Back Kaman SH-2 "Sea Sprite"

Kaman SH-2

In 1956, the US Navy set up a design competition for a new, high-speed, long-range multipurpose helicopter. The contest was won by the Kaman K-20, and the American company accordingly received a contract to build 12 aircraft designated HU2K-1. Trials were lengthy, partly on account of the number of innovations made to the aircraft, and the first models, designated UH-2A Seasprite, only went into service at the end of 1962.

This was a conventional type of turbine-powered helicopter, with a four-blade main rotor and three-blade anti-torque rotor, retractable tailwheel landing gear and a streamlined fuselage. The sealed hull enabled it to float in calm water. Eighty-eight UH-2As were built, and the sea-grey aircraft with its fluorescent markings became a familiar sight on American aircraft carriers. Its successor, the UH-2B, was virtually identical except for the removal of some items of equipment, which were, however, available as optional extras.

Kaman modified one UH-2B air-frame for the US Army Transportation Research Command, by installing a General Electric J85 turbojet on one side of the fuselage, thereby transforming the K-20 into a compound helicopter. In this configuration, the aircraft achieved a speed of over 360km/h. Several of the UH-2B were acquired and evaluated by the US Army for fire support, armed with a four-gun M6 turret and two attachment points for Miniguns and unguided rockets.

Originally single-engined, the Seasprite was redesigned in 1964 with twin GET58-GE-8 turbines and the conversion was so successful that over 100 UH-2As and UH-2Bs were subsequently converted into UH-2Cs, whilst almost as many became HH-2Cs and HH-2Ds. The HH-2C was an armed and protected version, 12 of which were supplied to the US Navy for use on large destroyers. The HH-2D models were obtained by converting 31 single-engine helicopters to the standard of the HH-2C, but without the weapons and protection. The US Navy then considered the possibility of using the Seasprite for ASW and this gave rise to the SH-2D for the LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose System) programme; it was similar to the HH-2D but had a search radar in a cylindrical radome beneath the cabin, MAD gear and sonobuoys (a few aircraft were also tested with dipping sonar). The launchable weapons consisted of two Mk.46 torpedoes or antiship missiles. Twenty HH-2Ds were transformed into the SH-2D ASW variant, while 194 of the SH-2F version, which is still in service, have been built. These differ from the SH-2D in having a new rotor and stronger landing gear. In 1983 Kaman resumed production of the SH-2F to meet further US Navy orders.

G.Apostolo "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Helicopters", 1984

Kaman UH-2C Sea Sprite (1970)

During 1956 the US Navy held a design competition to finalise the details of its requirement for a high-performance all-weather utility helicopter. Kaman was adjudged the winner and in late 1957 received a contract for four prototype and 12 production Kaman HU2K-1 helicopters; this designation was changed later to UH-2A and the name Seasprite allocated. Of conventional helicopter configuration with four-bladed main and tail rotors, the type is powered in current versions-by two 1007kW General Electric T58-GE-8F turboshaft engines. The Seasprite has been built in many versions, and these are enumerated below.


UH-2A: initial production version powered by one 932kW General Electric T58-GE-8B turboshaft engine; equipped for IFR operation; 88 built

UH-2B: production version, generally similar to UH-2A, but equipped only for VFR operation; 102 built

UH-2C: redesignation of UH-2A/ UH-2B aircraft following installation of two T58-GE-8B turboshaft engines

NUH-2C: redesignation of one UH-2C after being equipped to carry and launch Sidewinder and Sparrow III missiles for evaluation

NUH-2D: redesignation of NUH-2C when re-equipped for use to study operation of helicopters from small non-aviation ships

HH-2C: search and rescue version of UH-2C with chin-mounted Minigun turret, waist machine-gun positions and extensive armour protection. First version to introduce four-bladed tail rotor; six conversions from UH-2C

HH-2D: search and rescue version similar to HH-2C, but without armament and armour; 67 conversions from earlier single-engined Seasprites

SH-2D: ASW anti-ship missile defence version to meet US Navy's LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System) requirement; 20 conversions from HH-2Ds

YSH-2E: two evaluation conversions of HH-2Ds with advanced radar and LAMPS equipment

SH-2F: developed LAMPS version of which deliveries began in 1973; many early versions converted to this configuration and initial deliveries of new-production SH-2Fs began in 1984; all US Navy SH-2Fs, new or converted, are expected to remain in first-line service throughout the 1990s

