39° 59′ 32″ N / 75° 34′ 46″ W
The Paisecki CH-21 Shawnee, with the Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw, led the way in U.S. Army Aviation to modern helicopter tactics regarding envelopment from above as well as gunships. The Shawnee was the latest in tandem twin rotor design by Piasecki which — would be absorbed by Boeing into Boeing Vertol – the evolution leading to the CH-43 Sea Knight and CH-47 Chinook.
The “Flying Banana” was powered by a single radial recprocating Wright R-1820 engine of 1425 hp, located aft of the main landing gear. Designed for arctic environments Shawnees suffered in the humid heat of Vietnam but could be relied upon to lift 20 troops or sling cargo until Hueys and Chinooks arrived in theater.
This helicopter is displayed on the grounds of the American Helicopter Museum and the next post completes this walkaround :)
Armed Forces History Museum revisit
Helicopters first saw military service during World War II and this Sikorsky R-6 Hoverfly II could have been one of them. The American Helicopter Museum is again showing its ambition in its airframe-up restoration of an R-6 — one which had been a former swamp resident.
The first Hoverfly II accomplished its inaugural flight in October 1943 with the type entering service with the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1045. Several also flew for the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.
The pilot and observer/passenger could travel at up to 100 mph as high as 10,000 feet with the three rotor blades and tail rotor powered by the 240 hp Franklin 0-4-5-9 air-cooled reciprocating engine.
Frank Zook, of the museum, took me into this restoration space and allowed these images to be captured. Frank, we cannot thank you enough :)
Dean Tilton built this replica of Matty Laird’s Baby Biplane which Laird completed during 1912. It is on display at the Florida Air Museum and looks perfectly preserved as if it is the original.
47° 07′ 53″ N / 122° 28′ 58″ W