Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America
1920 - 2003
Harold Lemont, 82, one of two original founders of the AHS, died on March 18, 2003 in Southbury, Connecticut. Born in 1920, he attended Rhode Island State College where he studied aeronautical engineering, a new field in those days. At Vought-Sikorsky, he was a prolific inventor, designing more than 30 helicopter rotor systems including the Reverse Velocity Rotor Blade, the Refined Pitch Rotor and the Ring Fin Tail Rotor. A protege of Igor Sikorsky, Mr Lemont designed and built his first helicopter (the Gazda Helicospeeder) at the age of 23. His work is displayed in aeronautical museums and the Hiller Northern California Aviation Museum. But one of his greatest achievements occured in 1943 when, with Stan Petrop, he founded the American Helicopter Society as a professional technical society, "Of Engineers, By Engineers, and For Engineers." He later wrote, " While we are standing in the men's room on the second floor of the Vought-Sikorsky hangar discussing the January 29, 1943 Rotor Wing Aircraft meeting of the IAS we have attended the previous day in the Hotel Astor, New York City ... we felt it was a most unsatisfactory meeting because of the sales and promotional propaganda of various companies who presented papers; therefore, we decided to start a helicopter society and posted notices of its first organizational meeting that evening at the Stratford High School."
AHS Update: Vertiflite Summer 2003