The HH-52A started life in the late 1950's as the Sikorsky S-62, a replacement aircraft for the S-55 or H-19. It is about the same size and weight as the S-55, but can fly faster due to it's turbine engine. It will also do one better than the S-55 without special gear, that is, take off and land from water. Of all the rotary-wing aircraft the Coast Guard wanted at the time, up until the HH-52A, none could land on water to make a rescue. For the planners, this was a very important feature. Our aircraft, No. 1395 has just arrived and is beginning restoration to become a static display. It's twin sister ship, #1394 is pictured above and on display at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum.
The aircraft was first conceived and designed to be amphibious so that flotation gear would not be required for over water flights. The bottom of the fuselage is water tight and strengthened to permit landings on either water or snow. It has two out-rigger floats mounted forward, well away from the fuselage to resist pitching and rolling during touchdown or while at rest on the water.
The HH-52A used many of the components of the H-19 series including all the rotor blades, main and tail rotor heads, main, intermediate and tail rotor gearboxes , also the shafting, tail rotor pylon, and portions of the flying controls and hydraulic systems.
One item of particular note: The Coast Guard HH-52A is credited with saving more than 15,000 lives! That's more than any other helicopter in history, especially when only 151 of the aircraft were ever built! Only 20 remain flying.
Manufactured 1962 by Sikorsky Aircraft.
US Coast Guard
s/no. 62.035 No 1395