Back Sikorsky S-61F / NH-3

Sikorsky S-61F / NH-3

Since 21 May 1965 Sikorsky has been testing the S-61F compound helicopter, an SH-3A with a new, streamlined fuselage, fully retractable undercarriage, swivelling tail rotor and 9.75m span wings supporting two 1350kg Pratt & Whitney J60 podded jet engines. This aircraft has already reached a level speed of 390km/h.

K.Munson "Helicopters And Other Rotorcraft Since 1907", 1968

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Officially listed as an HSS-2, the U.S. Navy's BuNo. 148033 was actually a Sikorsky S-61F compound research helicopter sponsored by the Army and Navy. The aircraft had two pod-mounted Pratt 8 Whitney J60-P-2 turbojets to complement the two General Electric T58-GE-8B turboshafts, a 9.75m wingspan, and the five-bladed rotor shown here was later replaced by a six-bladed rotor. First flight as a compound helicopter was on 21 May 1965. Engine ratings were 1315kg each for the J60s and 1,200 shp each for the T58s.

Norman Polmar, Floyd D. Kennedy, Jr. "Military Helicopters", 1985

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Cliff Massey,
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While working at Pratt and Whitney Flight Test at Rentshler Field I was lucky enough to witness a demonstration flight of the S61 F for then Secretary of State Robert McNamara . The aircraft flew like nothing I had seen before or since. The helicopter made a dash across across the airfield at A very low level and rotated like fixed wing into near vertical flight then rolled level and flew back to Sikorsky. The whole show lasted less than a minute from gear up. We talked about what we had seen for quite some time after.
Cliff Massey

Carla Bollinger, e-mail,
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Are you the Sam Grober featured as one of the "Three Amigos" in Dennis McCarthy's article? I would like to talk with you about the rocket engine history at the SSFL.
818.307.6418 - day time.

Sam Grober, e-mail,
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I was privileged to fly in that aircraft as a structural flight test engineer. The day I flew in it ,we obtained 208kts,indicated, with the main rotor at low pitch, with almost zero MR thrust, with both j60's at MC HP.

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