SIKORSKY S-39, NC-50V (s/n 912), represents one of the 21 aircraft of this type built by Igor Sikorsky in 1930-1931. 50V is the only airworthy example of the type and is the oldest flying Sikorsky in the world today. It was painstakingly restored by Dick Jackson of Rochester, NH. The project began in the 1960s, with the hull of NC-50V being discovered in the Alaskan bush. 40,000 hours and nearly four decades later, the S-39 flew again.

The Spirit of Igor was named for the Spirit of Africa, an S-39 owned by African naturalists Martin and Osa Johnson, and for Igor Sikorsky himself. The giraffe spotting on the fuselage is authentic to a specific species. It was projected onto the hull in order for the painting to be completed. See History for more detail about the restoration.

The Spirit of Igor is featured in Smithsonian's Air & Space web site.

Igor is also featured in this Air & Space article, You've Got Mailplanes.

Spirit of Igor helps Aircraft Owner publisher Greg Herrick through his post-OSH stress disorder.

Vintage Airplane features the S-39 in its April 2004 cover story. See the cover and download the article courtesy of Vintage Airplane.

Discovery Wings aired their coverage of the National Air Tour in the documentary titled "History Takes Flight." According to the producers, the air tour piece is around 9 minutes.

The “Spirit of Igor” has completed participating in the National Air Tour. The main web site is

The Sikorsky S-39 “Spirit of Africa”

Sikorsky Archives

Article from National Air Tour about Dick

Air-to-Air Magazine article article

Contact Dick at

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© 2009 Richard Jackson