D.Donald "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft", 1997

Kaman SH-2

First flight 2 July 1959; successive versions for US Navy SH-2F put back into production in 1981; from 1967 all single-engined SH-2A/B Seasprites progressively converted to twin-engined UH-2Cs with General Electric T58-GE-8Bs; later modified to Mk I Light Airborne MultiPurpose System (LAMPS) standard to give small ships ASW, Anti-Ship Surveillance and Targeting (ASST), SAR and utility capability. Operational deployment of LAMPS Mk I to HSL squadrons began 7 December 1971. 16 SH-2Ds converted to SH-2F, with stronger landing gear, T58-GE-8F engines and improved rotor; first operational unit deployed to Pacific 11 September 1973. 54 new SH-2Fs delivered by December 1989, at which time total 75 in operation; another six ordered in FY87, but completed as SH-2G. First flight of SH-2F as YSH-2G T700 engine testbed, April 1985; first flight with full avionics 28 December 1989 and delivered 1991, followed by the six new-build SH-2Gs. June 1987, contract for conversion programme from SH-2F to SH-2G; 18 completed June 1994; rebuilds refurbished for further 10,000 flying hours. First production SH-2G flown March 1990; fleet introduction early 1993.


SH-2F Seasprite: Initial production version, now only operated by Republic of China Navy.

SH-2G Super Seasprite: SH-2F upgrade initiated FY87; airframe changes included replacing T58 with T700-GE-401 engines; fuel consumption improved by over 20 per cent. Avionics improvements include MIL-STD-1553B digital databus, onboard acoustic processor, multifunction raster display, AN/ASN-150 tactical navigation display, and 99-channel sonobuoys. SH-2G qualified for dipping sonar, air-to-surface missiles, forward-looking infra-red sensors and various guns, rockets and countermeasures. Magic Lantern podded laser equipment for subsurface mine detection.

Detailed description refers to SH-2G

SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite: Upgraded model selected by the Royal Australian Navy for deployment aboard new ANZAC frigates and smaller offshore Patrol Combatants. Kaman/Litton highly automated Integrated Tactical Avionics System (ITAS) built around a four-colour multifunction display cockpit architecture which handles EFIS, engine and transmission data, tactical plots and sensor imagery. 11 ordered.

SH-2G(NZ) Super Seasprite: New build model ordered by New Zealand for deployment aboard new ANZAC frigates. Two crew/five passenger arrangement. Four ordered. First flight 2 August 2000.

SH-2G(E) Super Seasprite: In 1994 Egypt announced its intention to buy 10 SH-2F from the US Navy inventory. These aircraft were upgraded to SH-2G configuration and delivered in 1997/98. The Egyptian SH-2G(E) aircraft are equipped with the AlliedSignal AQS-18A dipping sonar.

CUSTOMERS: US Navy operates 16 SH-2Gs; Taiwan 12 ex-US Navy SH-2Fs; Egypt 10 SH-2Gs; 11 SH-2Gs ordered by the Royal Australian Navy and four SH-2Gs for New Zealand for delivery in 2001.

DESIGN FEATURES: Main rotor rpm 298; main and tail rotor blades folded manually; nose opens and folds back for shipboard stowage; lateral pylons for torpedoes or tanks; MAD bird in holder extending from starboard sides.

FLYING CONTROLS: Main rotor blades fixed on hub; pitch changed by trailing-edge tabs. Development flight tests completed of second-generation composite Main Rotor Blades (CMRB-II) aboard a naval SH-2G. New blades have an extended service life of 15,000 flight hours and give reduced fuel consumption and improved hover performance. Extra lift is equivalent to 225kg additional payload. Production blades will fly on the first SH-2G(A) prototype by third quarter 1999. New all-digital Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) is under test.

STRUCTURE: All-metal airframe with flotation hull; titanium main rotor hub and second-generation Composite Main Rotor Blades (CMRB2) with a projected service life of 15,000 hours.

LANDING GEAR: Tailwheel type, with forward retracting twin mainwheels and non-retractable tailwheel. Liquid spring shock-absorbers in main gear legs; oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber in tailwheel unit, which is fully castoring for taxying but locked fore and aft for T-O and landing. Mainwheels have 8-ply tubeless tyres size 17.5 x 6.25-11, pressure 17.25 bars; tailwheel 10-ply tube-type tyre size 5.00-5, pressure 11.04 bars.

POWER PLANT: Two 1,285kW General Electric T700-GE-401/401C turboshafts, one on each side of rotor pylon structure. Thirty-minute maximum rating 1,259kW; maximum continuous 1,070kW. Basic fuel capacity of 1,802 litres, including up to two external auxiliary tanks with a combined capacity of 1,516 litres. Ship-to-air Helicopter In-Flight Refuelling (HIFR).

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of three, consisting of pilot, co-pilot/tactical co-ordinator, and sensor operator. SH-2G(A) and SH-2G(NZ) have crew of two, pilot and TACCO. One passenger with LAMPS equipment installed; four passengers or two litters with sonobuoy launcher removed. Provision for transportation of internal or external cargo. Space for additional troop seats.

