Arrived in Pensacola (NAS Ellington) in 1967 from an A school in Memphis (Millington-Arlington). When I arrived at Ellington the Navy was phasing out the H-19s (S55s) and ultimately the H-13s (Bell 47s). The H-34s were the primary advanced helicopter trainers for Naval aviators. Got to know the H-34 very well. We eventually phased out the H-34s for the TH-1Ls. The TH-13s were replaced with TH-57s (Bell 206 Jet Ranges). Deployed after that to Vietnam to support the Marines transitioning out of the H-34s. Some ended up with foreign military units and the CIA's Air America. Came back for another deployment to work with the River Rates (HAL-3) when they transitioned out of the old army UH-1s they had to the Navy's first batch of new L models and M models with the bigger -13 engines and 540 rotor systems. Interesting times.
Jerry Hicks, e-mail, 31.10.2023 17:16
I'm looking for a 3-view for the T conversion. Can anybody help?
Jerry Hicks, e-mail, 31.10.2023 17:15
I'm working on a 1/6th scale rc version of the T. Would you kn ow where I can get a 3-view of this version? I know Sikorsky was the original builder of the conversion, then it was sold as a kit, then it went to various vendors. Thanks!
Lukasz B Losiewicz, e-mail, 06.09.2022 19:59
hello, my name is Luke, I'm working for Piasecki Aircraft Corp, in 1980's PiAC had 8 of SH34J's for Helistat Project, after fatal crash project was cancelled. At this point I'm trying to make one H34 out of all of them. I got many parts but I'm short for struts and wheels for this helicopter. Any idea where should I "go", who should I contact? Thank you all.
Josepj ("Joe") R Gray, e-mail, 22.07.2021 05:42
The referenced two (2) H-34 helicopters belonged to USMC HMM-264 home stationed out of MAS Jacksonville, NC and was on a +/- three month Training mission /cruise in the Caribbean (Carb Cruise). The two A/C took off from the Isle of Viagus, PR on a training mission inbound to NAS Roosevelt Roads. As I remember, the wingman over ran the lead A/C on landing. Accident happened appx June - Aug (via my Log Book) 1966 during the late afternoon time frame. Regards "Joe" Joseph R Gray (USMC) Clarksdale, MS 38614 662-645-9042
Inga, e-mail, 12.05.2021 09:43
Like America, France had three air arms. In the regular French military, France had the French Air Force (Armee de L’air), the French Navy’s air arm (Aeronavale), and the Aviation Legere de l’Armee de Terre, (ALAT), which was the light air arm of the Army. All three used helicopters, beginning with Korean War era Bell (H-) and Sikorsky H-19
Isabella, e-mail, 21.02.2021 19:22
With its distinctive hump, the Sikorsky H-34 is one of the most recognizable helicopters in history. Historically, it was a transition helicopter. The H-34 and the Piasecki H-21 were the last major piston-engine military helicopters before turbine engines dominated helicopter design. These two might have passed into history with little notice, but wars in Algeria and Southeast Asia brought them to prominence. Both pioneered troop assault, gunship roles, cargo hauling, and other operations that have defined the war roles of helicopters ever since. In Algeria, the French used both helicopters heavily. In Southeast Asia, the H-21 Shawnee was the Army’s initial big bird, while the Marines used the UH-34D, which they called the Seahorse. The Army replaced its H- in Vietnam quickly, using UH-1 Hueys for most of the Shawnee’s tasks. Marine Seahorses, in contrast, served until fairly late in the war, when the bigger and faster H-46 Sea Knight gradually replaced them.
Phil B, e-mail, 14.03.2017 23:33
H&HS Iwakuni,Japan Aug66 to Aug68. We used the H-34 for SAR. We had to keep the ground heat to the engine going during flight hours in order to make a quick take off. As avionics crew member, I had to replace the very heavy UHF radio (ARC-27) about 50 lbs. Our Station Squadron at one time consisted of the H-34, C-117, C-45 and two Navy HU-16s. So, all these round engines consisted of R-985s and three different versions of the R-1820. During a tour at SOMS-31 in Beaufort, S.C. I was on a test hop in the SAR H-34. As we were returning along the Savannah River, the controls had a malfunction and we landed in the River. Everyone walked out. That was my last 34 flight.
