Sikorsky SH-3D

Technical Specifications
Name : SH-3D
Family : Naval Helicopter
Manufacturer : Sikorsky
Nation : USA
Production Year : 1959
Length : 16,69 m
Span : 18,90 m
Height : 5,13 m
Rotor Area : 280,48 m²
Empty : 5647 kg
Maximum Take-off :  9526 kg
2 x General Electric T58 1500 SHP each
Maximum Speed : 267 km/h
Range : 1168 km

The Sikorsky S-61 is a medium helicopter for naval operations built in five countries in over 1,300 units. It was designed in reply to a US Navy requirement for a helicopter capable of finding and attacking submarines. Among its innovations were the five-blade, folding rotor, turboshaft engines, folding tail for stowage on ships, the hull-shaped fuselage with stabilizing pods for water-borne operations. The prototype flew on 11 March 1959. Special VIP variants were developed for the President of the United States and the Shah of Persia. The British variant built by Westland is known as Sea King. It is also used for Search and Rescue (SAR) and transportation, particularly in the civil sector. The Italian Navy selected the SH-3D variant in 1965 for anti-submarine warfare and eventually bought 36. This led to license production by Agusta, which also built the two TS models used since 1976 by the 31st Stormo of the Italian Air Force to carry the President of Italy, cabinet members and the Pope. Two civil S-61 provided in 1967-1971 scheduled service between Naples, Ischia, Capri and Sorrento. From 1994 onwards the Italian Navy stripped several SH-3D of their equipment and converted them to the NLA standard to carry its Battaglione San Marco naval infantrymen. The SH-3D on display was built by Agusta for the Italian Navy as MM.5021N and coded 6-20. It made its first flight on 30 June 1972 piloted by Luciano Forzani. After being accepted on 26 July 1973, it was used to test the AS-12 air-surface missile. It was then employed by the 1st Helicopter Group at Luni, near La Spezia, on anti-submarine duties. It was withdrawn from service in 2008 as an NLA with 4th Group at Grottaglie, near Taranto. It was loaned to the Museum in 2010.

Thanks to: Marina Militare Italiana.

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