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Piasecki in the early 1950s
|Died||February 11, 2008 (aged 88)|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Known for||Designing tandem rotor helicopters|
|Spouse(s)||Vivian O'Gara Weyerhaeuser|
|Children||Nicole, Frederick, John, Lynn, Frank, Michael, and Gregory|
Frank Piasecki (// pee-ə-SEK-ee; Polish: [pjaˈsɛtski]; October 24, 1919 – February 11, 2008) was an American engineer and helicopter aviation pioneer. Piasecki pioneered tandem rotor helicopter designs and created the compound helicopter concept of vectored thrust using a ducted propeller.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to an immigrant Polish tailor, Piasecki worked for autogyro manufacturers while still attending Overbrook High School, then studied mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania before graduating with a bachelor's degree from New York University. In 1940, he formed PV Engineering Forum with former Pennsylvania classmate Harold Venzie. He built a single-person, single-rotor helicopter designated the PV-2 and flew it on April 11, 1943. This helicopter impressed the United States Navy sufficiently to win Piasecki a development contract.
At Piasecki Aircraft, he participated in the development of the Piasecki 16H-1 the world's first shaft driven compound helicopter, the PA-59K/VZ-8P Flying Geep, the Piasecki PA-97 Helistat heavy vertical airlifter and the Piasecki X-49 experimental compound helicopter.
His son John W. Piasecki is now President and CEO of Piasecki Aircraft. His son Fred W. Piasecki is Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer of Piasecki Aircraft. His daughter Nicole Piasecki is vice president and general manager of Propulsion Systems for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Piasecki died at his home on February 11, 2008 after a series of strokes. He was 88.