Joe Valle, e-mail, 07.09.2016 00:40
I too was in NAS Roosevelt roads ,1968-1970. Started in ground crew & ended up crew chief /plain caption . Got my AC WINGS down there in PR. Flew topside & down below. Great job only flying with that one helo ,UH34J , 1438998 tail #, I'll never forget
John, e-mail, 19.06.2016 17:29
I was appointed the first Project Officer for the retrograde movement of H-34s from Europe to CONUS beginning in the fall of 1967. Unit crew chiefs flew with the helicopters to one of three locations; the 48th at Goppergan (Stuttgart), the 245th at Finthen(Mainz) or the 661st at Schleisheim(Munich). The unit pilots went back to their units either by another unit helicopter or by ground. The crew chiefs stayed with one of the fourth echelon aircraft repair companies TDY as needed. At least long enough to pull the engine and fan. Sometimes as long as a week. After the tech inspection and necessary maintenance we would notify the owning unit to send pilos to fly the helicopter to Bremerhaven. They came back either by Beaver or the Germany railway system. We had great and highly experienced E-6s and E-7s. Excellent tech inspectors and motivated hanger mechanics. We'd fly to various cities over the week-end, always asking if anyone wanted to come along.
Robert Decoteaux, e-mail, 08.04.2015 05:08
From Feb 1060 to July 1963 I was with HS-2 Started our on the line division working on HSS-1 than transferred to the AT shop worked on HSS-1 and HSS-2 . Made 2 West Pac Cruises. On the USS Hornet CVS-12.. My best friends were : Otto Newton , Sherman Johnson , and Edward Kozlow from the AT Shop.. And Willie Mc Neil from the Line Div..
Reed Carr, e-mail, 21.01.2015 04:53
Flew the HSS-1 in HS-4 from Oct 1957 to 1959, when we got the HSS-1N which supposedly could operate at night over water, dipping sonar, etc. Later flew it for a short time at NAS Alameda before they phased it out in favor of the H-3. We had our all expenses paid luxury cruise to the Far East aboard the USS Princeton in 1958, where we spent much of the time cruising between formosa (Taiwan) and the China mainland, ensuring the Chicoms didn't invade the island. Arch West and I landed aboard the Princeton and celebrated the 11,000th landing on her.
Fury,William, e-mail, 23.10.2014 03:28
I see a lot of = these in the E mail address's ,the one in mine don't belong there,maybe that's the reason No one gets a E mail from anyone !VO7
Gordon, e-mail, 03.10.2014 04:59
Don Mindemann...you posted a question pertaining a mid-air collission of 34's at Roosevelt Roads, PR in 1966. I was the crew chief on one of those 34's. If you somehow get this reponse, please contact me! I have pictures immediately after the crash. Found your question by chance looking for info about the crash myself. It was HMM 264 operating off of the USS Okinawa during a Carib cruise.
Javier Herrera, e-mail, 09.06.2013 12:44
could you tell me please.. how long Is the ignition delay time of the engines and ? where it is written? how many pounds fuel consumption as engine ignition? thank you
Elder Ambassador, e-mail, 14.08.2012 00:18
I was in the 1st Pioneer Bn at Pendleton when I first flew as a passenger on the HUS-1. I know it had windows, but most of us looked out on the passing countryside through the empty rivet holes in the fuselage. Loved the experience of being "air mobile" instead of moving by "shanks mare" as we usually did.
Don Mindemann, e-mail, 22.06.2012 04:07
I am in hopes that one of the readers may help me...I was stationed in Roosevelt Roads, P.R, from 1966 to early 1968. Sometime, during that period, two helos were approaching the intersection of the main runway, when they collided, Both helos hit the ground hard, and both were very badly damaged, though I do not know if anyone was seriously hurt, as they were taxing,,Any information would help, perticularly dates, type, units envolved. I beleave they were either Marine helos, or transporting Marines. Again, any information, or possible leads would be of great help. I do thank you,,,,,
JackG, e-mail, 02.09.2011 21:42
We used the CH-34's for skydiving every weekend with the 10th SFG Trojan Sport Parachute Club, Bad Tolz, Germany. 1966-67. Lots of T/O's not much trouble. Only a couple of 'early exits' due to oil leaks. Many memories.
