|Year/Model:||1955 Sikorsky H-19-SI Chickasaw|
|Note:||This particular H-19D was previously reconstructed before arriving at Estrella Warbirds Museum was assembled from three different H-19's: Below Cockpit from S/N 55-4943 (to include existing AC tag;), Tail Boom from S/N 53-4441, and Engine Compartment S/N 54-1421|
|Power Plant:||1x Pratt & Whitney R-1340-57 radial engines delivering 600 hp|
|Wingspan:||53 feet .02 inches|
|Length:||62 feet 66 inches|
|Height:||13 feet .35 inches|
|Gross Weight:||7,200 pounds (MTOW)|
|Maximum Speed:||101 mph|
|Maximum Range:||405 miles|
|Service Ceiling:||10,499 ft|
|Crew:||2 + 12 passengers|
|Owner:||Estrella Warbird Museum|
Estrella Warbirds Museum acquired this H-19D (Chickasaw) helicopter early fall, 2016. The H-19D is a 1950's vintage helicopter that was used during the Korean War. The recovery team of Gary Corippo (Acquisitions Manager), Bill Lander (Assistant Manager) and Keith Dekker (Restorations) retrieved the aircraft at Will J. Fox airfield in Lancaster, CA. The aircraft was loaded on a low bed trailer and trucked to the museum for restoration.
This particular helicopter was formerly used by the US Forest Service and the US Army and has been on display previously with the Museum of Flight. The H-19 Chickasaw project was sponsored by William Hearst (Hearst Publishing Corp) as a tribute to George Hearst Jr., William's uncle. George Hearst Jr. flew the H-19 type helicopter in combat during the Korean War. Make sure you check out the mural rendition of this chopper on the end walls of Freedom Hall).
The Estrella Warbirds Museum team restored the H-19 helicopter as a tribute to the Korean War veterans and to honor George Hearst Jr., for his service to his country.
Development of the H-19 was initiated privately by Sikorsky without government sponsorship. The helicopter was initially designed as a testbed for several novel design concepts intended to provide greater load-carrying ability in combination with easy maintenance. Under the leadership of designer Edward F. Katzenberger, a mock-up was designed and fabricated in less than one year.
The first customer was the United States Air Force, which ordered 5 YH-19 aircraft for evaluation; the YH-19's first flight was on 10 November 1949, less than a year after the program start date. This was followed by delivery of first YH-19 to the U.S. Air Force on 16 April 1950 and delivery of the first HO4S-1 helicopter to the U. S. Navy on 31 August 1950. A U.S. Air Force YH-19 was sent to Korea for service trials in March 1951, where it was joined by a second YH-19 in September 1951. On 27 April 1951, the first HRS-1 was delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps, and on 2 May 1951, the first S-55 was delivered to Westland Aircraft.
1,281 of the helicopters were manufactured by Sikorsky in the United States. An additional 447 were manufactured by licensees of the helicopter including Westland Aircraft, the SNCASE in France and Mitsubishi in Japan.
The helicopter was widely exported, used by many other nations, including Portugal, Greece, Israel, Chile, South Africa, Denmark and Turkey.
In 1954 the Marines tested an idea to enhance lift in hot and high and/or heavily-loaded conditions by installing a rocket nozzle at the tip of each rotor blade with the fuel tank located in the center above the rotor blade hub. Enough fuel was provided for seven minutes of operation. Although tests of the system were considered successful, it was never adopted operationally.
The H-19 Chickasaw holds the distinction of being the US Army's first true transport helicopter and, as such, played an important role in the initial formulation of Army doctrine regarding air mobility and the battlefield employment of troop-carrying helicopters. The H-19 underwent live service tests in the hands of the 6th Transportation Company, during the Korean War beginning in 1951 as an unarmed transport helicopter. Undergoing tests such as medical evacuation, tactical control and front-line cargo support, the helicopter succeeded admirably in surpassing the capabilities of the H-5 Dragonfly which had been used throughout the war by the Army
The U.S. Air Force ordered 50 H-19A's for rescue duties in 1951. These aircraft were the primary rescue and medical evacuation helicopters for the USAF during the Korean War. The Air Force continued to use the H-19 through the 1960s, ultimately acquiring 270 of the H-19B model.
The UH-19 was also used in the early days of the Vietnam War before being supplanted by the Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw, which was based on the H-19.