SYSTEMS: Include dual 30kVA electrical system and Turbomach T-62 gas-turbine APU.

AVIONICS: LAMPS Mk I mission equipment includes Canadian Marconi LN-66HP surveillance radar; General Instruments AN/ALR-66A(V)1 radar warning/ESM; Teledyne Systems AN/ASN-150 tactical management system; dual Collins AN/ARC-159(V)1 UHF radios; Texas Instruments AN/ASQ-81(V)2 magnetic anomaly detector; Computing Devices AN/UYS-503 acoustic processor; Flightline Electronics AN/ARR-84 sonobuoy receiver and AN/ARN-146 on-top position indicator; Tele-Dynamics AN/AKT-22(V)6 sonobuoy datalink; Kaman Magic Lantern laser-based minehunting system; 15 DIFAR and DICASS sonobuoys; AN/ALE-39 chaff/flare dispensers; AN/ASQ-188 torpedo presetter. The US Navy plans to retrofit additional self-defence equipment in fleet SH-2Gs, consisting of Hughes AN/AAQ-16 FLIR, Sanders AN/ALQ-144 IR jammers, Loral AN/AAR-47 missile warning and Collins AN/ARC-182 VHF/UHF secure radio. Integrated Tactical Avionics System (ITAS) being proposed for Royal Australian Navy. Mission equipment package includes Telephonics APS-143 search radar with optional Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar capability; Hughes AAQ-16 FLIR (Raytheon AAQ-27 for Australia); and Litton ALR-93 Electronic Protection Measures (Elisra ESM for Australia). Comms/nav suite incorporates dual Litton LN100G INS/GPS, Link 11 datalink and Rockwell Collins radios.

EQUIPMENT: Cargo hook for external loads, capacity 1,814kg; and folding rescue hoist, capacity 272kg.

ARMAMENT: Two Mk 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes; two Penguin, Maverick or Sea Skua missiles in ASUW role; eight Mk 25 marine smoke markers. Provision for pintle-mounted 7.62mm machine gun in both cabin doorways. Penguin missile capability for SH-2G(A).

Jane's Helicopter Markets and Systems

Technical data for Kaman SH-2F

Crew: 2, passengers: 6, engine: 2 x General Electric T700-GE-401 turboshaft, rated at 1285kW, main rotor diameter: 13.41m, length with rotors turning: 16.03m, length with a nose and rotor blades folded: 11.68m, height with rotor blades folded: 4.14m, take-off weight: 6125kg, empty weight: 4173kg, max speed: 256km/h, cruising speed: 220km/h, rate of climb: 12.4m/s, service ceiling: 7285m, range with two external fuel tanks: 885km, armament: 1-2 x Mk.46 torpedos, anti-ship missiles, machine-guns, rockets

Jeffrey Saupp, e-mail, 04.03.2020

Historian for USS Constellation needing help on HC-5 Seasprite that crashed during a CASEVAC from Connie to NAVHOSP Balboa on 13JUN69.

What little info says UH-2C crashed 7 miles off Point Loma. Five died, only two recovered. Seeking BuNo and info. Thanks!

Robert Edwards, e-mail, 07.03.2018

was on USS Boxer LPH 4, we got our UH-2B in1965 SER# 151318 anyone know what happened to it?? I was AE and a crewman on bird

Bob Penikas, e-mail, 06.02.2018

I was an experimental flight test mechanic on the K-16 and then the HU2k. 1958/59
Finally worked as an HU-2K production flight line mechanic.

jim" bo'' ellis, e-mail, 15.12.2017

iwas stationed at Hsl-30 for 3 tours 2 shore 1 sea/w Hsl30 Det A on board USNS Chavenault

David Meier, e-mail, 10.12.2017

I was stationed at HSL-35 at NAS North Island from 1975 to 1980. Went on two cruises, one on the USS Gray (FF-1054) and one on the USS Sterett (CG-31). This was a great helicopter! I was an AMH and worked on flight controls and structures.

Marty Bertran, e-mail, 16.08.2017

I was first assigned in 1969 to HC-5 at NAS Imperial Beach California as an Aviation Structural Mechanic Hydraulics (AMH) working on the UH-2C type helicopter. On arriving and checking into my squadron, I was TAD to base Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD) Hydraulics Shop. Was there when we became HSL-31 and spent my entire time maintaining the aircraft until I go out of the service in 1973. I sure miss those times and the people I served with. I googled map the old place and canít believe they shut her down.

Roy Rutledge, e-mail, 25.04.2017

Flew many missions in different variants. It (and great pilots) always got me home. Not everyone was that lucky.

RED, e-mail, 23.09.2016

Was my favorite while stationed at PAX river. I was in Tucson at the grave yard and saw several there. Had to get out and touch them and take pictures of them.

