Chance Vought/Sikorsky, Part II

The now-decommissioned factory site in Stratford Connecticut, was originally developed for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 1927. The site is huge- 58 buildings, 1.7 million square feet. Sikorsky is the father of the helicopter and continued to make incredibly innovative aircraft designs until his passing in 1972. The airfield adjoining the factory has been named Sikorsky memorial airport in his honor. In the late 1930′s, the Chance Vought Aircraft Division moved to Stratford from its previous home in East Hartford. Sikorsky later opened an additional plant in neighboring Bridgeport that is still in operation. While Sikorsky continued work at Stratford, most of the designs being produced there were Chance Vought creations,¬†and in 1940 the first test-flight was made of their most legendary aircraft, the F4U4 Corsair (more on the Corsair in future posts).

Chance Vought Factory Line

Chance Vought Factory Line

The factory has housed many companies over the years. Most of the photography in my exploration is taken in the former Lycoming engine plant opposite the main building shown above. This building is also the current location of the Connecticut Air and Space Museum, which only occupies a small fraction of the space. The rest looks much as it did when it was decommissioned. A variety of aircraft and aircraft parts are in various states of restoration by volunteers at the museum. They also have a large number of “pieces of history” like the original helicopter prototypes by Igor Sikorsky and a number of engine cut-away models. Below is a mostly hand-built helicopter rotor assembly prototype.

Sikorsky_RotorAssembly 

Sikorsky_Wings1

The wings of a Korean-war era fighter await restoration

Comments (2)

  1. 8:30 am, July 11, 2011Eula 

    i tried to get your rss-Feed but it displays me some Xml errors…

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