June 2012

2012 AHS History Calendar Platt-LePage XR-1

W. Laurence LePage started his helicopter company in 1938 with the goal of license-building a variant of Henrich Focke’s pioneering Fw 61 helicopter in the U.S. After being rebuffed, he turned his attention to winning a 1940 Army Air Corps rotary wing aircraft requirement. Beating out a Sikorsky design, his proposal won theAir Corps’ first helicopter contract. Despite first flying in 1941, by 1945 the XR-1 had been flagged as one of the most poorly managed wartime aircraft contracts. With high cost and marginal performance, its failure paved the way for Sikorsky to enter the helicopter business with the more capable R-4 series.
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