Michael Shaw, e-mail, 26.08.2016

I was stationed in Lakehurst,NJ 67-70. ADJ2/Aircrew with
HC-4. I was on 6 Dets during my tour. The last det was Det36 Westpac.
I would like to hear from any of my old shipmates.

Pete cann, e-mail, 05.06.2016

Uh-34 USS Tanner. Went to truck island.Anyone on that Det. I was SAR crewmen until 1970.UH 34 best a/plane navy had.

Bill Nelson, e-mail, 27.06.2015

Was first assigned in 1970 to HC-5 at NAS Imperial Beach California as an Aviation Electrician working on the UH2 A,B,C and D type helicopter. The aircraft was then transformed from a SAR rescue and combat type to an anti-submarine type and the squadron moved to NAS North Island when Imperial Beach became an "outlying field". I also made two WESPAC cruises with HSL-31 on the USS Reasoner in LAMPS Mini-DET 9 and the USS Hepburn. Also wrote the "PQS" Personal Qualifications Standards for the electrical systems on the H2 as a FRAMP instructor with HSL-31. My last squadron was HSL-33 when I got out of the Navy in 1979. Have wondered why non of these squadrons even exist anymore and they don't have reunions.

lp [dee] deacosta, e-mail, 27.06.2015

looking for anyone from hc-4 squadron who was stationed in lakehurst from 1966-1968 to talk about old times

Richard, e-mail, 26.01.2015

great article. love the comments, thanks to all for your service. I have the privilege of designing the new upgrade SH-2G (P)
great to read the history. thank you

Eli Averett, e-mail, 20.01.2015

May 71 HC-4 Interim Lambs NAS Lakehurst.
Oct. 71 Aerospace Corporation SH2D Loading & Downloading Ordnance.
Dec. 71 USS Belknap DLG-26 Lamps Cruise HC4
March 72 USS Belknap DLG 26 Detachment one HC4
March 72 HLS30 NAS Lakehurst.
May 72 USS Wainwright DLG 28
Feb. 73 to July USS Bowen DE 1079 Cruise HSL30 Detachment 7
June 73 Blue Nose papers the Artic Circle
July 73 HSL30 NAS NORVA.
Aug. 73 HLS32 NAS NORVA.
Left Active duty around November 74

T. A. Green, e-mail, 01.01.2015

Reported to NAVSTA ADAK in June of '72 right out of flight school. Got a 100 hrs before they pulled our Seasprites into the LAMPS program and we transitioned into the A model 46's for SAR and utility. Remember the "shoestring" link on the rotor head preflight? Reenlisted one of my guys in the BOQ Division at 1000 feet orbiting the "Q" flying the H-2. Great first tour memories of a 21 year career.

Harry, e-mail, 27.10.2014

Crew chief on this plane
NAF Warminster 72-74 timeframe
Great little plane.
Worked in research & Development ASW
Miss those days.

KURT CAUDY, e-mail, 06.07.2014

I reported to NAS IMPERIAL BEACH HSL-31 FALL OF 1972 , worked ON D AND F models of the old H2 . As an A/E I spent a lot of time trouble shooting the FUEL QTY AND ASE SYSTEMS ON THE H 2S. The H-2 was good chopper ,but I prefer an H-46 WORKED ON THEM FOR 10 YEARS AT NAV AIR DEPOT N. I.

Robert Beach, e-mail, 21.05.2014

Request for all you former H-2 crew & maintainers. I am researching color schemes for an aftermarket decal sheet for the new Kitty Hawk 1/48 plastic model of the SH-2F (which has a 'Golf' doghouse, BTW that needs correcting to look right...) & need help with any pix you might like to share, especially DET artwork on the Sono cover. I was with HSL-34 86-89 timeframe but wasn't a shutterbug. Let me know if you'd like to help and many thanks.

Robert Beach, e-mail, 21.05.2014

The reason the star point is pointing "down" is because it is really pointing "forward". Hookie-Tooks w. HSL-34 'Greencheckers'.

Ed Anderson, e-mail, 01.03.2014

The star and bar located above the cockpit has the star pointing downward. Anyone know the reason for this?

AE -3 John Chaney, e-mail, 05.02.2014

Stationed at NAS Imperial Beach, Cal. With HSL -31 in the early 70s.Made a West -Pac on the Harold E. Holt with Lamps Set -2 in June -Dec of 71. Pilots were Lt.Dennis Christian, Lt.Madden, Ltjg Pete Murphy Nd Ltjg.Mike Skahan.If anyone knows these guys or any of the teat of that crew please contact me. Cell # is 765-265-4867. Would love to hear from any of those guys. Mr.Maddens name was Dave.