Roger D. Huffaker, e-mail, 02.08.2011 08:52
In 1963 while assigned to D Troop 2/9th Cav in Munich, Germany I checked out in the Sikorsky CH-34. We had five of them assigned to our unit. This was the 3rd Army helicopter I was checked out in - and the first one that I had flown that really felt like it had a lot of power. I flew it about 85 hours before we turned them in in exchange for brand new Bell UH-1B models.
John S. Meyer, e-mail, 05.03.2011 22:22
Thank you for posting info on the H-34. In Vietnam, S. Vietnam pilots of the 219 Special Operations Squadron flew secret missions into Laos, Cambodia and N. Vietnam carrying Green Beret teams of US and indigenous personnel. They flew during the entire eight-year secret war. Those who survived flew three more years. We preferred the H-34 because it could take more hits than a Huey and our team could spread out in the windows to defend the aircraft during exfil. I could go on for hours about the courage and the extreme sacrifices of the brave men of the 219th who saved many a Green Beret's bacon. Their code name was Kingbees. Thank you for this site.
John S. Meyer Oceanside, CA 92057
Jim Crawford, e-mail, 28.02.2011 23:23
I was the last active duty Army pilot to get a CH-34 transition in 1970 at the Atlanta Army Depot ( Now Ft Gillum ) My duties were test pilot work and organizing flights from Charleston Army Depot where we were receiving the 34's from Germany as they were being replace there with UH-1's from Vietnam as it was winding down. We were processing them to the Army National Guard to replace their UH-19's. I see from a post in 2006 talking about oil consumption. I was on a 45 minute test flight one time and used 10 gal of oil. No smoke no leaks-it was just gone!
Chrissy Smith, e-mail, 30.11.2010 18:01
Does Anybody have details of the Tail rotor tip speed, TR radius, TR blade chord and transmission rating limit in the hover of any variant of the S58 please?
William Fury, e-mail, 06.11.2010 05:47
I was a plane Capt(AD3) on the HSS-1 In HS-4 We Were the First Squadron to Deploy with 16 Helos ,I Know MB Smith ,He also was a Plane Capt at this time. We Boarded the USS Boxer CVS21 .We Lanched and Recovered them, The Yellow Shirts only Moved Us . By the Way The HISS had a 28 volt System . Blade Tracking was done with a Pole carring a Flag between outriggers ,the Blades were marked Red,Yellow, Blue, And Black .They were Crayoned on the Tips with those Colors .You Stood just below those Tips ,rotating at Takeoff RPMs ,Twisted the Flag ,carefully into those tips feeling 4 Hits ,retreated. All 4 colors had to appear on the Flag,. If they (Marks) Didnt Hide under your Thumb ,you adjusted the Pitch Links until they did1 Then Fly and set the MIM rotor (Collective Pitch Stops) for overspeeding the tip speed in Auto Rotation It was a Fun A/C to Fly .It took us about 30 minutes to Manual Fold or unfold them up ,Air Boss had a Baby !! Got it down to 3 1/2 minutes ,ready to move or Launch .We in HS-4 Wrote the Book on Them for Ship Board Duty We had them before they installed the Throttle Governors . Did the 6 month Cruise ,HS-8 was looking for P/C s for their Deployment on the USSPrinceton CVS37 I volunteered, Off I went (AD2), All wooden Decks The 1820-84 had 2 Modifications from the 1820-82 on the S2Fs. They were ,There was NO Prop Reduction Gear in the Nose Case ,All reduction of Engine Speed was done in the Main transmission ,the Second was the Front Case oil Sump . Engine was pointed at about 2 O clock Position 15 degrees I Believe . The Clutch Also Had a Free Wheeling unit Lubed by UGL 90 Oil The Head had 4 Hyd Dampners ,Blades were Single Spars ,with Pockets attached to the Rear The Transmission Temp had to be Checked closely If the Rotors are not engaged (Trans Cooler would only Turn with the Tail Rotor shaft Turning) Tail wheel locking Pin would Shear if Rotors were over Torqed The Originals HSS-1s Had the Exhaust Collector outlet on the bottom Port Side, The Later Modles Had the Port Side ,3 O Clock with Noise Supressors Also the landing Gear Configuration was Changed We had a 35 Gallon Aux Tank in the Cabin in front of the Fan Compartment door , Parackotone was Painted on the Bottom to prevent corrosion! The Shin and all the Flight Control Bell Cranks were Mad of Magnisium Strong, but Highly Corrosive. They Had a Sound of their Own The Worst Sound They Made Flying Was ,SILENCE
Eric Boyce, e-mail, 15.10.2010 02:39
I worked on and flew S-58s and 58Ts for almost twenty years. There is no other helicopter that could do lift work in the 4000-5000 lb range as economically and as reliably as an S-58. In Alaska I accidentally lifted over 6000 lb (it was a very cold day, -10F.) I didn't have an onboard scale at the time and we were longlining caterpillar tracks up to a gold mine. It was the last load of the day and for some reason it seemed like a very heavy load as I took off.I fell out of the sky as I went to set the load for the mechanics. The customer counted the treads and told me the load was almost 6200 lbs! The 58T would do that easily but we never deliberately lifted over 5000. Out of 31 makes and models of helicopters, I like the 58 the best. A Bell 205 comes close but the 58 would fly circles around it... with a round motor.
