki Helicopter in 1946. The PV-2 was the second helicopter flown in the United States (following Igor Sikorsky's VS-300), and was designed and flown by Frank Piasecki in 1943.

Piasecki designed and successfully sold to the US Navy a series of tandem rotor helicopters, starting with the HRP-1 of 1944. The HRP-1 was nicknamed the "flying banana" because of the upward angle of the aft fuselage that ensured the large rotors did not hit each other in flight, and because the Coast Guard painted the aircraft yellow. The name would later be applied to other Piasecki helicopters of similar design. In 1949, Piasecki provided the H-21 Workhorse to the USAF, which was an improved, all-metal derivative of the HRP-1.

Piasecki's tandem-rotor helicopters flew higher than competing single rotor designs, and offered a smoother ride.

In 1955 Piasecki left Piasecki Helicopter to form another company. In March 1956, Piasecki Helicopter changed its name to Vertol (from vertical takeoff and landing).[2] It was acquired by Boeing in 1960 and renamed Boeing Vertol.[1] It became the Boeing Helicopter Division in 1987.

In June 1955, Frank Piasecki reformed his company as Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC) to pursue the development of compound helicopters and other rotorcraft.


See also


  1. ^ a b "Tandem Twosome", Vertical Magazine, February-March 2007
  2. ^ Spenser 1998. p.160-162.
  • Spenser, Jay P. Whirlybirds, A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers. University of Washington Press, 1998. ISBN 0-295-97699-3.


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