John Stoever, e-mail, 25.11.2012

I was an AW / SAR Rescue Swimmer with HSL-31 & HSL-33 1974 - 1978. I loved this bird and the men I worked with. It would be great to hear from any of my squadron mates.

Kirby Sisco, e-mail, 11.11.2012

I was stationed at NAS Sherman field Pensacola and was a search & rescue crew chief as a member of Pensacola sar det.We provided sar coverage for Sherman & all the outlying training fields,we also provided a detachment to USS Lexington CVT-16,I flew hundreds of hrs.from 71-74 in A,B & C model UH-2'S without any major failures or accidents.I was an ADJ-3 & the birds were pretty easy to work on and very reliable in my opinion & I loved flying in them,I even got to fly copilot on several test hops and actually fly the bird except for takeoff & landing,quite the thrill for a 19 to 21 year old kid like myself.Our squadron was called the Spartan Angels,if anyone from the outfit in that time period reads this please throw me a line " pardon the pun " they were all a great bunch of guys,officers and enlisted alike! If anyone knows where I can get a Spartan Angel patch please let me know. Thank you all for your service and have a safe Veterans Day!!!

michael moore, e-mail, 09.08.2012

I served in hsl-31 in 1978 for training then went to hsl-35 after that I went to vt-22 Texas bacck to hsl-33 in sandiego. I love the lamps helos; I worked in the airframe shop and went on many detachments they were the best ever. Best flying a/c I ever worked on. Shudder miss them.
Amh-2 moore. Retired

Walt (Wally) Speelman, e-mail, 02.06.2012

My first aircraft in 40 years of maintenance. Lots of good memories. HC-2 Det 66, CVA 66, 1965-1968.

Glenn Railey, e-mail, 30.04.2012

I was assigned to HC-4 at Lakehurst in 1971 as an AW. Was with the first group developing LAMPS tactics. Plank owner HSL-30 and HSL-32. Deployed on Belknap DLG-26), Wainwight (DLG-28), McCandless (DE 1084), and Standley (DLG-32). Moved with Squadron to Norfolk. Hope all are doing well!

Kent Butterfield, e-mail, 25.04.2012

My first assignment out of school was HC-5 Ream Field in 1968-69. I was in the AT shop with Ron Westermark, Don't remember names of any of the others. Took rescue crew training and gfotr my wings the day I left in October 69. Took flights in the H-2 A,B and C, the last H-19 a week before it crashed, one h3 flight and one H-34 flight. What a hoot those days were. Dropped a cargo net with concrete weights into the Tijuana River because of a hook failure. Was on a det to the USS Providence with LCDR Stokes or Stoker and Lt Nick Press.

Joe costain, e-mail, 05.02.2012

Checked in to HU-1 at Ream Field as a AMS1 in Oct. 1963 and they were just getting the H2. Was crew leader on (Det. Romeo) USS Kearsarge CVS-33 (it had hardly any parts we needed for the H2) April 64 and went to Westpac. Vietnam war started in Aug. We were in the Gulf of Tonkin in Aug. and one of our H2s flew a photo hop and while circling a Russian so called fishing trawler (spy ship) the helo lost tail rotor control, crashed in to water and crew was picked up by the trawler. The crew was returned to the Kearsarge by helo. That was the 1st NAVY helo lost in the Vietnam war. I am now 81 years and am USN Ret. (Chief) I have the helmet that was worn by a crewmember that day. His name is AMH3 Richard R. Hester. I have tried to find him for many years to return it, even hiring a private investigator, if you know of him or a family member please contact me. I also was on the USS Coral Sea in 1965 and USS Providence in 1966. Transferred to VR-21 in Oahu, Hawaii and in 1969 went to HC-4 at NAS Lakehurst, NJ to HSL-30 Serving on USS Springfield, USNS Chauvenet and USNS Harkness. The H2 was contrary at times but was a tuf old bird. I retired Sept.74 to St. Clairsville, Ohio/

Bob Schultz, e-mail, 10.01.2012

Checked into HC-1 (Ream Field) in March, 1967,in April was assigned to HC-5 as a member of the RH-3A (Minesweepers) detachment, became ADJ/Plane Captain/Aircrew for the Minesweepers and performed an occasional SAR mission. In October, 1968 checked into HC-2,(Lakehurst) where I became a Plane Captain/Crewman on UH-2A,Bs; assigned to the FDR (CVA 42) Det and made the Med cruise (Jan-July 1970). One rescue on a A-6 (VA-176), Jerry Graham was Swimmer and Lt Pete Madley, Co-Pilot. Story of the rescue can be found on the USS FDR website under Mishaps, Pics & Videos. Best time of my life, love Helos!

Barry Waluda, e-mail, 03.01.2012

Flew as a SAR rescue swimmer with HC-2 (Fleet Angels)in 1967-1968. Provided support for the USS Lexington and the USS Independence.

