Army Aviation Hall of Fame 1974 Induction
(Inducted to represent the 1942-1949 period)
Frank N. Piasecki received a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from New York University in 1940. His interest in rotary wing aircraft led to his first helicopter flight in 1943. Subsequently, his efforts were directed toward the development of tandem rotor cargo helicopters; the first such, a prototype of the H-21, flew in 1945. In the late 40's and early 50's, Army Aviation first felt Mr. Piasecki's influence when the tandem rotor H-25 and H-21 entered the Army fleet.
The H-21 became the Army's standard lift ship and was used extensively in that role during combat in the early years of United States involvement in Vietnam. Through his development of tandem rotor cargo helicopters, Mr. Piasecki was largely responsible for the Army's first capability to form airmobile combat forces and to provide responsive and reliable airmobile logistical support for those forces.
The current CH-47 Chinook and on-going development of Heavy Lift Helicopters [HLH] evolved from Mr. Piasecki's pioneering efforts. Mr. Piasecki continues to influence Army Aviation as President of Piasecki Aircraft Corporation.