Ron Phipps, e-mail, 09.10.2010 17:25
Was in HMM-262 from 1960 thru 1963 and was a crew chief on the Hus-1 (H-34)and had over 1000 hrs of flight time. Worked with the astronauts on the Project Mercury space program. This aircraft was very dependable and very low maintenance during the time I was in. Enjoyed the cross country trips we would take from New River, NC back to Ohio. I believe the pilots really enjoyed flying the aircraft,as much as I enjoyed crewing it.
Bob Godman, e-mail, 27.09.2010 17:04
I was in the Army,90th support attached to the 36th trans company from 1959 to Mar.1962 in Hanau Germany, Fliegerhorst field. I really enjoyed working on these ships, we did a lot of heavy maintenance on them. Anybody else who served there?
Jack covington, e-mail, 01.09.2010 18:26
I was stationed at Roosevelt Roads 67-69 with Station Operations. We had numerous aircraft 2 C-54's, 2 HU-16's, and 3 UH-34J's which I was a crewman on. Loved the old birds, but they required a lot of maintaince to keep them flying. Don't remember much about the oil useage, but still remember all the grease needed for the main and tail rotor after every flight. I think one tail number was 671, don't remember the others. Flew many a trip to Veiques.....
gary reece, e-mail, 12.05.2010 21:36
It is may 12, 2010 and i am at sanford orlando working on rhe flightline, iamlooking at a ch34 which just got new blades and is doing the balance run, we get them in here for maintenance a few times a year, so far this year had 6 in, they are still flying strong.
Frank Baity, e-mail, 14.02.2010 17:27
I worked for Air America several years and involved in the S-58T program from the beginning. This machine was incredibly powerful and was flat rated as I recall to 1900shp because of rotor system and transmission limitations.Although these machines would shake like crazy, they would work at high altitude and had lots of range using the 150 gal drop tank.
Our S-58Ts were UH-34Ds that we converted using Air America facilities and personnel.I was always proud of our accomplishments. Our program wasn't controlled by the FAA so we blazed a lot trails for the follow on conversions in the states and elsewhere.
Herb Greathouse, e-mail, 26.01.2010 03:51
I was stationed at Aviano AFB, Italy, 1959/61. At the time us Air Force maintenance guys work the normal 5 day week, while the Army was still on the 6 day week. I got my time with the H-34s being on week-end stand-by. On satrudays the Army guys from Verona and Vicenza would fly up to Aviano AFB, on cross country flight training and just happen to have compass problems, the pilots were generally Army WOs, easy going guy, because us Air Force guy were called in to work of the chopper they would take us up for a check-out ride. Me being the instrumet guy, I got to ride up in the co-pilot's seat. After doing an air swing calibration on the compass system I was given a little hands on flight training by a couple of pilots. I've always had fun working with the other services on their aircraft. I'd take a ride in anything that would fly.
TODD CARTER, e-mail, 23.01.2010 05:57
IN 1977 MY DAD AND I SAW A HELICOPTER CARRYING WINNEBEGO BADING ,FULLY CONVERTED R V TYPE,,, THAT LOOKED LIKE A S-58.........IS THAT WHAT WE SAW AND WHERE DID THEY GO? FROM TODD C IN OKLAHOMA CITY
Patrick Grubbs, e-mail, 17.01.2010 03:57
Iwas 19 and air evaced out of graphenveir Germany after having a heart attack in 1960, by this style helicopter. Have often wondered how the drive shaft was placed and how it worked Thank god it worked the da I was evac,ed Patrick Grubbss. 68 and still going.