Walt Setzer, e-mail, 27.12.2011

I was an ADJ in HC-5 Power Plants 1969-70. As I recall, we had one or two A/Bs, and the rest Cs. In 1970 we got 2 HH-2Cs, complete with nose mounted mini gun. I guess they got nervous about flying around Imperial Beach with those guns, because they were removed. Those birds disappeared, and someone told me that they were used during the incursion into Cambodia.

I left HC-5 in 1971 and went to HS-8, so I got to continue with the T-58. I missed the ease of working on the H-2s because the nacelle opened and gave great access to the engine.

Bill Herinya, e-mail, 02.12.2011

I was a Plane Captain for the B-model while in HC-4 Lakehurst. 1967-1970. B model also had a beefed up landing gear from Dowty, compared to the A models Cleveland gear. Great aircraft for that time. Looking for original HC-4 Squadron patches, from that era. Anyone know where I can find these?

david hillberg, e-mail, 02.11.2011

I bought a hulk from north island It was one well built machine I wish I had a flyable one..I do have many new parts and components for one..the hulks gone but the dream of one remains.

John Manly, e-mail, 15.09.2011

Flew the UH-2C, and the UH-34, at NAS Meridian, then two tours at HSL-37 (Plankowner '75-'78, '81-'84). The Hookey-Two was fun to fly, pretty reliable, and it saved a lot of people while in Fleet service. I loved my time as an Easyrider. Great folks busting their chops to keep an underrated helo flying. It was sad to see it leave the Fleet, but it leaves behind a "Can-Do, and did", legacy.

Roger Armstrong, e-mail, 03.08.2011

I flew the UH-2A/B while attached to NAS Atsugi in 1967. Transitioned to HC-7 (68-69 and did several SAR cruises out of Subic Bay with HC-7 Det 109. Fun helicopter to fly.

Charles Waterford, e-mail, 05.05.2011

I went to A/C training at Ream Field in 1963. From there I went to NAS Atsugi Japan (HU-1) where I flew SAR in the UH-2A and the HUP-2. WO John Parks and a few of us, I can't recall all the names, established a Det at NAS Cubi Point with one UH-2A. It later became HC-7.

L.P.DeAcosta, e-mail, 01.04.2011

I served in HC-4 in lakehurst N.J.1966 till my discharge in june 1968.I was attached to det #36 in viet-nam.Lost power off the coast of vung tau,and made a safe auto rotate into the tonkin gulf.Pilot was lt.Carl S. Parks,would like to hear from anyone,with memory of this occurance,or that recoqnizes,my self went by DEE for obvious reasons,please get in touch.

Mark Moore, e-mail, 16.03.2011

Assigned to both the Mech shop and SAR school while attached to HSL-31. I accumulated some serious flight time as an aircrew instructor believe me! I look back and find myself lost in time? I made some life long friends while in that squadron. To name a few brother Mech's and crewman: AD2 Mike Reed, AT1 Paul Schwartz (deceased); EMC Wade Puckett, AD2 Bill Hunt, JR Rosenow, AMH2 Andy Marquise, AD3 Mike Greber, AD1 John Vallengua. Including many fine pilots and crews to say the least..100% accident free during my tour!!!! God bless you guys and gals that served. It's time to go "Now Now Now"!

Verne Giddings, e-mail, 21.02.2011

I was attached to HU-2/HC-2 at NAS Lakehurst from 1964 to 1967 flying the UH-2A aboard the Enterprise and America. I enjoyed flying this bird very much and nearly re-upped see what it was like to fly one with enough power!

Paul F. Whitten,Sr, e-mail, 29.12.2010

I was a member of the T&D team from Kaman that took the HU2k-1 THRU NAVY TESTING at Pax River in the early 60's. After Pax I joined the introduction team at Lakehurst,NJ. I worked with HU-2 as a factory rep until HU-4 received their aircraft and then I moved over to support them as they moved from many of the reciprocating type helo's to the new and exciting UH-2B. USS Albany was the 1st deployment and I was fortunate to support Lcdr Paul Kirchner, Lcdr John Trimble, Lt Bud Arnold and Lt Dan (forgot his last name). There were great maintenance guys in the det. Next came a long list of non-aviation deployments including the command ship of the 6th fleet home ported in Ville France the USS Springfield.A long line of superb aviators and maintenance folks come to mind headed by names like MCPO Sid Temple and MCPO Bill Hobson. I continue to support the H-2 helo around the world by manufacturing the tracking/balancing and vibration analysis electronic equipment (Dynamic Instruments, San Diego). The NHA is certainly the main stay of our helicopter memories.

