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Hiller, Stanley, Jr.

Hiller, Stanley, Jr., 1924–2006, American aeronautical engineer and business executive, b. San Francisco. At 12 years old, he designed and produced gas-propelled toy cars, a business that led to the formation of his first company, Hiller Industries. The fledgling aviation industry subsequently caught his fancy, particularly the accomplishments of Igor Sikorsky with helicopters , and by the time he was 17 he was convinced that the twin-rotor helicopter configuration was safer and more efficient than the single-rotor one. Forming the Hiller Aircraft Company, Hiller developed the unique XH-44, or Hiller Copter, with twin coaxial counter-rotating rotors, in 1944. Renamed Hiller Helicopter in 1948, the company was involved in the development of a number of prototype helicopters, but none achieved commercial success. Hiller also was a business turnaround specialist and helped restructure more than 30 companies during his career.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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