Sikorsky H-19

Sikorsky H-19

"For other uses of "H19" see H19 (disambiguation)." infobox Aircraft
name = H-19 Chickasaw
type = Utility helicopter
manufacturer = Sikorsky

caption =
designer =
first flight = November 10 1949
introduced = 1950
retired =
status =
primary user =
more users =
produced =
number built =
unit cost =
variants with their own articles = Westland Whirlwind

The Sikorsky H-19, (also known as the S-55) was a multi-purpose helicopter used by the United States Army. It was also license-built by Westland Aircraft as the Westland Whirlwind in the United Kingdom. United States Navy and Coast Guard models were designated HO4S, while those of the U.S. Marine Corps were HRS.

Design and development

The H-19's first flight was on November 10, 1949 and it entered operations in 1950. Over 1,000 of the helicopters were manufactured by Sikorsky for the United States. An additional 550 were manufactured by licensees of the helicopter including Westland Aircraft, Sud-Est in France and Mitsubishi in Japan.

The helicopter was widely exported, used by many other nations, including Greece, Israel, Chile, South Africa, Denmark and Turkey.

Operational history

HMR-161 in Korea, 1953

The H-19 underwent live service tests 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 Korean conflict by the Army.

In 1956, the French Air Force experimented with arming the H-19 Chickasaw aka "Sikorsky S-55", then being superseded in service by the more capable Piasecki H-21 and Sikorsky H-34 helicopters. The H-19 was originally fitted with a 20-mm cannon, two rocket launchers, plus a 20-mm cannon, two 12.7-mm machine guns, and a 7.5-mm light machine gun firing from the cabin windows, but this load proved far too heavy, and even lightly-armed H-19 gunships fitted with flexible machine guns for self-defense proved underpowered.

The H-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.


;YH-19: Five early production S-55s for evaluation.;H-19A: USAF version of the YH-19 powered by a 600 hp, (472kW) R-1340-57 engine, redeisgnated UH-19A in 1962, 50 built.;SH-19A: H-19As modified for Air-Sea Rescue, redesignated HH-19A in 1962.;H-19B: H-19A with a more powerful 700 hp, (522kW) R-1300-3 engine, redesignated UH-19B in 1962, 264 built.;SH-19B: H-19Bs modified for Air-Sea Rescue, redesignated HH-19B in 1962.;H-19C: US Army version of the H-19A, redesignated UH-19C in 1962, 72 built.;H-19D: US Army version of the H-19B, redesignated UH-19D in 1962, 301 built.;HO4S-1: US Navy version of the H-19A, 10 built.;H04S-2: Project for rescue version for the United States Coast Guard, not built.;H04S-3: Re-engined US Navy & Canadian version with 700 hp, (522kW) Wright R-1300 engine, redesignated UH-19F (American variant) H04S-3 (Canadian variant) in 1962, 79 built.;HO4S-3G: United States Coast Guard version of the HO4S-3, redesignated HH-19G in 1962, 30 built.;HRS-1: United States Marine Corps version of the HO4S for eight troops, 60 built.;HRS-2: HRS-1 with equipment changes, 101 built.;HRS-3: HRS-2 with a 700 hp, (522kW) R-1300-3 engine, became CH-19E in 1962, 105 built and conversions from HRS-2.;HRS-4: Project for HRS-3 with a 1,025 hp, (764kW) R-1820 radial engine, not built.;UH-19A: H-19A redesignated in 1962.;HH-19A: SH-19A redesignated in 1962.;UH-19B: H-19B redesignated in 1962.;HH-19B: SH-19B redesignated in 1962.;CH-19E: HRS-3 redesignated in 1962.;UH-19F: HO4S-3 redesignated in 1962.;HH-19G: HO4S-3G redesignated in 1962;S-55: Commercial version with 600 hp, (472kW) R-1340 engine.;S-55A: Commercial version with 800 hp, (596kW) R-1300-3 engine.;S-55C: S-55A with a 600 hp, (472kW) R-1340 engine.;S-55T: Modified aircraft with a 650 shp, (485kW) Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-3U-303 turboshaft and updated equipment.;S-55QT: Commercial conversion. Ultra-quiet helicopter for sight-seeing flights over the Grand Canyon. ;OHA-S-55 Heli-Camper: Commercial conversions carried out by Orlando Helicopters.;OHA-S-55 Nite-Writer: Commercial conversion. Aerial advertising helicopter, fitted with a 12.2-m x (40-ft x 8-ft) array of computer-controlled lights.;OHA-S-55 Bearcat: Commercial conversion. Agricultural helicopter.;OHA-S-55 Heavy Lift: Commercial conversion. Flying crane helicopter.;QS-55 Aggressors: Commercial conversion. S-55 helicopters converted into flying targets. ;OHA-AT-55 Defender: Commercial conversion. Armed military helicopter.;Whirlwind HAR21: HRS-2 for Royal Navy, ten delivered.;Whirlwind HAS22: H04S-3 for Royal Navy, 15 delivered.Later marks of Whirlwind were built under licence.


pecifications (H-19)

aircraft specification

plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop

crew=2 (pilot, copilot)
capacity=12 troops or 8 litters
length main=62 ft 7 in
length alt=19.1 m
height main=13 ft 4 in
height alt=4.07 m
span main=53 ft
span alt=16.16 m
area main= ft²
area alt= m²
empty weight main=4,795 lb
empty weight alt=2,177 kg
loaded weight main=7,200 lb
loaded weight alt=3,266 kg
max takeoff weight main=7,900 lb
max takeoff weight alt=3,587 kg

engine (prop)=Pratt & Whitney R-1340-57
type of prop=radial engine
number of props=1
power main=600 hp
power alt=450 kW

max speed main=101 mph
max speed alt=163 km/h
range main=405 mi
range alt=652 km
ceiling main=10,500 ft
ceiling alt=3,200 m
climb rate main=700 ft/min
climb rate alt=213 m/min
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=

ee also

* Westland Whirlwind (helicopter)
* Sikorsky H-34

similar aircraft=
* Mil Mi-4

* List of military aircraft of the United States
* List of helicopters
* List of civil aircraft


*Duke, R.A., Helicopter Operations in Algeria [Trans. French] , Dept. of the Army (1959)
*France, Operations Research Group, "Report of the Operations Research Mission on H-21 Helicopter" Dept. of the Army (1957)
*Riley, David, "French Helicopter Operations in Algeria", Marine Corps Gazette, February 1958, pp. 21-26.
*Shrader, Charles R., "The First Helicopter War: Logistics and Mobility in Algeria, 1954-1962", Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers (1999)
*Spenser, Jay P., "Whirlybirds: A History of the U.S. Helicopter Pioneers", Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press (1998)

External links

* [ H-19 US Army Aviation history fact sheet]
* [ H-19 Chickasaw on]

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