- File Size: 2269 KB
- Print Length: 240 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Aequitas Book (March 23, 2014)
- Publication Date: March 23, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00J7BJZ2W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #985,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Wonderful Flying Machines: A History of U.S. Coast Guard Helicopters Kindle Edition
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A principal strength of the book is that it is not merely the history of Igor Sikorsky's machine; it is also the story of the machine's greatest pilot and most vocal promoter within the USCG, Frank Erickson. Erickson retired on 1 July 1954 to become an engineer and test pilot with Brantly Aircraft Corp, where he continued to work on the helicopter flight stabilizer for which he had already been awarded a patent. He had also, in the 1940s, developed the Erickson Hoist, the Erickson Chair and the Erickson Basket, all of which in more developed variations are still in use today. Post Canada's commemorative stamp honoring the Canadian Coast Guard (ca. 1985) depicts a helicopter cherry-picking a man off a sinking ship with an Erickson Hoist, and the epic 1998 storm that took several lives in the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race would have taken many more had it not been for rescue helicopters and Erickson`s equipment. Endlessly restless and blessed with an instinctive contempt for the status quo, Erickson was probably (except for a brilliant ability to perform under pressure) ill-equipped for a military career, from which he retired after only 23 years as a commissioned officer. But he left, ironically, as big an imprint on the way his branch of the armed forces goes about its work as any man since the World War I invention of the tank.
Beard's account of that imprint is excellent in every way.
an article about a small helicopter developed by Igor Sikorsky. Erickson felt here was the ideal rescue tool for the U.S.
Coast Guard aviators to help those in distress. From this time forward Erickson worked toward this goal. In the end, it cost him his
career. Erickson ran head-long into those officers who felt seaplanes were the ideal rescue device.
The book traces the struggle to have the helicopter accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard. One of the interesting currents running through
the book is that of strong-willed officers fighting for a cause and willing to sacrifice their careers to advance it.
This is one of those rare histories that show the contributions the U.S. Coast Guard has made to naval history. The book is
recommended to anyone interested in military and naval history, either in or out of aviation.