Tuesday, April 26, 2016

An Old Sikorsky Helicopter

Yesterday as I was heading to lunch, I saw an odd helicopter at the Ann Arbor airport.  I couldn't really stop at the time to catch it.  I was going to go planewatching there tonight but I didn't see any planes, however I did figure out a way to get some pictures of the helicopter.
 This is a Sikorsky H-34 Helicopter.  It was probably most famous for its role in the TV show from the early 1980's called Riptide.  One of the characters on that show owned one and would use it on the show on occasion.  It was painted pink and had a mouth on the front.
 The H-34 came as an improvement of the UH-19 which was used extensively in the Korean War.  It was lengthened and the power was increased.  It was powered with a piston engine.
 It's first flight was in 1954 and introduced to service by the US Navy.  It was first used in combat by the French during the Algerian War.  They would use in the same fashion that the United States used helicopters during the Vietnam War.  The H-34 was not used much by the United States Army during the Vietnam War as it was eventually replaced by the UH-1 Huey.  It was used fairly extensively by the US Marine Corps because of its simplicity and higher reliability.  It was phased out of service by 1973.
In all, there were 2000 variants of the H-34 produced and some are still used these days.

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