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Early helos of the U.S. Army

2 January 2012

Early helos of the U.S. Army

The U.S. Army Aviation Museum* in Alabama is a world class museum. There is a post about my visit as well as several on various exhibits there — pasting the name into the search window and selecting ENTER will bring up the entire selection. The building is spacious and primarily consists of a greater area and a smaller area with both separated by a block of rooms. There is an upper balcony section spanning the length of the building. Two halls connect the areas and these photos are from one of those halls — it has no name but could easily be called Sikorsky Early Army Helos or something like that since four of the firm’s designs mark the U.S. Army’s path from first service helicopter to when helicopters first became truly significant,

The Sikorsky R-4B Hoverfly was the first mass production helicopter design, serving in the armed forces of the USA as well as Great Britain. The first combat rescue was accomplished in 1944 with this type — photo by Joseph May

The Sikorsky R-5D Dragonfly evolved from the R-4 carrying the crew in tandem in a much bigger and more powerful airframe — photo by Joseph May

The Sikorsky R-6 Hoverfly II was also a WW II design and also as an improvement over the R-4, like the R-5, with better streamlining and longer tail rotor boom. It flew 20 mph (32kph) faster than the R-4 though both used the same engine — photo by Joseph May

The Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly is a later version of the R-5 (and is designated with the new system in use today where helicopters have an "H" instead of "R") and is in the livery for which it is most famed, as a rescue craft — photo by Joseph May

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