Steve Shrawder, e-mail, 21.12.2010

I flew the Seasprite at HC-4 in Lakehurst. I reported to the permanent detachment in Vietnam 1970-71? We disestablished the detachment and brought the bird home in 1971?. I was fortunate to be one of a handful of pilots to help transition to HSL-30 and get the bird outfitted for LAMPS capability, including going to sea numerous times on the USS Belknap. One of the most difficult things I have ever done is land the Seasprite on the very small Belknap flight deck in sea states 4-5 at night (no moon, no horizon). That will make a certain part of your anatomy pucker. I loved the Seasprite!

James Veldhuis, e-mail, 17.11.2010

Hey if anyone was deployed with HC-1 Det. D (UH-2A) I would love to get in touch with you a friend of my dad's needs to find proof that he was with this detatchment and that he flew combat missions in Vietnam for medical reasons if anyone can help it'd be great

Jane Smith, e-mail, 28.09.2010

Looking for information about the pilot seats in the UH2-B during the 1967- 1969 period. Did they have any unusual features or armor plate?

schmidt, e-mail, 20.08.2010

nas lakehurst was hu2 then changed to hc2 in 1965 66

Daren Brown, e-mail, 29.07.2010

I was an AD over in HSL-37 with the SH-2F seasprite, before they went to the new SH-60B, i was a plane capt. and need to find a designated patch. Kaman had 'em made withthe big k in the center. Can anyone help locate??

Ian Ross, e-mail, 03.04.2010

I am a UK modeller speciality the US Navy. My favourite heli is the Seasprite. Only two models exist in 1/72 scale I by AIRFIX in UK., i by FUJIMI in Japan, the AIRFIX IS the best. Over 30 years I have built the UH-2A, UH-2B, UH-2C, HH-2C, HH-2D, YSH-2E, and four SH-2F. All by converting the Airfix kit. The early single engined UH-2A & UH-2B required the twin engines removed and a single engine made from MILLIPUT great fun. I am now dreaming of a SH-2G with T700 engines, where to get the engines? The more I learn about the Seasprite the more it appeals. Today I learned what the Fishpole was, a rescue hoist. I have modelled a 150 different models of US NAVY, COAST GUARD, and MARINES aircraft from 1950 to the present day all in 1/72 scale, even used to be in TAILHOOK not many limies in that. Love to hear from any enthusiastic modellers.

Kirk, e-mail, 31.03.2010

I was attached to HSL-31 (Arch Angels) from 90-92. Anybody out there please contact.

Tom Smith, e-mail, 01.03.2010

I was an ADJ and Rescue Crewman in HC-2 Lakehurst, NJ 66-69. I was on Det 11 (67) WestPac and Det 38 (69) Med. Flew in UH-2A,B & C models. A great airplane, but required a lot of maintenance.

Joe Fagundes, e-mail, 25.01.2010

I was one of the first fleet pilots and NATOPS Officer's in HU-1 (Later HC-1) helping write NATOPS Manual. Did a lot of work bringing "B" model to fleet with Kaman test Pilot Ray McMillan.What a great test pilot . Where is he??? Went on the USS Hancock and participated as HAC 3 rescues off Vietnam 1965.

George Arthun, e-mail, 13.12.2009

I flew both A @ B A/C when stationed at Ream field from 63 to 66. Early on we flew the A/C in the dead man curve to avoid sea spray. Vibration was suspected as a cause for fuel line failure so a change to a race track when flying plane guard was adopted. I built up about 1500 hours flying during two WESPAC tours on the USS Midway.

Mahmood, e-mail, 10.10.2009

Can any one tell that why Australian Gove cancelled the Seasprite SH 2G (A) contract wat were the technical, logestic or political reasons for this cancelletion

Dave Wiczek, e-mail, 18.07.2009

I was a crewman in HC-1 from 1967-71. I made two WestPac cruises and most of my flight time was in the UH-2C. I was in aircraft #149767 on 8-10-67 when it crashed in the Gulf of Tonkin. My understanding of this accident was that the rotar blades failed and one broke in flight. Is there anyway to find the official results of what happened and get a copy of the report?

nick, 29.06.2009

this is a weird heli but im surprised that it is as useful as it is

jack murphy, e-mail, 03.05.2009

I was stationed eith HC4 1966to1970 and also like to get a model of a UH-2B can anyone help? C

David DeVoe, e-mail, 24.04.2009

I was stationed at NAS Ream Field in the early 60's and was aircrew in the first of the UH2A's. I worked on them and flew in them. Compared to the HUP's and H34's they were incredible. Powerful, fast and reliable, they made the old recips obsolete overnight. My favorite mission was recovering target drones off St Nicholas Island. Then of course there was always carrier duty to balance it out.