BILL BRAGG, e-mail, 30.10.2009 17:58
AM INTERESTED IN FINDING MODELS OF THE H-34 I KNOW SOMEWHERE IN THIS WORLD THERE IS ONE BUT AS OF YET TO FIND ONE.. USMC 64-65-66 VIETNAM CREW CHIEF YP-13
Charles Horn, e-mail, 17.08.2009 00:24
I was a crewman for a brief time (in 1971) when the NG got a few of them during the VN War. We were a Medevac Company and flew them at annual training for real and training medevacs and ceremonial flyovers. As several have said, it did use oil. By the time we got them they were well-used and orders were not to take off without 2 gallons of oil and a toolbox under the crewchief's seat. We flew with a 4-man crew, adding a medic, and had our aircraft outfitted with stretchers. During pilot quals we did all of the various things - Autorotations, running take-offs & landings, power take-offs, etc and went through a lot of oil. Due to the summer heat in the south EMs waited in line to "fly the stretchers" to cool off while the pilots qualified. A good time to be young and foolish, and unaware of danger. We had some intresting "missions" - flying the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, making seafood runs for the mess hall and various others.They were very reliable, none ever crashed during out time with them but most of our pilots were the best -instructors from Ft. Rucker, so I always felt comfortable unless one came to the flightline hungover. Recently went to Pensacola and Ft. Rucker Museums to see two on diplay and got chewed out by a Marine tour guide who informed me this aircraft was never an H-34, it was always an HUS, so I let him think that. I'm looking for memorabilia of the "34" - tee shirts, replicas, etc. Anyone know where they might be?
PATRICK GILFILLEN, e-mail, 17.06.2009 09:20
I WAS STATIONED ELLISON FIELD 1964TO1966,HAD H-13'S 30 OR 35 OF THEM.HAD ABOUT 150 H34'S.BASICALLY A GOOD A/C DID LEAK A LITTLE OIL BUT KEPT AFTER THEM.FLEW WITH CAPT.CHARLES FISHER TO BOSEMAN MONTANA AND BACK NO PROMBLEMS.WE FLEW THE HICK OUT OF THEM WHEN NAM STARTED.HAD A LOT OF GOOD MARINE PILOTS.HAD STUDENTS UP 24/7 FLEW THEM 34'S TILL THEY QUIT.PAT AE3/AC
Jock Williams Yogi 13, e-mail, 23.04.2009 15:13
We had some S58s in Cold Lake when I was a student on the CF104 -they were base rescue helicopters, and Al Seitz, one of the pilots thought it might be fun to try and teach a fixed winger to fly one. I volunteered (I will fly anything) and really found it a handful. As I remember there was literally NO "feel" to the cyclic (stick) -it just flopped around -and while helos require miniscule movements, I was used to gross ones. It was a disaster! Years later I learned to fly the OH58 without problems -but then -any turbine helicopter is WAY easier than the old piston models that required throttle manipulation. I have nothing but respect for guys who flew this vinatge of helo. Last week I saw an S58T on the ramp at Riverside CA -and was reminded of this set of adventures. Wonderful old bird -and still flying!
Jock Williams Yogi 13
Vern, e-mail, 13.02.2009 23:47
After serving a tour in Vietnam we brought back some of our CH-34s and delivered them to reserve squadrons. We even took one to the Smithsonian where it still sits today albeit in the cellar somewhere.
P.Y.ROBERT, e-mail, 10.07.2008 14:53
IS THERE A LIST ON THE WEB OF SURVEVING CH-34? or somebody knows where I can find some of them in France and/or in USA MANY THANKS Py R
Michael B. Smith, 29.06.2008 21:07
Was With HS-4 in 1955 when we got the HSS-1 and they were a big change from the ho4s that we had. Great Aircraft! Was with the Squadren till 1958 Mike. (email@example.com)
Clarence Puckett, e-mail, 26.06.2008 20:36
Our Squadron HS-3, then based at Weeksville, NC was the first Navy Anti-Submarine squadron to receive the HSS-1 Sea Bat helicopter in 1955. We had AQS4 Airborne Sonar and I flew as a Sonar operator though my rate was Aviation Ordnance. I had many hours in this aircraft and before that in the HO4S. We lost one in an accident aboard CVS 36 Antietam due to engine failure during the Suez Canal Chrises in the fall of 1956. The pilot and sonar operator were killed and the co-pilot badly burned. We lost another from a hover of 10ft over the water with much the same problem but all four crew members were picked up and survived. I never did hear what the problem was with the Wright R-1820 engine. Do any of you know? Thanks.
