Guest Lecturer: LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN
A common thread among the great designers and developers of rotary wing technology is their fascination with flight that began in the foxed wing aircraft world. Such helicopter greats as Igor Sikorsky, Frank Piaseki, Stanley Hiller, Charlie Kaman, Arthur Young, and Frank Robinson felt the fascination with all things flying fro an early age. Recognizing the limitation of fixed wing flight, they sought to apply their creativity, their ingenuity, ad of course, their engineering skills to address these limitations. Obviously, the greatest limitation of fixed wing aircraft is their need for long runways to enable them to begin and end each flight. More ideas were tried in the early days to address these issues, but it was the helicopter that emerged as the ideal choice. It was the great designers who proved that the helicopter was ideal for its purpose, but practically achievable. In time, this area of technology succeeded far beyond the industries’ early expectations. LCDR Chip Lancaster, himself a retired naval aviator, has lived a career that in many ways parallels those of the great designers. His early fascination and experiences with fixed wing flight, led him to pursue a career in this very special field of rotary wing. His personal experience with a wide variety of helicopters, both as pilot and instructor, he brings a special perspective to the fascinating domain of manned flight.