Joe Skrzypek, e-mail, 15.04.2009

15 April 2009
Need a good picture of the UH-2A/B for a display in San Diego. Contact Phil Poisson at ASAP
Joe Skrzypek
World Famous HC-7 Helo Pilot

Bud Hill, e-mail, 15.03.2009

I recently picked up a framed ART PRINT of this aircraft, apparently put out by the Company as a promo. It has a small brass plate at the bottom of the frame inscribed "HU2K-1 KAMAN AIRCRAFT CORP."
It will be for sale at QUABOAG ANTIQUES SHOP in Palmer Ma, and perhaps at the BRIMFIELD ANTIQUES SHOW in May.
I also have a matching framed art print of the "KAMAN H-43B"

John Birch, e-mail, 02.11.2008

My father "John Birch" was in the navy 20 years. (I am john junior) He used to fly the HH-2c in viet nam on sar missions off navy destoyers. He was a combat swimmer air crew. He was in HC-7 and is active in their reunions. If anyone may be looking for info about rescue missions, etc involving this aircraft he can be reached at 901-873-2193. I am also looking for a MODEL of a HH-2 that I can get him for Christmas but am looking for the early single engine model. If you can help please email me at .

don danielson, e-mail, 11.09.2008

I flew the UH-2C with HC-1 Det 31 off of the Bonnie Dick in 68 and 69. It was a bit of a problematic aircraft in terms of maintenance and that caused us to transition to the SH-3G. I liked the way it flew, but it scared alot of the crews. It was just too complicated of a control system, what with the flaps on each blade and the automatic blade tracking system that wasn't very reliable.

sunil, e-mail, 04.08.2008

Iím a new recruitment in the helicopter industry. Can someone please give me a list of SAR helicopter equipments for offshore mission.

Steve Diamant, e-mail, 27.07.2008

How was the MK-46 attached to the Seasprite? Were lugs used such as on the drop tanks or were they attached with straps?

William Owens AD3, e-mail, 19.06.2008

I was in HSL-34 Det-2 beteew 78-81. Like to hear from the guys.

Jerry Place, e-mail, 09.03.2008

I was a crewman with HC-1,SAR aboard the Enterprise in nam.We used the UH-2A and Uh2B. Love the bird!!!

LeRoy Wolf, e-mail, 18.02.2008

I was with a SAR unit in Vietnam and we used a Sea Sprite. It flew off of a DLG(guided missle frigate. We rescued a crew of an F-4 in Oct. of 1967 about 5 miles inland in North Vietnam. I have been wondering if they made it through the war. The pilot's call sign was "Red Baron.

Lee Bennett, e-mail, 25.11.2007

I would love to have a source for a UH-2A/B, C or D Seasprite model. thanks.

Norm Urban, e-mail, 12.11.2007

I flew one of few UH-2Bs operated by the U.S. Marine Corps as the SAR bird at MCAS Cherry Point in 1967. It was fully IFR.

The UH-2B was a GREAT SAR helo. Turbine powered, retractable gear, dropable aux tanks, a main rotor with blades controlled by little ailerons which allowed blade tracking adjustments in flight, a built in loudspeaker, retractable hoist and even more unique, the "Fishpole".

The Fishpole was an electro/hydraulic pole with a fitting on the end. For a hoist extraction, the hoist cable was run through the fishpole eye. The fishpole then took the hoist hook into the pilot's field of vision, from where it was lowered to the ground or water. This allowed the pilot to position the hook exactly where he wanted it. No Forward, Back, Left, Right, Up, Down, Steady verbal direction from the Crew Chief was necessary. This was especially valuable in a hover over water, where the pilot has no visual cues to movement.

Jessie Bihm, e-mail, 24.10.2007

Thanks for your great work! Will there be any US variants? Also and update 3d cockpit?

Bill Keller, e-mail, 25.07.2007

I flew both UH-2 a and b aircraft. Was stationed at NAS Lakehurst NJ, Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 4. Your article says the B model was not IFR equipped. All the Bravo's I flew and all the B's in HC-4 were totally IFR capable. Some of the differences between the A & B were a much improved liquid spring on the B landing gear, improved fuel control unit on the T-58. As I recall the B versions had a Doppler option that the A did not. Nice write up on a great helicopter!

Do you have any comments concerning this aircraft ?

Name   E-mail


© Early Seasprite models were rebuilt in Connecticut to become advanced SH-2Fs and SH-2Gs.

© The Seasprite helicopter known as HU2K- 1 first flew on 2 July 1959.

© Egypt bought the SH-2F, and the SH-2G has been selected by the Australian navy.

© Kaman is flying an SH-2F with the company's Magic Lantern anti-ship mine detector housed in a pod.

© The first flight of the new SH-2G took place on 28 December 1989.

© Turkey received 14 surplus SH-2Fs under an agreement proposed in 1994.

All the World's Rotorcraft

Virtual Aircraft Museum