englishpilot, e-mail, 25.04.2008 07:55
I have a set of T/R blades from a 58 in SE Asia - where can I find out more history on this item - Data plate: MOD: RS121
Part No. 1616-30100-45
Serial No. 58HV 31179 - 31282
George Coleman, e-mail, 06.04.2008 14:41
I was a crewman in UH-34's at NAF Sigonella in 71-72. limited time in UH-2's. Looking for pictures of those aircraft, numbers 143950 and 145683 if possible
Donald Bailey, e-mail, 04.04.2008 20:45
I am the Donald Bailey who's comments are included above. I recently came across some photos of our HS-34G from Sigonella. I will be glad to E-mail them to you for inclusion in you web page. Please give me an address. The photos are legit and will not contain any viruses.
Don Bailey, 5244108
XAVIER, e-mail, 18.02.2008 02:06
CAN ANY BODY HELPME IDENTYFING A CH-34A PARKED IN PUERTO RICO. IT USED TO BELONG TO THE ELECTRIC COMPANY (AEE) IN PR. IS THERE A LIST ON THE WEB OF SURVEVING CH-34? MANY THANKS
Richard, e-mail, 17.11.2007 12:22
Techincal information as I remember: Our H34 was powered by an 1820-84c radial air cooled engine. Attached to the engine which was installed backwards in the aircraft was a giant cooling fan. Attached to that was a hyrdo-mechanical clutch assembly. A shaft continued upward to the main tranmission. When the engine truned 11.293 times, the rotor blades turned once. This was the primary function of the main gear box, to reduce the speed of the main rotors. Attached to the gearbox was the rotor head which consisted of a stationary star and a rotating star. These star assemblies transmitted blade change angles as input by the pilot. Three hydraulic actuators moved the star assemblies. The main rotor had droop stops as well as anti-flap stops. The droop stops prevented the blades from drooping down during shut down and hitting the tail assembly. The anti-flap stops prevented upward movement of the blades when stationery. These stops were actuated by centrifugal force as the rotor head rotated. As crewman we had to ensure that all these stops were out during engaging the rotors and in when dis-engaging the rotors. Out of the rear of the main transmission was another shaft which led to the tail rotor. It also had a disk brake for the rotor head with an efficiency of stopping the rotor heads in 20 seconds from a hovering RPM, (which is not that fast). Prior to the tail rotor shaft making its way out of the transmission compartment there was a belt driven oil cooler for the tranmission oil system. The shafts finally enter an intermediate gear box which changes the angle of drive upward toward the tail rotor. Changes in the tail rotor blades pitch was done by cables attached to the pilot's rudder pedals. Our model did not have a generator mounted on the engine, (as the SH-34's did), and ours was mounted on the main transmission. To engage the rotors, after the engine has warmed up, the pilot turned on a hyrdaulic pump which forced hyrdaulic fluid into the hydro-mechanical clutch assembly. This fluid caused the rotor disk in the assembly to start to turn. Once a sufficient rotor RPM was reached, the pilot let off the throttle to idle and then brought it back up to speed. This now allowed centrifical force to engage the mechanical stops in the hyrdo-mechanical clutch. It was always necessary to shut off the hydraulic pump after mechanically engaging the rotors as it would make auto rotation impossible while the pump is running. Pilot's controls consisted of a collective stick with a motorcycle type throttle at the end. Only the pilots stick had a starter button on it. The cyclic stick is what controlled the main rotor blade pitch to give the helo a direction of flight. The tail rotors were controlled by the rudder pedals. Keep in mind the physics of, "for every action there is an equal and opposite re-action", thusly the pilot had to use the rudder pedals to keep the main rotors from going one direction and the helo in oppos ...
