Kaman began development of the Huskie in 1950 for the Navy and Marine Corps. The prototype first flew in 1953. The helicopter’s twin intermeshed rotor configuration eliminates the need for a tail rotor, but the angle at which they had to be mounted forces the rotor blades to approach very near the ground when the aircraft is landed making it very difficult to get close to the aircraft while the rotors are turning. In 1958, the Air Force adopted the Huskie for aircraft rescue and firefighting. The strong downwash from the rotor blades could be used push a fire away from a trapped crewman and the rescue teams. It was the first helicopter specifically purchased for airborne firefighting by the Air Force. A civil version of the HH-43 called the K-Max was developed during the 1990s.
42nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Luke AFB, Arizona, 1972
Pima Air & Space Museum
Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.
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