Peter Wright, Sr. - 1917-2007: WWII Flying Tiger and Helicopter Industry Pioneer

Wright was a major figure in the development of the commercial helicopter industry. He founded Keystone Helicopter in 1953 in Philadelphia, and created the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester, PA.


PHILADELPHIA, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Peter Wright, Sr., founder and Chairman Emeritus of Keystone Helicopter and a highly decorated combat airman from World War II's famed Flying Tigers, died on June 1, 2007 at age 90. Mr. Wright was a major figure in the development of the commercial helicopter industry. He founded Keystone Helicopter in 1953 in Philadelphia, and created the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester, PA. Peter Wright, Sr. was the recipient of the Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award in 1987, given by the Helicopter Association International ("HAI") for excellence in management of vertical flight businesses. He was also inducted into the American Combat Airman Hall of Fame for his exemplary service in the Flying Tigers. He received the Lifetime Membership Award from HAI, and the Elder Statesman of Aviation Award from the National Aeronautics Association. McGraw-Hill's "Overhaul & Maintenance" Magazine honored Wright with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Keystone Helicopter, the company that Wright founded, has grown in its colorful and successful 54-year history to become one of the largest rotorcraft technical services centers in the helicopter industry, and is today owned by the Sikorsky Aircraft unit of United Technologies Corporation. The boardroom at the "Keystone Heliplex," the company's giant base in Coatesville, PA, is dedicated to Mr. Wright and his family.

An officer of Keystone Helicopter said: "We offer a quiet, sad salute at the passing of a respected friend and cherished mentor."

ROTOR magazine, the official publication of the Helicopter Association International ("HAI"), interviewed Mr. Wright for its Spring 2007 issue, which was published just days before his death. The link to that interview is provided below: http://www.rotormagazine.org/portals/24/pdf/spring2007/38.pdf

SOURCE Respectful Friends of Peter Wright Sr. and the Wright Family


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