In 1948 Sikorsky Aircraft began design of the Chikasaw for use as a cargo and personnel carrier. In order to maximize the size of the cabin the helicopter’s engine was placed in the nose. This allowed the cargo area to reside directly on the center of gravity, minimizing the effects of different loads on the helicopter’s balance. The first UH-19 flew in November 1949. The H-19 was adopted by the U.S. Air Force in 1951. Most were assigned to rescue duties and had a hoist installed above the cabin door. The Chikasaw was eventually adopted by every branch of the U.S. military, the U.S. Coast Guard, and several foreign nations. It was the first helicopter approved for civil certification in the United States. A version called the Whirlwind was built in England by Westland.
534th Air Defense Group, Kinross AFB, Michigan
Pima Air & Space Museum