The Establishment of AHS

After organizational meetings at Sikorsky Aircraft were initiated in January 1943, the Society was founded on February 25, 1943, and was officially recognized by the State of Connecticut as "The American Helicopter Society, Incorporated" on June 25, 1943. Read this early retrospective published in 1956 in the first issue of The Journal of the American Helicopter Society to see how it all began! 

In our 70 years of working to advance the state-of-the-art of vertical flight technology, we have created an incredible legacy of publications and impact to vertical flight.

The First Annual Dinner

The First Annual Dinner of the American Helicopter Society was held on October 7, 1944 in New York City (six months before the first Annual Forum was held in Philadelphia on April 3, 1945). Check out a group photo or review the program below (click on each image for a high resolution close-up). You may recognize some of the pioneers! 

First Annual Dinner Program First Annual Dinner Program


Charles L. (Les) Morris (Sikorsky), President of AHS
James A.J. Bennett (Cierva), Vice-President of AHS
Prof. Igor A. Sikorsky (Sikorsky), AHS Technical Committee Chairman

First Honorary Fellowships:

COL H. Franklin Gregory (Army Air Corps)
Igor I. Sikorsky (Sikorsky)

This program was also signed by other founding pioneers:

Ralph P. Alex (Sikorsky) - Founding President of AHS
Arthur M. Young (Bell)
CAPT William J. Kossler (USCG)
W. Laurence LePage (Platt-LePage)*
Frank A. Tichenor (Aero Digest)
Wg Cdr Reggie Brie (RAF)

* misprinted as "W. Lawrence Le Page" in the program

More On History

Did you know the AHS Forum was held in Washington, D.C. for 31 of our first 36 years? Want to know where else we've been for the past seven decades? Check out our complete listing of AHS Forums!

And you can delve into the history of vertical flight at our helicopter history website or help contribute to our biography database of pioneers and leaders.

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