Richard, e-mail, 06.11.2007 11:24
We had 2 UH34's in VC-8, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico and our primary mission was to recover target drones dropped by our DP2E's. These single jet engine drones were radio controlled and towed a target for pilot to practice gunnery. When the flight was over a giant parachute would open and it would descend into the ocean. When it finally hits the ocean, a 'wet switch' activates a small explosive in the parachute shroud and it is allowed to drop free of the drone, (most of the time). It was strictly a volunteer effort on our part to jump in and free it. (The Ryan Company donated a case of beer for every time we did it). 2 crewmen in the cabin, 1 for communication with the pilot while the other leaned out the door with a giant hook that was attached to the cargo sling of the helo. At times our wheels were in the water, so we had to be fast. Picking up one of those drones from the ocean was no strain on the H34 and as soon as the drone was out of the water and spun around facing into the wind, we were on our way home where we lowered the drone to some old tires. A crane was standing by to pick the drone up for a fresh water wash. As both a mechanic and aircrewman in the helo, we made sure everything was taken care of. We did not have any oil leaks, although the R-1820 burned about a gallon of oil during the flight. We only had one pilot and a crewman usually rode in the co-pilot's seat. There were times that the pilot would actually let us fly the helo on it's return trip. From Puerto Rico I moved to Pensacola Florida where we had H34's for SAR and once again I was a mechanic and crewman on the good old H34. It was a dependable aircraft which required very little maintenance other than a daily grease job on the rotor head. One of the bureau number was 145721 of one of our H34's in Puerto Rico.
Don Bailey, e-mail, 11.09.2007 22:17
I was an aircraft electrician on the (SH-34G) HSS-1 in HS-1 at NAS Key West from 1958 to 1961. After that I had the assignment of my life as the Plane Captain/SAR crewman at NAF Sigonella Sicily. Our first bird was 138464. We were told that we were getting a new Aircraft. It landed and to our surprise it was 138467. I also installed the first 'On Board'APU on the SH-34G. It was a Great aircraft and very reliable. Don Bailey 524-41-08 AE-2/P-1/AC. Funny how we can remember all of those old numbers.
Jerry, e-mail, 18.08.2007 22:30
I've got some photos of an old helo. Would you or your viewers be able to tell me more info on it? I think it's a Sikorsky S-58.
Michael Krivensky, e-mail, 15.06.2007 04:37
If anyone has any pictures of the original CH-34 Executive Flight crew with LTC Howell please send it to me.
Phil, e-mail, 11.05.2007 03:20
Lots of good info here, but lacking in technical detail. It would be interesting and informative to see a drivetrain layout with a description. Same could be said for flight controls, landin gear, and rotor system.
Thor, e-mail, 29.04.2007 04:22
There is one here in Barra, Rio de Janeiro. I saw the Sea Horse but I didn't knew anything about it. It was bigger than I thought. Excelent and complete info about this helicopter. I only had seen in movies. Thank you, Thor
etienne, e-mail, 24.03.2007 23:01
Is it possible to know when it's last year in service, both for the Wessex and the sikorsky? Thankyou
Jay, e-mail, 05.12.2006 07:56
The UH-34 was a good aircraft for its time. The R-1820 engine, though powerful for getting out of impossible landing zones, not only burned oil, it leaked it too. The best I heard was a half gallon of oil an hour. The worse was 2 gallons per hour. Now a days, the Environmental Protection Agency would require an impact statement for every landing this aircraft would make if it were still flying. The aircraft had landing gear that was either called a Dog Leg or a Vee Leg, depending on when it was produced. It's easy to see the difference by looking. It had a 24 volt system, but this was boosted at startup by a small gasoline engine (lawn mower type in the cabin) that turned a small generator. If the batt was good, the generator wasn't really needed. The belly of the aircraft was a large series of rubber fuel cells, bolted together thru strutural walls. Fuel would flow easily thru this series of fuel cells, but if one of them began to leak, it was usually a bitch to find the source. This engine burned 115/145 Ava gas. Powerful, purple stuff. After startup, the last thing done was to give the engine a final glance. Then close the clamshell doors and go flying. It was a good idea to do as once I saw avagas pouring down over a RUNNING engine. A fuel line leak in the engine section is very bad. Very bad indeed. The need for changing a carburator on one of these engines caused a whole new section of the dictonary to be born. Words were used that had yet been defined, but you knew they were very bad words. Cuss them and hate them if you want, but this was one aircraft that almost always got you home.