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Great Helicopter Story


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Hello all, I am new to this forum and a huge fan of helicopters. I am currently a gyroplane pilot and own a single place open frame gyro, which I LOVE TO FLY. It's the coolest thing since sliced bread. My job, is actually a documentary filmmaker though.

 

Anyway, the reason for this post is to get some information out on a helicopter documentary I am in the process of creating... I'll give you a brief description and include a link to my web site where the full story can be read.

 

"It was an extraordinary way to graduate; no written test, no diploma and no curriculum to follow thereafter. Dr. Igor Sikorsky identified those men who soloed at his factory as pioneers. As such, I was set free to penetrate the unknown, with an unleashed, unreliable, underpowered vibrating revolutionary type of flying machine." ...Stewart Graham

 

Here is the brief story: Stewart Ross Graham. US Coast Guard Helicopter Pilot #2. He and his parter, Captain Frank Erickson were responsible for promoting and testing the helicopter in the early 40's. Working with Igor Sikorsky, Mr. Graham made many of the worlds "first" in helicopters.

 

I returned from 2 trips to his home on the east cost and shot (high definition video) over 6 hours of his life story, dealing with helicopters. He is now 92 years old.

 

In short and only to name a few, he was the first helicopter pilot to: land and take off from a ship in convoy, first medivac rescue to a hospital, first helicopter air mail, first night hoist rescue, developed the rescue basket, developed and flew the first sonar dipping system, etc... He gave Larry Bell his first helicopter ride (prior to Bell Helicopter division, obviousely), he worked with Grumman, Hiller, Kaman, Art Young, Bart Kelly and all the other helicopter pioneers. This guy is a legend.

 

Here is the full story: http://www.stewartrgraham.com/ (clcik on THE STORY)

 

I am currently at the point where I am looking for funding to finish this project and get it on the History/Biography Channel, or Discovery. If anyone has any suggestions as to raising the cash to finish this, I would really appriciate it.

 

Thanks

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My suggestion would be to contact the History Channel directly for what you need, they would probably more than willing to help.

I have already tried that. The problem is, if I parter with the major networks, they want full control, and I am not willing to let all the work and money I have already invested be controled by a company that just wants it done for the ratings and earnings. I am doing this project from my heart and I need to maintain that aproach with this project.

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it's called contracts and negociations(SP?) give it a try you have the info not them ;)

I have tried that. The problem is, they will not spend the money for someone else to have control. I want to be 100% involved, not 30%. They would not sign a contract giving me total control.

Private investment or grants are the way to go in my situation, for this project.

 

The other side of it is that I may like to option to sell it to another network in the future, or video sales, etc... With a network funding a project, it stays with that network, or their affiliations only.

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What about the Smithsonian Institution? They might be interested in helping out perhaps.

 

Have you tried the companies Mr. Graham was involved with?

 

+1 on that suggestion.

 

I should think Sikorsky would be willing to help in some way since you cannot speak of Commander Graham's achievements seperate from sikorsky aircraft, and you cannot speak of the success of sikorsky aircraft without mentioning Commander Graham's contribution to that success. You may end up doing a bit more research on the particular models of aircraft he flew and more history of the company, but I don't see that as a negative.

 

Years ago, I was marginally involved in a somewhat similar project involving a gentleman who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, among other engagements, during WWII. Unfortunately, the person I was working with lost interest in moving forward with the project, and the gentleman passed on before in depth interviews could be completed. Subsequently, the family was unwilling to release rights to the journals we were using as source documents, so nothing substantial ever really happened with it.

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