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Juri Vladimirovich Gilsher's Sikorsky S16

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Juri Vladimirovich Gilsher


Before the war, Gilsher studied to become a civil engineer.  On December 13, 1914.he joined the  Nikoliavsky Cavalry school.  He later transferred to the air service on  August 29, 1915.  He attended flight school at Gatchina before going to the front with the newly formed 4th Army Air Detachment on November 19, 1915. A few weeks later, an accident with a propeller blade injured his left hand. When he recovered, Gilsher completed advanced flight training at Odessa, then returned to the front on April 5, 1916.

Promoted to Cornet (Cavalry Second Lieutenant), he was attached to the  7th Fighter Detachment. Crashing a badly damaged Sikorsky S-16 on May 9, 1916, Gilsher's left leg had to be amputated. Gilsher  learned to use a false leg and had one of the first combat simulators constructed.  He returned to his squadron as temporary commander and continued flying combat missions. His first two successes were scored in a single day, 13 April 1917, with subsequent victories following on 15 May, 17 and 20 July. Gilsher flew several combat types, including the Sikorsky S16, Nieuport 17 and Nieuport 21.   Having achieved his fifth and final final success on 20 July in the skies above Tarnopol, Gilsher came under enemy fire, in the course of which he was killed.  He was buried in Bugach in Galicia.

This version contains parts for aircraft with wheels, floats or skis. 

Sikorsky S16, SXVI_d, Designed by Marcus Harman, built by Brian Williams

The picture above shows the ski version as constructed by Brian Williams, one of our customers.




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